Woman To Be Cherished

Proverbs 19 speaks about two types of women.  One that no one would knowingly desire to attain to.  The other, I believe every woman would hope that she is thought in such a manner.

and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.

Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

Proverbs 19:13b-14

In my lifetime I hate to admit but I have done my part of being a quarrelsome wife.  To be honest with you not only am I sure my ex-husband feel the constant dripping but I began to feel it to and didn’t like it one bit!  I wasn’t happy with who I had become yet I felt stuck and unsure how to become a wife he could cherish rather than one he wanted to avoid.

I looked to anything that I thought would help; self-help books, eventually therapists yes multiple.  One was good enough for me but my marriage was crumbling around me.  When I brought my husband in he was good until they started looking at his issues then he wanted nothing to do with them.

All the rest of that is for another time.  Suffice it to say my constant dripping didn’t help things and we eventually parted ways.  This caused me to do some very deep soul searching.  One of our issues was he left God during our marriage and wanted nothing to do with anyone that had anything to do with God.  My problem is that I had misunderstood submissive and put him in front of God.

So here I was without my idol, praying to God to help get me through this mess.  I was just where God wanted me.  Back with Him.  I had lost my first love.  It is my belief that our God being a jealous God allowed my marriage to end because of my idolatry.  He wanted me back and nothing else had worked.  I was working on the letter of the law but not the spirit of the law.

In the 22 years of my singleness I have learned a lot about what it means to be a good wife.  I’ve prayed that God would make me into the Proverbs 31 woman more times than I can count.  I’ve prayed it with the thought in mind that my husband was the Lord.  This is what I’ve prayed:

I long to be Your Proverbs 31 woman.  May I be “a virtuous wife…worth far above rubies.  The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good and not evil all the days of her life…Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land…strength and honor are her clothing; she can laugh at days to come.  She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; ‘Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.’ Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, shall be praised.  Give the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Since I have no children of my own, when it speaks of children I think of spiritual children I may have, and pray that they would see me at least a little like this woman of God.

These past 22 years I have learned many things about myself that needed changing and I have learned that men don’t respond nagging.  To say it once in a loving request that builds him up is much more effective and will keep your marriage healthy.  Always in all we do or say our job is to build him up.

Now if you are married please don’t get me wrong I’m not advocating divorce or separation.  But if your single or if everything seems to be being taken from you, it could mean that God is calling you to a closer walk with Him.

He may be pruning you to make you into the prudent woman of God that He will eventually present to your future husband or to repair your relationship.  If this is the case please be patient once a bush or tree is pruned, especially when it’s been severely pruned it takes a long time for the branches to grow to the tree the pruner had intended.  For me its been more than 22 years just to get a boyfriend.  Please notice that word I said boyfriend and not fiancé or husband.  I’m perfectly content to be where God has me right now.

You may ask after 22 years how can she be content with just a boyfriend.  Well, I can see the tree’s branches and they are almost grown out to the woman of God that the right man deserves.  Secondly, there is progress in so many areas of my life only one being, I didn’t have a boyfriend this time last year.

How might we be prudent woman that are a gift from God?  A man wants respect, so in everything we do and say we must do it from a place of respect.  A man needs building up.  All day long the world tears him down.  Our job to undo what the world has been doing. Build, build, build.  A man needs to be honored.  So no nagging!  You may disagree at such things but that is what makes a prudent woman.  She isn’t a politically correct woman.  She is called out by God to higher standards.  She is called to live a righteous life.  Not that she will always succeed but she must strive to be righteous in all she does.

You might be thinking or saying well what do I get out of all of this.  Which let me remind you, this is our calling and we shouldn’t be thinking what we get out of it.  If I had told you to respect, praise, honor and don’t nag God, would you be so quick to complain.  Just as God loves and cherishes us when we do these things so does a man.  So do it unto the Lord as an act of obedience if you must or better do it as an act of love for your man.  Trust me when I tell you from what I’ve observed of friends that live a life this way, there is no greater joy and no better way to guarantee being cherished by your man than this way.

