Monday, February 1, 2010

Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.

Proverbs 31:23

I know this appears arrogant, but hear me out. I never understood why this verse was sandwiched right in the middle of verses outlining what it means to be a virtuous wife... It didn't seem to fit. I always wondered, "What does her husband's success have to do with her success?!" I didn't understand the connection until I had to be a virtuous wife and support my husband when he called after dinner was ready and waiting on him to say he that hasn't even left work yet and that he'll be late... again. When a woman hears the words, "Just eat without me." after she's made pot roast and kept a hungry five year old from eating because "We are waiting for Daddy." and she doesn't throw a fit right there on the phone, that woman is virtuous in a God-like way, plain and simple. And, when a woman like that's husband is recognized for the good job he's done at work, she can take some of the credit.

Honestly, it took me years to understand the connection between Dwayne's success and my own. At times, I've learned it the hard way, discovering just how much we are linked by screaming at him as he leaves for work and then seeing how terrible his day went because his countenance was off due to the mean things I said. Other times, it was through simple things, by seeing how faithfully serving him in "small" ways like showing affection or preparing meals can minister to him and make his days go smoother. There are countless ways that I try and help him and make it possible for him to do his job well, so I feel like this reward, in part, is my own.

And, this connection goes for every wife. It goes for every marriage. Perhaps the most obvious thing that we women can do to help our husbands succeed at work is to simply do what we are supposed to do. If we manage our family's schedule, keep our household running, stay within budget (this is, perhaps, the most important thing we can do, especially if our husbands are the only "earners" and we are the "spenders"), care for our children, educate them, etc. If we do what has been settled as "our job" well, our husbands can have full confidence in us, like the same passage says later on, and they will be free to go to work and concentrate on their work while there, since they won't be worrying about us or our kids or the family finances and on and on...

That said, the most important thing I think I've ever done over the years is pray. My prayers have been that Dwayne will bring glory to God through his performance at work, that he will be honored among his colleagues, that he will bless his employer, that he will be paid every bit of what he is worth, that he will savor what he does... And, I praise God that Dwayne has a career path, a job that provides enough for us to live on, a good work ethic, a quick mind, a capable body and most of all, that he has never forgotten why he goes to work in the first place. He's a family man, first and foremost, and they just aren't making that many of his kind anymore.