Often life is hard, but God is always good

Archive for April, 2014

What is My Value? The Wife of His Youth

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Photo Credit: flickr.com “slgckgc”

“A wife of noble character who can find?
 She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her
 and lacks nothing of value.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31: 10-12 (NIV)

I fight the battle against wifely insecurity as I get older. Even as a young thing, I knew I couldn’t physically compete with the pole dancer or the enhanced internet photo. So how valuable am I now?

Here’s the reality: a good wife is good for her husband. Wifely love benefits a husband for his entire lifetime. Remember the research that shows this with numbers? Men live longer more fulfilled lives when married: 

“A major survey of 127,545 American adults found that married men are healthier than men who were never married or whose marriages ended in divorce or widowhood. Men who have marital partners also live longer than men without spouses; men who marry after age 25 get more protection than those who tie the knot at a younger age, and the longer a man stays married, the greater his survival advantage over his unmarried peers.” (Harvard Men’s Health Watch, July 2010)

Author Evelyn Waugh gives us a humorous declaration of this truth in his real-life marriage proposal to Laura Herbert in 1936. “Of course, you haven’t got to decide, but think about it. I can’t advise you in my favour because I think it would be beastly for you, but think how nice it would be for me!” (excerpt from Patches of Godlight by Jan Karon)

Women search for good men and moan at the slim pickings. Let’s turn that around and look at what a great catch we are; good, faithful women are a treasure. We help our husbands, we praise them, and we do much of the hard work of parenting. We put funds in the family financial pot and even cook and clean!

So, let’s quit viewing the wife as “the old ball and chain” or “the old lady”.   Our feminine value appreciates with time, it doesn’t depreciate like a car, despite what our culture says.

God clearly esteems the wife chosen in a man’s youth and tells husbands the following: “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well…Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with stranger. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.” (Proverbs 5: 17, 18)

I want to say that it is taking a terrifying risk to love and commit to one person. We wonder will he remain faithful?   We know a husband should keep his marriage covenant, but the question remains, will he?

Many women have received harsh rejection from husbands. One friend told me these stinging words came from her husband’s lips during the divorce proceedings: “You added nothing of value to my life all the years we were married.”

I am counting on God to keep his promise to bind up the broken hearts of women everywhere, for so many walk around in public, smiling, with very private and painful heart wounds.

Despite the risk and pain, committed love is wholly good: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”

Women, let’s see our value as wives – current or prospective. We are prizes.

 

 

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“Am I Lovely?” Every Woman’s Question

 

"Borrow Somebody's Dreams" Photo Credit: Stefano Corso

“Borrow Somebody’s Dreams” Photo Credit: Stefano Corso

 

It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,”
Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”; 
But you will be called, “My delight is in her,” 
And your land, “Married”;
 For the Lord delights in you, 
And to Him your land will be married.” Isaiah 62: 4 (NASB)

Am I delightful? Am I lovely? Well, maybe I was – at some earlier time as a little girl dancing around the backyard in the wind, or a young woman with runner’s legs and long black hair. But am I – this over-fifty woman, tired, overweight and wrinkling- could I be – lovely still?”

This central feminine question begs an answer no matter the age – even the young beauty with her iphone capturing that alluring “selfie” asks it. When I was young I stabbed my own heart with this query, doubting and worrying because I looked at my physical imperfections with such hateful judgment.

“What if you have a genuine and captivating beauty that is marred only by your striving?” (Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul)

I wasted my years of youthful beauty and I watch young women around me doing the same. How is it that we can see so clearly the loveliness of our friends – their wide generous smiles, bubbly laughter, fun curly hair, sparkly eyes, smooth skin -and have no vision for our own?

I hope that age will not steal my beauty. As Charles Dickens wrote, “Cheerfulness and contentment are great beautifiers, and are famous preservers of good looks.”

Author Stasi Eldredge teaches us, “beauty is an essence that is given to every woman at her creation…because she bears the image of God. She doesn’t have to conjure it, go get it from a salon, have plastic surgery or breast implants.”

God thinks we are lovely. At any age. Really, He does.

I am beginning to believe it.

 

 

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