A Proverbs 31 Wife
A Proverbs 31 wife. A virtuous woman. A wife of noble character. Whew. It can be daunting to aspire to that. Can I get an Amen? You spend hours on laundry, cooking, errands, Bible study and trying to be a great wife, but your husband doesn’t appreciate it. Or, perhaps, he is not a believer. Are you still commanded to be this ideal wife when your husband doesn’t seem to deserve it?
John 13:35 (NIV)
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Praying for Him to Change?
I get it, I really do. My late first husband was not a believer and certainly did not appreciate my efforts to be a biblical wife and mother. In fact, my faith and my involvement in my local church was often an issue of contention between us. I prayed fervently that God would change his heart and draw my husband to Him. I prayed for Him to change my husband. I sought godly counsel when I was so frustrated and resented doing so much for him when he didn’t seem to care at all. I just knew that the counselor (Pastor) would tell me that I was right and that I shouldn’t have to aspire to be the biblical ideal woman in my situation. I was more than a little taken back (and, if we are being honest here, more than a little annoyed) when he told me that yes, God still wanted me to aspire to the Proverbs 31 wife even though my husband did not share my faith. The pastor explained that by loving my husband in this way, I was demonstrating God’s love and loving others as He commanded us to. He further explained that instead of praying for my husband to change that I should pray that God would change my heart and soften it toward my husband. WHAT? That stung a bit, but I did exactly that. While I’d love to tell you that my husband was later saved or that he started to show appreciation for how hard I worked in the home and with the kids, but he didn’t. What I can tell you is that I continued to pray and to seek new ways to become a better wife and mother, despite my husband’s indifference.
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The focus here is not what your husband should be doing (that is between him and God unless you are in a situation involving abuse or adultery, but that is another topic, altogether). The focus is on YOUR actions and heart and if they are pleasing to God.
Bitterness and Resentment?
Are you bitter that your husband doesn’t thank you for keeping up on the laundry? Do you resent him for not doing his share in the home? Are you upset or angry that you feel generally unappreciated? Ephesians 4:31 (NIV) instructs us to ” Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” and Galations 5:19-21 tells us “19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Simply put, you cannot please God with bitterness and resentment in your heart. The only way to be happy and fulfilled in this life is to be in God’s will. Only when I am living out His purpose for my life can I fully live in His joy and peace.
Pray that He removes the bitterness and anger from your heart. Pray that He softens your heart toward your husband. Ask that He show you His will for you when it comes to being the wife and woman He created you to be. If you continue to struggle in this area, I encourage you to reach out to your pastor, a Christian counselor or even a friend who can help you stay accountable in this area.
A Proverbs 31 wife isn’t a cookie cutter version from the Bible. She is unique and created just for her husband. In this blog post, I share more about what a Proverbs 31 wife is in today’s world.
I’m now remarried to a loving, appreciative, godly man who tells (and shows) me everyday how much he loves me and appreciates my walk with God and my aspirations toward the Proverbs 31 wife ideal. God answered my prayers – not in the way (or timeline!) that I thought, but He did and how He answered them is way better than anything my human mind could have dreamed up on my own.
I am praying for you, sweet friend.