First off I want to say… I am NOT an excellent wife. This is an area I am majorly struggling with, but that God is changing in me. I am on a journey, and am inviting you to go along with me as we discover just who that woman is in Proverbs 31, and how we could possibly even dream to be like her. I want this to be open to discussion but please be kind in your words, just because you don’t agree with something said, doesn’t mean you have to be mean.
Hey! Come on in! Gotta drink and a snack!? Make yourself comfortable! I am so happy you could stop by for a visit!
Today I wanted to look at the argument that the Bible “does not state that women need to be beautiful”. They are right, it doesn’t. No where does the Bible exhort a women to be beautiful or else, that I could find anyway! Why? Because we already are! The bible also states that we are to flee beauty. That it is fleeting and vanity. That we are not to dwell on it. But why, when God so obviously worked so hard to make beauty? The Bible clearly states that we are made in the image of God Himself. It also states that God made EVERYTHING beautiful, but we spend way too much time, energy and money on what the world thinks is beauty! Too often we as women (and men!) confuse sexiness with true beauty.
But does this mean that we are not to spend any time preparing ourselves for our groom?
Let’s see… The Bible also clearly states that our bodies are a temple. We wouldn’t stand idly by while our church fell into disrepair. If the roof was leaking, it would be fixed. In the meantime we care for our churches by keeping them clean, neat and pretty. In the same way we are to care for and be faithful stewards of our bodily temples. This does not mean that we are to strive for Hollywood/barbie doll figures. It means that we are to strive to be what God made us to be, and to be comfortable in that uniqueness. No one person is like another. How can we base our beauty on what someone else looks like, when we are nothing like them nor made to be like them! At the same time, we are to respect and honor God by caring for what he gave us. That means healthy food choices, exercising, taking care of the upkeep of the temple that we praise God in. Proverbs 31 states that the Excellent wife girded herself with strength… she remained active, and healthy. We shouldn’t always exercise to lose weight.. but to care for our temple.
In the book of Esther, there is a lot of talk about her preparations. There were baths, and scented clothing, and beauty treatments to prepare her to come before her husband. This was AFTER she was married, not just before! There has always been a tie in for how we are to prepare ourselves to come before God, with prayer and supplication and clothing ourselves with humility. There is rarely a tie in to the fact that she prepared to come before her husband here on earth. She took the time to dress neatly, to clean herself, and to PRAY. She came before her husband with an attitude of humility and submission. The first words out of her mouth were, “If it pleases you…” What an awesome example of how we are to show respect to her husband. I realize that at this time a wrong word could of had her banished… but I don’t think that is the point here.. Esther could of chosen to not go before him at all. Or to bother to prepare herself.
In Proverbs 31 it states that the Excellent wife was clothed in fine linen of purple (which was a sign of wealth or even royalty) and that she sought quality clothing for her household. In the Bible the temples were always finely clothed with fine linens with gold and silver, and fine wood. It was a symbol of worship, of praise for the temples to be beautifully, yet tactfully prepared for worship times. Why should our bodily temples be any less prepared them then our churches? Again, I am not saying you should wake up and get ready every morning for a beauty pageant. In fact most men I talk to would rather us women STOP wearing make up at all! Or tone it way down! Isn’t that a thought? And why is this? Because we take the time to listen to the TV commercials, and what the world says is beautiful then what our own husbands think. Have you ever thought to ask your husband if he thinks you look better with or without or with less make up? You might be surprised… and he might think it’s a trick question and stammer his way right out of the house. But it wouldn’t hurt to ask would it? It also doesn’t mean that we should break the budget to buy fancy clothing.. there are places to get nice clothes for a fraction of the price.. remember the Proverbs 31 woman SOUGHT out her clothing… Think of it as a treasure hunt. Where can I get the clothing I need (the jewel) for the best price. You would be surprised at what you can find in some thrift stores.. I get a thrill at finding a gem in those places.
I once had a friend that needed clothes so badly for her son.. she had enough to buy her son a jacket at the local thrift store, but he needed way more. She found a brand new brand name $150 coat for $5. She was so excited about that jacket!! She got it home and went to toss it in the wash, and in the pocket was a $100 bill. The thrift store manager told her she had bought it. And she was able to buy the rest of the clothing her son needed. God hides His blessings, his treasures, in the most unexpected places! We just have to look. As women, it’s an innate, need, longing, to find these blessings. Have you ever run across that perfect item you have been searching for, and it just gives your heart a boost? God instilled that desire to have the best for your family in you, and He will help you fulfill it, though it may not always be with the ways, or things you think it will.
For those of us who wish to please our husbands but feel you just don’t have the time, or your just way too tired after caring for kids, and cleaning the house and reading blogs all day… bargain for it! For me, for a long time spending time with Hubs just felt like one more thing I had to add to my list of things to do. It was a must do, but I did it like it was a chore and sometimes with the same enthusiasm I tackled a pile of dishes with! Then I read this tip somewhere else.. don’t remember where.. and it changed everything! Hubs now (when he’s home) makes breakfast most days, so I can get a few more minutes of sleep, then come out ready for a day, dressed with a hair and teeth brushed. .. So seriously… tell him, I really want to be able to relax and enjoy some time with you tonight, but by the time the kids are in bed and the dishes are done, I am going to be ready to go to sleep. Or I want to greet you in the morning freshly showered and dressed for the day, but the baby always needs that diaper changed.. could you take over that one change for me, and I will make sure you have an unlimited supply of your favorite cookies this week. Or maybe we could trade.. One night a week, you take over the evening routine, and I get ONE hour of uninterrupted time in the bathroom or our bedroom, or coffee with a friend, or a bible study without kids, and then another night YOU get an hour of uninterrupted time to do something that refreshes you. The nights that are left we do it all together! You never know… it could work. And you would both be getting special story book times with the kids, while you tuck them in and feel a lot more refreshed.. What husband wouldn’t want his wife to be refreshed, clean from a hot scented bubble bath right before bedtime if you get my meaning.. 🙂
Today’s Challenge.. what are ways that YOU confuse the world’s beauty for God’s beauty? How can you rectify that? How can you work to prepare yourself to come before your husband… not just physically, but spiritually and not just your earthly husband but your heavenly.
There are times I will come across a person that I just cringe to talk to.. or will completely avoid because of their looks or attitude. I have been spending time trying to look at people as if I were seeing God. In reality I am. Because they are made in His image. I know that I could stand to approach Hubs much more respectfully, and humbly. That I should pray FOR him much more often then I do. And that old stand by… dressing to please him, taking time to think, will this make my husband proud to stand by side, if we were seen together while I was wearing this, taking a moment or two to do something JUST for him, to show him that I care.
Do you notice that I do not give Bible references for any of this? At least not directly.. for one.. I am not a Bible Scholar.. I am having trouble remembering the books of the Bible to teach them to my kids! 🙂 For two.. I want YOU to look something up if you want to read it for yourself, and make your own conclusions after much prayer about what it says and how it applies to you! Too often, we only hear part of a biblical story, the part that can be tweaked to say what we want it to say! I want you to be free to search the Scriptures for yourself for these passages, read them thoroughly, and apply what you feel God nudging into your heart! If you do not have a Bible or have trouble finding passages I would be more then happy to help you find it, or to direct you to an online bible program!