The Gift of Gratitude – A Short Story Part 3

Jack looked around the room and his gaze fell upon a women that appeared mostly toothless, with a weather beaten face and straggly matted grey hair. In his world this woman would have been one of the most unwanted and unaccepted or even unnoticed because until just recently he did his best to make these people invisible to him. With all of her grotesqueness she had something more that attracted her to him. First there was a sound. The harder he listened the more he realized that she was singing a happy song. Then it was that toothless smile that not only light up her face but radiated all around her. The last thing that drew him to her were her eyes. They shone as bright as the sun and twinkled like stars in the heavens and danced like a youth 1/10 her age. They drew him in to her in awe and wonderment. Never had he seen eyes like hers. He walked to her purposefully and quickly as not to miss her for fear she may leave before he could ask his questions. He introduced himself and asked her what her name was, she replied, “My name is Esther. Is there something on your mind Jack?” Well, that was easy he thought this fascinating woman seemed also able to see into his soul and know that there was something on his heart. “Yes there is something I want,” started Jack “I’ve been noticing how happy you are I might even use the word grateful, yet as near as I can tell you have nothing. How can that be? What is it that fills you with this joy that I so plainly see on you?” “Oh, Jack,” Esther replied, “this indeed is a worthy question. I would be most honored to tell you of the joy I’ve found. But first I must know are you pressed for time?” At this he wasn’t sure, he had no idea of his companions plans for there evening together. He looked quizzically at Gab and he smiled back and nodded. “No,” replied Jack, “I’m not pressed for time. I’m all yours Esther.” “I’m glad to know that,” said Esther, “it’s been a long path and it takes a while to tell.”

“You know I wasn’t always the woman that you see. I had a grand house with upstairs and downstairs servants. I had grounds men for the gardens and the pool and tennis courts and a chauffeur to drive me and one for my husband and they did all the upkeep on the many cars we had. With all of that Jack I lacked the most important thing I lacked gratitude for what I had and I had no joy. My heart was empty and cold. When my husband was jailed for embezzling from his own company I lost it all in a matter of days. When I lost my wealth I lost what friends I thought I had. They were there for the good times but when the bad times hit they were nowhere to be found. The hard heart that I had so cautiously crafted and built at first became even harder when I started blaming all of my losses on my husband. In an attempt to distance myself from him and the losses I listened to some ill advice and divorced him. While in prison and with nothing to look forward to since now I had turned my back on him and not stayed true to my vows of for better or worse he killed himself. The news of this was the beginning of my undoing and a massive change began to take place in my heart. I hurt for the first time at what I had done to my husband and how I had abandoned him. With no where to go and no friends I soon found myself on the streets. This was a truly humbling experience considering where I had come from and how far I had fallen. I had no one, nothing or so I thought. I soon learned that there was a community of hurting people feeling much the way I was feeling here. In the shelters I quickly learned the ones to ask questions of for help with survival skills. So I survived at first with a bitter heart at all I had lost. But as I began to look around me I noticed that there were those that were as equally as bad off as I was that were doing more than surviving. This made me very curious. How could anyone in our circumstances do anything other than merely survive? I wanted to know, as I suspect you want to know, how anyone could find joy in such a place? Am I right?” Jack nodded. Esther smiled her eyes dancing all the more, “This is a true mystery. One I’m honored to share with you. I finally asked my new friends how they could be what appeared to be joyful in such lowly circumstances. Their first answer was but one word – gratitude. All I could think as I left them is what do they have to be grateful for? What do any of us here have to be grateful for? This answer at first angered me more than comforted me. I walked away with an even harder heart than I had had before. I thought these people are truly nuts. I’ve wasted my breathe on a bunch of lunatics! I stayed away from them for a while and soon found myself in the company of some lost souls that really were truly out of their right mind. This got me thinking. If my former friends really were not lunatics they must have had something with this “gratitude” thing. But I was still at a loss as to how to possess it. So I eventually returned to my friends and they welcomed me back with open arms. Which made me realize that they had something more than gratitude they also had acceptance, what I would later discover was love. These were qualities that my friends of the grand old days didn’t truly possess. I became more and more attracted to them. But where was all this coming from in the midst of poverty and utter despair?