Have you ever read an Old Testament story that just stuck with you? The story of Abigail and Nabal is my favorite. Nabal translates to fool (fun fact) and throughout the story he lives up to his name. He insults King David and his army, who in turn starts to march on the family land. It is saved by Abigail’s chaste and respectful behavior alone. 1 Samuel 25 – read it.
The reason I bring this up is todays topic: women’s role as wives. This is specific for wives. If you are single – it probably has wisdom for you but isn’t totally applicable (Sorry to the Men out there).
Here we go:
- Genesis 2:18,21-25 “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’….So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into women and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
- Did you know that men actually have 1 less rib then women? True fact. I love knowing that because it is reassurance that God does what he says. Here’s what I believe is to be understood from this verse: Women are created to help men. I am not saying that occasionally the roles get reversed but originally we were created to help them. The concept of marriage was a beautiful one. One full of trust and respect. This is easy to see because you see them holding fast to each other and they trusted each other enough to be naked and not ashamed.
- While the husband is called to leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife – this doesn’t mean that his mother never has a role in his life again. Wives don’t try to compete with your husbands mother. Many times wives feel that their husbands are too attached to their mothers and try to compete with that relationship. His mother is the first important woman of his life and she spent time pouring into that man – give her respect. I’m not telling you to agree to everything she says but respect her – it will make your relationship with him and her easier.
2. Proverbs 18:22; 19:14 “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord….House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.”
- Wives are meant to be good things.
- We are to be prudent – Prudence is defined as being cautious or shrewd (meaning we reason and think before acting). Think of a woman you look up to who is well-respected by her husband – I bet she is prudent. Abigail was prudent. She considered what would happen and acted out of prudence and respect.
3. Proverbs 31:10-31 “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain [fleeting*], but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gaits.”
I know as a christian woman – we read this passage and it is a reminder of two things – 1) what we should be like and 2) what we are not. I am going to just highlight some points out of this, because we could spend days studying this passage.
- The value placed on a woman who isn’t idle, contentious, or lacking discernment is high. Maybe this was hard to find in biblical times but I’m sure the odds haven’t decreased to our favor. Want to show someone Christ – Pray he helps you become this woman.
- Her husband trusts in her. I don’t know about you but I can honestly say that while my husband trusts me with somethings – maybe not with all things. Imagine having your husband trust you with all things – I don’t know why but that thought brings me such joy. Why does he trust her – She brings him good and not harm all the days of her life. As a wife it’s easy to sometimes want to be snarky or nasty towards our husbands – we do live with them ALL the time – but she doesn’t she does only good towards him.
- She isn’t Idle – rises early and works hard.
- She makes sure her household has everything it needs.
- She considers something before acting upon it.
- She has a generous heart.
- Because of her prudent and respectful actions – her husband is well-respected. You should realize that even in the age of feminism – if your husband is well respected in his circle then so are you. Your actions reflect onto him.
- She has strength and dignity – I’m not sure that God is referring to physical strength but more emotional stability. She isn’t pushed around by people and stands firm in what she knows to be truth. She then acts in dignity and integrity aligning herself with the truth.
- She speaks only kind words and wisdom. This one is hard I think, words are powerful and it’s hard to control the tongue – she speaks kindness; not gossip or slander. She speaks wisdom or truth.
- She doesn’t place unnecessary effort on strength or beauty realizing that it is fleeting and eventually will fade away. I’m not saying don’t wear makeup but that isn’t everything about you so don’t let the eyeshadow define you.
- SHE FEARS THE LORD. This is probably the most important point – after this everything else falls into place – Fear the LORD – have respect for him and what he requests of you.
To Summarize for the morning:
While there are more passages to come I simply want to leave you thinking about this. Fear of the Lord will lead you into becoming the woman he wants you to be. Your behavior towards your husband is to be respectful, kind, prudent, and trustworthy. We as women set the tone for the household. What tone do you want?