I have attended many lectures and seminars over the years on the role of a woman in the church and in life and marriage. I find many of them to be the same- with the focus on what a woman does. I am sorry to say that in years past I even taught on some of these things with the focus on how to be a good wife. Women are given their marching orders on submission and bedroom performance to keep their husband happy and and how to do their duty. Now before I lose all my unmarried friends, I want to ask you to hang in there and read this to the end!!
I know this is what is taught because these are the women who come to me for counseling for their unhappy marriages. They tell me their marriage "is not working" in some way or another.
When a marriage is "not working" there is a problem at the heart level. When a woman dislikes her God-given role as a wife, and rebels against this role there is a heart problem.
Often women look at their marriage and lives through the eye of disappointment and failure. Their husband who was Prince Charming at the altar has become Hagar the Horrible at home, and their darling children who were adorable babies have now become Hell's Angels. They have a mistaken belief that are powerless to parent them, their homes are in disarray and chaos. Most days these women are thankful to flop into bed at the end of a long day only to see that certain glint in their husbands eye... This is not a welcome thought but they fear turning down his amorous advances once again.
Does this describe you? Do you think this is God's ideal for you as a Christian woman?
With this as daily life is it any wonder that divorces are so high? Doesn't surprise me one bit!
How can we take the list of things we must "do" and make these things a part of us, ingrain them in our hearts so they are not just a list of duties and obligations but instead offerings of love and service that are a joyful part of life?
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She will not hinder him but help him all her life." Proverbs 31 10-12.
I can't think of a woman who who does not want to be known as virtuous and capable, whether she is single or married. We often do a grave disservice to our unmarried sisters in Christ by assigning godly qualities only to married women. They are frequently relegated to the back row of womanhood, which is a terrible shame.
Our unmarried sisters are not second class women or second class Christians to be somehow pitied. They, like us are to determine to glorify God by how they live their lives.
ALL women are to be righteous, honorable, virtuous, honest, caring and compassionate at the heart level because we know that is what honors God.
When our thoughts are focused on Him our thoughts are not on ourselves, they are "others" oriented. There is a great joy in seeing the benefits and blessings we bring to others by being selfless. True service does not have as its focus the people we serve and love, they are the beneficiaries of our loving service to Christ.
Yes, the qualities we find in Proverbs 31 are the actions of a virtuous woman who happens to be a wife. They are the outpouring of a heart that desires to glorify God- a true reflection of love.