August 8 – A Wife’s Job?

Proverbs 12: 4  (NLT)

A worthy wife is a crown for her husband,
    but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.

Here are some other versions of the verse:

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones. (NASB)

A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown,
    but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.  (NIV}

A worthy wife is her husband’s joy and crown; the other kind corrodes his strength and tears down everything he does.   (TLB – The Living Bible)

These verses are reflected in the New Testament as Paul gives advice about marriage, and he says in Ephesians 5: 33  “So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband”   (NLT).  

I’m likely wading into controversial waters with this topic.  As a senior citizen, I know I came from a very different era than you younger folks today.  Women have been fighting for equality for over 50 years, and I was a young wife and mom during the earlier days of that fight.  Some of the things I experienced would be unheard of today.  For example, during the first week of my life on the University of Western Ontario campus, all the new female students were gathered together for a speech on our role at the university.  We were told we were very fortunate to be on campus, and that we now made up close to 20% of the student body.  We were told that we needed to represent women well, and that we were to follow the dress code of skirts (no pants, and jeans were unheard of). I can remember the cold winter walks up University Hill from the bus stop to my classes and wishing I could wear warmer clothes.  

Another example of how women were treated then was the day my principal during my second year teaching, patted me on the head (yes, he patted me on the head) and told me not to question the male teachers who wanted to use the gym for recreation on a particular night when I asked for the gym for a fundraiser for the Girls Athletic Association. The gym was the guys domain. Interestingly, another male teacher came to me afterwards and said he would talk the guys’ into vacating the gym on that night because he thought I was right, and they were wrong.  That teacher and his wife became good friends of ours as a result of that situation, and we discovered they were Christians too.

I’m so glad those days are long gone, and that now women are treated as equals to men. We are just as smart, gifted, disciplined, etc. as any man.  I realize there are still areas to improve, but at least on paper, most people agree with that idea.

But sometimes I wonder if these gains have taken away from our relationships in our marriages.  This idea of respecting our husbands is a difficult balance when we see ourselves as equals. (I’m not saying we are not equals, because we are.)  Men often seem to need to feel that they can solve problems and take care of everything.  When we tell them that they are really important to us, and that we respect their decisions, it seems to make them better husbands and fathers.  But a woman might say to herself, that her husband doesn’t compliment her much, or show her that he loves her a lot, so why should she make a big deal about looking up to him.  

I’m just going to say that following Biblical principles is the right way to go.  God is never wrong.  So be that wonderful wife who respects her husband and tells him how good he is, and see how things go.  

Any comments on this one?

Our song for today is The Power of Love by Hillsong.