I want to become a proverbs 31 wife, but I'm not there yet.
I have been married for just over one year, and it has been so interesting to be introduced to who I actually am as a wife. LOL. When I was single, I sent lots of time dreaming with God and praying about the kind of wife and future mother, I hoped to be.
However, what is funny is how ill equipped I felt before the commitment. I put a lot of pressure on myself as we walked closer to the day of saying, "I do." Something about actually having the thing you have believed God for, for so long, can make you feel strangely less equipped then you thought you were.
Will I be a good wife?
Am I ready for this?
Crap, I just realized I do not know how to cook the kind of food he eats!
I laugh now at freaking out about being a "good wife", as if I had ever been a wife before in my life.
I spent seven years in my single season, praying, prophesying, and pouring out before the Lord, my heart's request. I took that time to allow God to truth circumcise so many areas of my life and myself that it was my responsibility to do solo. I look back over that time, and I am so grateful for it because I know that if I did not allow God to prune the poor mindsets, heal the past hurts, and deliver me from a wrong identity, I would be making my husband carry that burden to "make me happy."
I learned while I was single, that nobody can be your source of happiness or your all-in-all. People will fall short. That is why we can faithfully and wholeheartedly put our hope and trust in Jesus Christ.
Before I got married, I learned that marriage is entering into a covenant relationship with another flawed human being. I learned that my position in it is to show my husband my best grace-filled efforts of the love of Christ Jesus through how I love him, serve him, tend to his needs, and encourage him. I also knew that it would be his goal to make his best attempts each day to display the same towards me.
Boy, does it make us laugh to see how short of it we can come in light of how full, how deep, how extensive, and expansive, how merciful, longsuffering, kind, and compassionate the love of Jesus' displayed.
That is the beauty, however, of grace.
Grace is the unmerited favor that God pours out on us to enable and help us to do what He knows we cannot do in our efforts. I view grace as being given a size 21 pair of shoes to grow into when I am currently only four years old. Grace says to me, "I know these shoes are big, and you are flopping around it them, tripping over everything, but as you give things time, you will be able to walk in them more comfortably."
That is how I view the Proverbs 31 wife and the superhero woman I dreamed of becoming when I was single. I am not her, yet. This first year of marriage has been such a beautiful learning curve. Adaptability, flexibility, and humility have been key.
I am so thankful for my husband's words to me when I went to him anxiously and defeated one day. I was lamenting about how I want to be a great wife, and excellent – get up, and the house smells like fresh bread and linen in the morning. Still, I'm the wife that is just barely rolling out of bed, to make a pot of coffee, and probably about to make herself late… again… because she did not pack her bag the night before.
His words to me where "Be easy on yourself. We will figure it out. We will define what works for us."
If I am honest, I felt two pressures. The first pressure what societal pressures of what I have seen a wife be and do. These have been shaped in me from Disney movies, commercials, and storybooks. These were things that I did not even know had formed my wiring for how I thought I needed to be as a Mrs.
The second was the pressure I felt as a Christian woman. Some concepts are preached and taught to woman on how to be as a wife, and I am not sure that I completely align with how they have been taught. I have heard that women are the helpmates to their husbands, which is true, but almost in a self-sacrificial and imbalanced way. The reason some of the teachings I've heard have bothered me is that when I read about some of the incredible, bold, and mighty exploits some of the women have done in the Bible, I'm not okay with just hearing what can sometimes sound like a "be quiet and look pretty message."
Let me be clear. I believe in submission. None of the women – Queen Esther, Prophetess Deborah, Sarah, or Mary – did what they did without some form of authority or covering over them. They had the male voice and insight, inspiring their direction and advising them. The male voices in our lives are important.
I believe that submission is like crouching down a little so your husband can be on the lookout. It is powerful. It's a sign of complete trust in God to answer your prayers concerning all things, and the ultimate communication of respect to your husband that you trust his ability to lead your family.
I think of being in an army and being a soldier under the command of the general. If I try to usurp or be combative to his orders, we are probably both going to get annoyed, and one of us may decide to leave. Or, if we're in battle, we could die because we didn't follow suit. The general is expecting me to carry out duties, not because he is mean or harsh, but to move us in safety and victory.
What an analogy! I know. I have a vivid imagination but flow with me.
I love the Proverbs 31 wife. She was a woman about her business – diligent, smart, hardworking, thoughtful, and worthy of honor. Her husband was not intimidated by all that she was equipped with, but he benefited from her productivity and fruitfulness in every way.
I pray that I become my unique version of her because she is certainly worthy of honor.
May we all get excited about the "room to grow" we have, the appreciation for who we will evolve and become, and the peace and gentleness of fully embracing and accepting all that we are right now today.
Until next time,
P.s. - If you are interested in taking an 8-week course to assist you with navigating singleness and healing before you say, "I do", check out www.langrecarroll.com and sign-up for the Single Heart Course waitlist.