Dear Gentle Reader,
Please tolerate my harsh tone in this post and remember that this is “Soap Box Series” week, where I share my opinions on several subjects. This piece is meant for me as much as anyone else and this is how I talk to myself when I am being a Proverbs 27:15 wife (you’ll have to look that one up.)
Christian women, buck up! Life is not all about you and your needs and your feminine desires. Stop expecting your husbands to be perfect. Stop expecting them to read your mind. And stop wincing and crying out at the smallest infraction. You are so much bigger than that! God wants so much more for your life and your marriage. Mostly, He wants you to stop looking inward, stop keeping a tally of hurts, and start looking upward, accepting and extending His grace. Resist requiring so much maintenance and start being agreeable. As Christian women, let’s decide to be sturdy, not fragile; let’s use our minds to believe the truth instead of using our feelings which often lie. If you have chosen to be a Christ follower, you gave up your rights; so whether you want to or not, and whether you feel like it or not, you must be obedient to your Master, God. And God says to be a peacemaker. Are you making peace or making war?
If you begin to feel sorry for yourself, hurry up and reach out to someone else before Satan tempts you to throw yourself a pity party. Remember that “community” we talked about yesterday? Go, get caught up in that and not in your own tiny little world. You will be amazed how much better your life will be if you decide to overlook an insult or to remain calm when irritated.
Here’s an excerpt from a post that I wrote several years ago, but think about often…especially when I am not doing it. Maybe it will help you as it helps me:
“While reading Jane Austin's book Persuasion a few weeks ago, I noticed one statement at the beginning of the story. This statement wasn't particularly important to the ensuing drama, but it convicted me nonetheless. First, I will give you some context, and then I will reveal a lesson learned.
In this classic story, Austin writes about a family composed of Sir Walter Elliot and his three daughters, Elizabeth, Anne and Mary. Lady Elliot, Sir Walter's wife and the girls’ mother, had died several years earlier. We get a glimpse of her character from the following statement written about the respect she bestowed upon her husband:
"She had humoured, or softened, or concealed his failings, and promoted his real respectability for seventeen years; ..."
And here is the lesson learned: I don't do that. But I want to.
Why am I not more like Lady Elliot? Because sometimes my husband bothers me and I want him to know it. Because I am selfish and proud often think myself superior. Because I often care more about myself and my feelings than the feelings of my husband.
What can I do to become more like Lady Elliot? I can laugh at the little, silly idiosyncrasies that makes Brent who he is. I can soften and accept the beautiful, well-meaning, but imperfect, man God gave to me. I can choose not to talk of his mistakes and foibles to others, but instead make him shine in their eyes. I can promote his real respectability--the person that I know he is--and believe in that myself. And I can continue to do that for the rest of the years that God gives us together. God help me.”
And that’s my opinion on the state of unnecessarily needy women within the body of Christ.
What does God think? His opinion is pretty clear:
Better to live on the corner of a roof
than to share a house with a nagging wife.
Better to live in a wilderness
than with a nagging and hot-tempered wife.
Better a meal of vegetables where there is love
than a fattened ox with hatred.
A gentle answer turns away anger,
but a harsh word stirs up wrath.
A fool’s displeasure is known at once,
but whoever ignores an insult is sensible.
Pleasant words are a honeycomb:
sweet to the taste and health to the body.
And that’s just a few of His Proverbs. He has a lot more to say in the rest of the book…have I convinced you yet?
Rise up sturdy Christian women!
Make your men proud!