Monday, August 10, 2015

The "Ungrateful" Wife

Each morning she rises and begins tending to the needs of her children. No matter their age, there is looking after that is required for each. The older ones she teaches the skills they will need to live on their own one day. The younger, she assists them with hygiene, clean clothes, meals, etc. Whether she goes to work outside of the home or not, she generally does not get to sit down and rest until everyone is in bed, at the end of the evening.

She rises above simply supplying the minimum standard of care and gives her children all she can with what she has available to her. Perhaps she schools her children at home, volunteers at the school of each, or maybe just drops them off and then returns to pick them up. Between each thing she does for or with her children she addresses chores around the house. She sweeps, vacuums, and/or mops the floor. She prepares meals and tidies up the dirty dishes. She disposes of trash. If the children participate in sports or activities, she shuttles them to every one. When a friend is in need she pauses to give her friend encouragement and support.

She either completes all of the household chores herself or she oversees the ones being done by her kids. She washes and folds laundry, scrubs toilets and sinks, wipes fingerprints off of the walls, wipes up spills, picks up toys or assists her kiddos in doing so, she keeps a grocery list of what items have run out and goes to the store to replace them. She stocks the shelves of the refrigerator and pantry. She mediates arguments, supervises play, and answers the curious questions of young minds seeking to understand their environment, bodies, world, etc. She checks mail and messages and tries to answer each accordingly. She takes care of any pets and cleans up after them, when needed.

When time permits, she addresses her own personal hygiene. She dries tears, kisses "boo boos", changes diapers, reads stories, buys school supplies, tries to keep up with new clothes for growing children. Maybe she is a full time or part time student, herself. When finances permit or special events call for it, she allows her children to get a "treat" at the store. She takes them to play dates, the park, free events at the library, zoo, museum, or aquarium. She asks friends for free tickets to theme parks, arcades, etc. She makes sure activities revolve around and allow for nap times. She assists with homework, attends meetings, and delegates jobs. She is mindful of the bills and endeavors to adhere to the budget.

Or, perhaps she does not have children however maintains a career, or owns her own business, and keeps the home organized. Maybe she does the finances of the household and pays the bills. She looks to her husband for love and support. He comes home from his busy day at work. It is possible he perceives his home to be noisy and chaotic. His wife looks to him for encouragement. But chances are, he is not in the mood, does not understand, or does not care to do so. His words cut straight to her heart, "I work so hard so we can have all this and you are so ungrateful!"

How does he figure as much? But before we allow these words to take root in our heart, let us assess the situation using God’s word.
10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.

11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.

12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.

13She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.

14She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.

15She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.

16She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

17She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.

18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.

19She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.

20She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.

21She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.

22She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.

24She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.

26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”

30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
(Proverb 31:10-31. ESV.)
So, despite what her husband has said to her in this moment, or regularly, God's word states she is not an "ungrateful wife" but rather an "excellent wife"!
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