"An excellent wife who can find?
Her worth is far above jewels
The heart of her husband trusts in her
And he will have no lack of gain."
Proverbs 31:10 (from verses 10-31)
During the year of my engagement to be married, I memorized Proverbs 31:10-31, aspiring to be that kind of wife and mother. Over the years, God would bring the passage back to my mind, convicting me of neglect or encouraging me in my efforts. After my husband and I divorced, the scripture became a knife, reminding me painfully of days when I was full of hopes and dreams, and contrasting them with the chaos that has seemed to characterize my life in the last decade. Yet every time the enemy of my soul snidely reminds me that I "failed" as a wife, and might be "failing" as a mother, the still, sweet voice of my Beloved interrupts, reminding me that "He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow." (Deut 10:18) When my husband abandoned me, God stepped in and took his place. He is my husband, and I am His bride.
When I think of my role this way, it relieves a lot of pressure. I am worth more than precious jewels to him--I am His treasure! Over the years, I have slowly learned to consider God this way. When I make a dumb mistake, I often find myself remembering how my husband would show me grace, even though he wasn't condoning the mistake. God's tenderness and love are even stronger, so I try to consider what my husband would have told me, and listen to that. Sometimes that means returning the foolish purchase, but sometimes it is just a caution to be more careful next time. Or I remember how he would have encouraged me to do something good for myself instead of pinching the pennies like normal. Most of all, I remind myself to go to my Beloved for answers, for provision, for help. He wants to help me because He loves me!
One of the lies the enemy of my soul uses against me is that all my failures, sins, and weaknesses are "messing up" what God has given me to do. But the heart of my Beloved trusts in me! And because of Him, there is no lack of gain to Him because of me! I'm not the comely outcast that barely made it into His graces, I'm His beautiful bride, beloved by Him and elevated to the status of wife! I've been given the place of coworker and coheir! He only expects of me what He knows I am capable of, and what He has designed for me to do. If I don't do more than that, He's still satisfied!
"Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear.
Forget your people and your father's house!
The KING is enthralled by your beauty!
Honor Him, for He is your Lord." Psalm 45:11