Monday, August 29, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Woman - Part 11

The Proverbs 31 woman is BLESSED BY HER CHILDREN and she is PRAISED.

v. 27-29 says
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her saying:
Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”

How many of you are waiting for your children to rise up and bless you?  We may have a bit of a wait.  I told you that this was not today’s to-do list, but our goals for our lifetime.  I definitely want this blessing from my children and my husband – even though it will take hard work to get it.

Why is praise so important?  In Dr. James Dobson’s book What Wives Wish Husbands Knew About Women, he talks about the loneliness and depression that is often associated with wives and mothers.  He stresses to the husband that just communicating his understanding and appreciation of what we are doing can keeps us from feeling that loneliness that leads to depression.  It is important for us as women to feel appreciated and loved.  We achieve that, the Bible says, by emulating this Proverbs 31 woman.

While you are waiting for them to grow up and acknowledge you, let me bless you.  You are a fantastic mother!  You love your children with your whole heart!  You work diligently and you get more done than you think you do!  You are an example and a witness everyday of the love of our Creator.  Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Woman - Part 10

The Proverbs 31 woman is KIND.

v. 26 says
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

How often do women get slammed for gossiping, backbiting, and talking too much?  This verse is a hard one for us.  Most of us have the “gift of gab.”  James 3:2 says that the hardest part of the body to tame is the tongue, but once it has been tamed, the whole body will follow.  The Proverbs 31 woman thinks before she speaks and she speaks kind words.  Ephesians 4:29 says “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

This is so important when we are raising our children. It is easy to get frustrated when a child asks you the same question over and over and over again.  I told you that I was raised in a sarcastic home and making someone the butt of a joke comes very naturally to me.  In my family of origin, I have the reputation for giving the best put-downs.

But, my husband has taught me not to do that to our children.  He has had great insight in this area and we work hard to build self-esteem instead of tearing it down.  I try never to say things like “that’s dumb” or even “you’re bad” to my children.  There are so many edifying things I can say.  If one of my children is just being pure silly, I just laugh and say, “I love you.”  What better response could there be?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Woman - Part 9

The Proverbs 31 woman is NOT AFRAID.

v. 25 says
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.

This is key. When I think back to what drew my husband to me, it was the fact that I was a happy person. I didn’t whine and cry when I didn’t get my way and I didn’t complain about long lines, traffic or impossible situations.  I trusted in God to work things out and he liked that about me. I need to re-cultivate that smile for him.  Things ARE different now, there is more work to be done, more pressing deadlines than I have ever faced, but my main attraction is still my smile.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Woman - Part 8

The Proverbs 31 woman is WISE.

v. 24 says
She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.

This woman knows business, as well as her craft.  She would probably be a great person to go garage-sale-ing with.  She does not make decisions foolishly.

I wish I was more like her.  The best financial decision I ever made was to not fuss when my husband decided to do the finances when we were first married.  I had more time, but he definitely had more money smarts.  When I was single, I was "Sears Best Customer."  I earned that title by paying for the same couch 3 times over (making minimum payments each month).  I admit it:  I bounced checks. 

Now, my husband has me running on a pretty much cash-only basis.  The cash I have is what I have.  I do much better keeping a handle on the groceries and my personal wants on the allowance I am given. 

Oh!  And I am a terrible negotiator.  If I have a garage sale, you'll get it for a quarter or free probably!  I once made $20 on a 4-hour garage sale.  That's less than minimum wage!  After that, I just choose to donate stuff instead.

All that said, I do my best to live within my husband's means.  I don't beg for things that cost a lot.  I don't go shopping to "fix" a problem or a feeling (anymore). 

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Woman - Part 7

The Proverbs 31 woman is RESPECTFUL TO HER HUSBAND.

v. 21-23 says
She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
when he sits among the elders of the land.

This woman is obviously a Girl Scout.  She is prepared.  She is planning for the future! She is NOT sitting around in her houserobe and curlers all day long.  She makes herself presentable and her family presentable.  She doesn’t do it in a way that makes people look at her, however.  She does it in a way that makes people look at her husband.  She is so supportive of him, that they think HE has it all together.  I think this is an important aspect to consider for those of us who are married.

Sometimes, I want to make a point or win an argument in public, but I need to consider, how will this make my husband look?  At times, I have had to hold back what I want to say until later, when we are alone and say, “Now, about what you were talking about, did you mean this?”  I can ask him in a nice way to communicate his feelings or ideas to me without embarrassing him in public or making him look like he doesn’t know what he is talking about.  This goes back to “being trustworthy.”  He should be able trust me to guard his reputation and his ego in public.

I wish I was more trustworthy in this area.  Many times I try to turn things off as a joke and end up not edifying my husband, but tearing him down in little ways.  Good resources for reminding me (besides the Bible) are:  Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs and The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace.