Often life is hard, but God is always good

Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

What is My Value? The Wife of His Youth


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.




What Does it Matter Anyway?

Photo Credit: Zuki  -  Creative Commons

Photo Credit: Zuki –
Creative Commons

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

I confess I get discouraged and weary. I have turned over a new leaf at this time of my life – by God’s grace.  The result of a life of discipleship is a loaded plate – raising children, loving a husband, and reaching out to others with sincere caring.  Sounds good, so why do I feel sometimes as if what I do doesn’t matter much?

It occurs to me that I was an overachiever as a student, finding the kudos of high grades and successful coursework extremely rewarding.  Now I don’t have much back patting.  No high marks, no awards, no letters of commendation.

How do I live without all that?

Several years ago I attended my husband’s Christian counseling conference in Colorado.  On the last evening of the week-long event I arrived early at the entrance to the hotel before the special concert performance and saw a man in jeans, a ratty sweatshirt and an old baseball cap unloading sound and music equipment all by himself from the back of a trailer.  As I made my way past him, I took a second look at his face.  It was our special guest, Michael Card.  The poet-scholar of the Christian music world was schlepping his own gear.

That is reality – We do good because it’s good – valuable for its own sake – not for the praise or recognition it might bring us.

Jesus knew how this worked:

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.  If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others.  Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’  Matthew 6: 1-4 (NIV)

Remember that our Heavenly Father sees us, and will reward us in his way, in his time.


Why Wear Rose-Colored Glasses?

Photo credit: Derek Gavey

Photo credit: Derek Gavey

“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me?  I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116: 7, 12, 13 (NIV)

Twenty-five years of marriage feels more like a gift than an accomplishment.  God had to work with some difficult raw material (me)! So much support came from friends, counselors, family, Bible truth, and marriage books and seminars.

But one of the best ingredients in our many years of marriage are the “rose-colored glasses”.  When I place them over my vision I can see my circumstances, my husband, my past, and my future with a perfect mixture of gratitude and honesty.

I look back with chagrin at the newlywed young girl… who hid under the covers when faced with an argument.

“Hey! Where’d you go?” My new husband’s voice floated up the stairs, muffled by the comforter that I had dragged over my head. I didn’t answer him from my refuge under the covers. I felt silly, but I stayed in that suffocating space hoping he would leave me alone.

I thank God that my embarrassing behavior during our arguments drove me to the counselor’s office and that my husband was patient with me as I grew up.

I look back with compassion at the heart-sick young wife…who couldn’t conceive a child.

I truly believed I controlled things like having a baby – “Let’s just start trying and I’ll get pregnant on my timetable”, but even infertility testing and treatment didn’t go according to plan.

I thank God that He was there to catch me when during my free fall into reality and that my husband stuck with me when I was impatient and untrusting of God.

I look back with humor at the young mother…who juggled three children under the age of five (I got what I prayed for!).

It’s a wonder what we moms can do. Once I walked with my kindergarten boy down to the school bus stop while pushing the stroller with my toddler and nursing my newborn baby in the crook of my arm.

I thank God that He buoyed up my parenting insecurities and gave me a husband who was a good father.

I look back with pain at the woman married many years…who criticized everything her husband did.

I kept up a barrage of criticism in my mind and often with my words. He irritated me and I spent all my time looking at all his flaws and being defensive about my own.

I thank God that He patiently showed me my shortcomings and that my husband persevered despite my critical spirit.

I look with pride at the mother of teens…who spent years nurturing, homeschooling, and “being there” for them.

What would I have done without my husband’s willingness to work such long hours while I home schooled the kids?

I thank God that He helps me give them room to grow when I would keep them in an emotional stranglehold and that my husband continues to offer his stability and wisdom while we navigate these years.

 I look with wonder at the woman married twenty-five years… who often wears her “rose-colored glasses”.

I know full well that the man I married isn’t perfect, but I believe in true love that sees with eyes of honesty and gratitude.

God provides these “rose-colored glasses” to us as a gift.  We may humbly receive them when we arrive at that moment of need.  Reach out for them and they will appear on your palm.

Then put them on and take a look around!

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: