A godly woman calls forth respect from her husband simply because of who she is. She does not need to demand it. When your husband respects you, he will tend to be motivated by what you say and do. If you struggle in this area of self-respect, ask the Lord to help you discover your true identity in Him. It is His desire that you become all that He created you to be—a woman of influence both in and out of your home. He is your helper and as you seek Him, He will guide you in the pursuit of your identity as a woman of God.
I love the message of Proverbs 14:1: “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” As wives and mothers we need to ask ourselves: Am I acting as a “wise” or a “foolish” woman? We “create the atmosphere” in our homes – for good, or for bad. The enemy of our souls is out to destroy marriages, and families. Some of the tools he will use are complaining, nagging, negativity—as well as any other sinful behavior patterns we may be stuck in.
I remember early on in my marriage that I was a “foolish woman.” I tended to be a complainer. If I did not like something, I was not mature enough in God to keep my mouth shut and just take my feelings to Him. Instead, rather than thinking or praying about it first, I opened my mouth. I remember that sinking feeling, realizing at some level that what I was doing was affecting those around me, but just did not seem to know what to do about it. In those days I was a fairly young believer and carried much insecurity, along with shame due to my behavior. Thankfully, before too much damage was done, I let the Lord close enough to touch and heal these places in my heart.
Proverbs addresses the contentious/quarrelsome/ill-tempered wife a number of times. It is so easy to “pull down” our house when we let our emotions rule us. We women are prone to live out of our emotions and so we desperately need to heed the voice of the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to rule. When this happens, by God’s grace, we have the ability to have tremendous influence for good in our home. How can we become this virtuous woman who is able to “build her house?” Let’s look at another verse that tells us the tools to use in this process.
“Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” (Proverbs 24:3-4)
I love this verse; it carries such hope and promise. As wives, as mothers, isn’t the desire of our hearts to have each room in our home filled with “all precious and pleasant riches?” What a privilege He has given to us! We can be His vessel through which He can fill each heart in our home with His treasures. He desires to give us the wisdom, understanding and knowledge that we need to do this. Where can we acquire these “tools?” There is absolutely only one place– at the feet of Jesus.
We must develop, and continue to maintain, an intimate relationship with Him. Of course, this is not just about our quiet time with Him; it also involves keeping our ears sensitive to His voice throughout our day as well. When we are willing to allow Him to: first, touch and heal those places in our heart and then second, maintain a consistent intimacy with Him, we will see fruit.
NOTE: The above is an excerpt from our book, “Longing for Eden: Embracing God’s vision in your marriage”, Chapter 9 – Valiant Wives , by Anne Rizzo. To view Table of Contents & Foreword: