We live in a world of social media where our happiest moments are captured at the snap of a button, edited with the most complimentary filter possible, and then shared for all to see. It’s most always the beautiful moments that we open up to others, and the less lovely instances are quickly deleted so as never to see the light of day.
As a Christian woman it’s easy to dress up your family in color-coordinating outfits, haul everyone hurriedly off to church, and smile pleasantly at passerby’s of your pew like you are the happiest family to ever be, and like there were never raised voices and tears prior to your arrival for Sunday morning service. You brush under the rug of a fake, forced smile, the harsh words you uttered hastily in the car to your spouse, and you sufficiently apply the strained, fake mask of perfection before considering the mantle of humility.
Let’s face it, we’re all human, and our actions will never be quite as they should be. We will always be in the good race to obtain those traits presented in Proverbs 31, and we will fall short many times, but too often we miss the mark of where it all starts. Too often we as women desire to give ourselves to our community, our friends, and our congregation, but The Lord is calling us to start in our home.
The calling of a Christian woman starts on her own doorstep, and until we can perform as Christ intended within our own home then all the smiles, tithes, and pretty pictures presenting a loving family mean nothing. Our mission of love must start in our home, and only then may we successfully flow love from there.
It resides with how you treat your children, and it begins with how you interact with your spouse. God calls His daughters to be women of virtue, and this is such a lofty position we hold. It’s one that we should take with utmost seriousness, and we can never underestimate the role we serve in furthering the Kingdom by being Godly wives.
There are certain characteristics a virtuous wife exhibits, and her calling to be like Jesus starts in her relationship with her spouse.
1. Helpmate. Wives are called to be a helpmate, and this call to companionship is of extreme importance. A helpmate is a team player in the marriage, and a helpmate understands that each partner in the holy union must give all of themselves to further the relationship. It’s not a 50/50 kind of deal, but more like a 100/100. A helpmate understands that somedays their partner may not be at their best, but it is in these instances that a true companion steps in to pick up the slack.
A helpmate is that unconditional loving partner who takes her eyes off herself and focuses them on her spouse. It’s easy as a human to think “me, me, me,” but to love like Jesus you take your eyes off simply what you’re getting out of the relationship. Instead you focus on what you may give to it.
2. Trusts. I do believe that trust is something that must be built, and it is also something that must be maintained, but too often in relationships women find it difficult to trust. Due to instances where they have been hurt by a man, be it a father figure or another relationship, many women find trust a difficult characteristic to walk in. Their past pain makes them untrusting, but God calls us to put faith in our marriage. Some men are untrustworthy, but all of them are not. We must be willing to surrender our hearts completely to our husbands, and put faith in their actions. A virtuous woman places her trust in The Lord, and through the healing of that relationship she may find it possible to build and maintain trust in human ones also.
4. Honors. A virtuous wife strives to honor her spouse. She realizes from God’s word that honor in marriage is a characteristic for both parties, but she doesn’t act honorable only when she feels it’s reciprocated. She honors her husband because this is what God commands for her as a wife. She knows diligence will show her a return of what she puts forth, and she understands her loving respect of her husband honors her relationship with The Lord.
5. Prays. I think this is the most important. A virtuous wife prays for her spouse, but it doesn’t stop there. She prays diligently, without ceasing. She prays selflessly, not praying for what’s in her best interest, but in what’s God’s best for him. A virtuous wife knows her best contribution to her husband is her prayer life for him. She knows that in so many instances she cannot change circumstances or change her spouse, but that nothing is impossible with God.
A praying wife is a wife full of faith, one who knows that God is within her. She knows her prayers have power because the Spirit who can raise the dead lives in her heart. She can say to a mountain jump, and it falls into the sea. It’s with this power and faith that she intercedes for her spouse.
The thing is, there are so many characteristics of a virtuous wife, and I only mentioned a handful in this post. I would encourage you to read over Proverbs 31, as I’ll include it below, and ask God to speak to your heart about how you can strive to be a more virtuous wife, mother, and woman. I know that personally I fall short in so many ways, but my desire is to continually seek how I may become a better representation of Christ in my daily interactions with others. And I know that it starts in my own home. I can serve my church and community with selflessness and grace, but unless I am serving my family the same, I will not succeed. The foundation of a Proverbs Woman begins with the strong, stable life that she builds within her own walls.