Friday, January 9, 2015
Defying the Odds...
“Adding one thing to the other to find out the reason,
28 Which my soul still seeks but I cannot find: One man among a thousand I have found,
But a woman among all these I have not found."
Whoa Solomon, for laying a heavy indictment on us women!
"The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down." (ESV)
Proverbs 31: 10-12
10 "Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life."
Oh, how I long, rather, to be this kind of woman!
How could Solomon say that he could not find a virtuous woman among a thousand? Yet the wisest man on earth recorded these very words.I never realized the power we women have among our men, just by batting our eyelashes. Yet Solomon said he could not find one that used their power correctly.And no one can say that Solomon did not know a LOT of women.
And yet, like it or not, we wield power over our families. The commentator Barnes has this to say of Proverbs 14:1: Every wise woman - literally, Wise women. The fullest recognition that has as yet met us of the importance of woman, for good or evil, in all human society.
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world you know.
If only I realized that, back when I was raising my family, the power I held in my household. I could use it for good or evil, but many times, sadly, I used it wrongly. Of course I did not know it at the time. I thought I was doing what was right. How could I have been so misled?
I was misled because of my own emotions, letting them rule me instead of trusting God to guide and lead through my husband. My own tender heartstrings pulled at me (especially when it came to childrearing) and I did not trust that God was working through him, in spite of his mistakes, in spite of his own human frailty, in spite of how things might have looked "by sight."
In the Old Testament, we see King Ahab of Judah, who was a believer in Christ, yet he did great evil. His outcome could have been different if he may have chosen a different wife than the wicked Jezebel. It says this of Ahab in the Old Testament record,
"Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him.He acted very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the sons of Israel." I Kings 21: 25-26
Or what about Herodias and her daughter in the New Testament, who asked King Herod to give her what she wished? That wish was to have the head of John the Baptist on a platter! Herod regretted making any promise to her, but ended up with the blood of John the Baptist on his hands because of a woman's sway and power over him.
6 "But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod, 7 so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Having been prompted by her mother, she *said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests. 10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother." Matthew 14:6-11
But ladies, what if we tried to beat the odds, so to speak, as women and wives? Do you think God would help us? Of course He would! I have often thought that if we have power over our families, we also have power in one another's lives as well. Women's friendships are so important. What if we tried to build each other up in our households and encourage other women to do the same? To do what Paul instructed Titus in chapter 2 verses 3 through 5:
3 "Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."
After thirty years of marriage, I can say that I see my husband differently now than during those early years. I can see that the story of his life has been working hard to take care of me and our children. He gave his life for us by getting up early each day and trudging off to work, getting beat up in the world so that we would have a roof over our heads, food, and clothes to wear. The last thing he needed was to feel discouragement at home too. He may have come home tired, but he certainly didn't need any more attitude coming from me. Just love and respect, and to show him that I was on his side. I failed many times at this, but I am thankful now that God has given us a second chance, and in retrospect I see that God's ways were the best ways all along. I am thankful that He works even my failures in the past for the good today.
I remember reading a book once called "All He Ever Wanted" by Anita Shreve. It was heartbreaking, because it depicted this man working so hard to earn this woman's love. I will not give away the ending, but it helped me to see how hard the male species really go to to please their women. I think of my own husband and how "all he ever wanted" was just to make me happy. We can make it easier for them and ourselves by doing things God's way instead of our own. If, as believing women, we simply trust that God will work through them as the designated heads of our homes, we will end up saving ourselves a lot of grief and heartache in the long run.
"But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ."
This is God's truth for us, and in it we can find peace and rest.
photo credit: classic_film via photopin cc