Archive for the ‘Proverbs 31 needs a caveat….’ Category

“Created to be His Help Meet” by Debi Pearl

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that man  should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him…And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam…and he took one of his ribs…And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man” (Genesis 2:18, 21-22)

I have heard it said that marriage is finding that one person who will drive you crazy for the rest of your life.  I am pretty sure that when I was newly married I laughed at this and, without a thought, applied it to my husband. Eight plus years later it’s not so funny because I have slowly realized that the opposite is true more often than not: “Marriage is finding that one person who YOU will drive crazy for the rest of your life”. That adds a significant degree of personal conviction because, honestly, I don’t know if I could live with someone who was just like me. I can be impatient, quick to anger and I have a tongue sharp enough to cut through steel. I am so thankful that my husband is patient, slow to anger and slow to speak; other wise we would be a volatile combination.

Here’s the thing: No matter how justified I can feel when I am irritated at my spouse I, unfortunately, am not off the hook for my personal actions, thoughts, attitude, and words. Even if I am justified, I still am held accountable for my reaction! No matter what my spouse does God still requires that I act accordingly to what He requires of me as a wife. Of course, this is not what the world expects or encourages me to do which takes an firm resolve in my faith, knowing that following Christ is following His example in all areas of my life including my marriage (especially when things feel distant or choppy). I wish someone would have given me some hint of this before I got married, of course, this doesn’t come with a guarantee that I would have listened but I certainly could have at least looked back and said, “Oh yes….”

The book I keep at hand, the first I had really read about what it looks like to be a Godly wife, is Debi Pearl’s “Created to be His Help Meet”. At first, I really pushed back against some of the things she wrote about, thinking, “The bible doesn’t really require that of ME!”  But I was convicted because Mrs. Pearl was doing nothing more than writing the Truth of the Word. She and her husband have a loving, Godly marriage and it is from her experience and wisdom that she writes.

Here is an excerpt that was very personal for me:

“Reactions are not premeditated actions springing from our best motives, carefully thought out, planned, and weighed. They are emotional responses, breaking loose, like wild horses when we feel hurt, cheated, used, or misunderstood. They are often retaliatory, sometimes condemning, confrontational, or adversarial, and eventually vengeful and punishing. Your reactions break you loose from your social inhibitions and manifest who you really are inside and what you really believe at your core level. ..You can control your future reactions considerably by changing the way you think before you are pressed into a response.” (Pearl 101)

“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:45)

The book gives many examples of specific situations and practical advice, also ways to start thinking differently about your marriage. I love this book, even though I could hardly make it through the first time without breaking down in tears. I really do keep it next to my bed because it is inevitable in marriage that I will need to be reminded of the basic principles of being a Godly wife (sometimes more often than not!) It is too easy to get caught up in what the world calls marriage, and communication, and equality, and progress, and morality….instead:

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

A trend that raises red flags

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”  Titus 2: 3-5

I have noticed a trend in the writings of modern wives and mothers and it is something that I find myself wary of. Far too many women find solace (or misery in company?) when complaining. I know specifically of sites that are predicated on lamenting under the guise of “sincerity” and anyone who offers up a positive comment is labeled a “Pollyanna” who isn’t living an authentic life.  I don’t think that this is what writing about marriage and family should be. I think that there should be levity, there should be honesty, sarcasm can be applied where needed but it should not be a wallow in your disillusionment.

The question that these rants raise for me are: Does this trend then lead to women to the “grass is greener” mentality? Are we constantly trying to “one up”  each other on who has the most unappreciated life? Because I feel that is what’s happening! We are losing the enjoyment of the moment, and with young children the moments are fast-fleeting, to dwell on what could have been.

While I am thankful that we live in a time where it is acceptable to speak candidly about the trials and frustrations of being young wives and mothers I think we should take this opportunity to build up and encourage each other. The husband bashing and the self-pity over what your children have “robbed” from you all while drinking numerous bottles of wine with your like-minded friends is overplayed.*

Some of the best advice I have gotten has come from women who have experience, wisdom and maturity. They can empathize with what I am going through but don’t succumb to abject commiseration. This is what we should strive for: giving reassurance, fortitude and inspiration. It is what I look forward to as I become a woman mature in years. That I might remember my own experiences and help to equip other young women with the tools for patience,  love and understanding.

*Just so we are clear, I don’t think drinking wine is overplayed.

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