I have been coming home so many days in a row from my internship extremely thankful for who God has paired me up with as my partner in life. There are so many couples coming through our doors in the midst of crisis, separation, and divorce. There have been many times in the middle of a session that I have silently spoken a word to my Creator for allowing me to have married an incredibly insightful, supportive, and loving man. My heart breaks for the individuals who see themselves in a lost relationship, and who don’t believe God is able to heal deep wounds that have developed within their marriage.
When spouses have sat down on the couch and cried because they no longer have interest in their husband or wife or they feel they are so completely opposite they find they have nothing in common, my heart just breaks. Every time their paths cross, the feelings of hopelessness and despair are consistent reminders there is much distance in their relationship. Witnessing their desperation and hopelessness provides numerous feelings within me. I find that I am truly thankful for Travis and feel that I take him for granted on a daily basis for working two tiring jobs and caring for my needs. But I also find myself wanting more knowledge regarding marriage from a biblical perspective.
I truly believe marriage is a covenant entered into by Christian men and women, one that is holy and sustained by our Heavenly Father, but ultimately I feel there is so much more to marriage than that. It is a union designed for a son to leave his family and “cling” to his wife, provide for his family, and all the while being the spiritual leaders within the home. What a huge responsibility God has given men!!! But, at the same time, God has given the responsibility of the home to the wife: caring for her husband, her children, and others. Proverbs 31 is one heck of an outline for a wife to live!!
It seems impossible to strive to be such a woman and somewhat June Cleaver-ish.
Imagine being a woman who continues to treat her husband with the utmost respect at all times, no matter how he behaves and carries himself, being the woman who manages the home’s finances with great care that you buy only things on sale even if that means going to 10 stores to buy the best items at the best price, being caretaker of the home, the food, the clothes, the children, the poor, and doing all of these things while looking your best and having a smile on your face at all times.
I don’t know about you, but I think this description of this ideal wife is just utterly crazy and completely overwhelming! At first read, I think “Well, I’ve already failed and will continue to fail because there is NO WAY I can walk through everything with a smile on my face”. I sit and soak these verses in and realize that this passage is probably a destination I will never reach, yet it is a parallel to how God is wanting me to be not only with Travis, but ultimately with Him. I will never be an ideal Christian, nor an ideal wife, but the process and journey in which I strive to become the Proverbs 31 wife is what Christ is concerned with at the moment. Granted I don’t think God is going to be disappointed in me if I can’t go through my trials with a smile upon my face, yet I do believe He is interested in how I address my faith in Him through my trials.
One fantastic resource I have had the privilege to begin is the book and study on Stormie OMartian’s The Power of a Praying Wife. I have not finished the book yet and still have more of the study guide to complete, but what power it is to be able to pray for your husband and your relationship in a loving and non-manipulative way. There have been times I have felt convicted because I have prayed for Travis to change because I want him to be a certain way. I must continually be aware that I am not out to pray for him to change, but I’m praying because I want the Lord to touch His heart and guide Him throughout his days as well as wanting the Lord to touch and change my heart in my relationship with Travis and with Him.
My prayer, not only for my marriage, but for many of the couples that I come into contact with is that they strive to be the couple God has designed them to be. I pray we/they are open to the plans of the Heavenly Father, and strive to be more Christ-like in relationships, even if that means wives will need to become more June Cleaver-sounding. Surrendering our selfish tendencies and allowing the Father to move and mold us is one way to coming closer to becoming more Christ-like and more like the Proverbs 31 wife.