In my previous post in this series, we talked about Proverbs 1 and its application to wives. Today, we will discuss application for wives from Proverbs 2.
The Ugly Wife
The Ugly Wife. Have you heard of her? Do you know her? Does she live near you? Are you her?
The story says, she was beautiful from her eyes, nose, and down to her toes. But inside — where it was hard to see, she was the meanest, most wicked, and worthless wife around.
She was mean to the grocer; she spoke gossip about the neighbors. She yelled sharp words at her husband, she neglected attention to the children, and she never never said thank you for anything. Instead, she held the attitude of “I’m entitled to….”
BUT THE WORST THING was she lied. Her beauty was all show. It was on the outside. But on the inside she was filled with anger, bitterness, un-forgiveness, disappointments, jealousy, brokenness — hurts from the past controlling her life and dictating her responses or her choices to grow and serve others.
No one wants to be around her for long. When she gets mad — watch out!
“Anger is as a stone cast into a wasp’s nest” (Pope Paul VI).
The Beautiful Wife
The Beautiful Wife. Have you heard of her? Do you know her? Does she live near you? Are you her?
The story says, she was of a godly character. She was wise and applied God’s Word to her life.
She was known as an “elect lady” (2 John 1:1), for she had a servant’s heart. Her beauty showed through her character. She loved children and animals, and she was kind to those around her. She expressed gratefulness to her husband for any act of kindness. She was actually heard thanking her husband for taking out the trash (Can you imagine — isn’t that his reasonable service?).
She was one who loved to serve others. She was a beautiful wife described as “a woman professing godliness.” She was said to be hospitable, exemplary, and privileged. She lived life steady and flexible. As you watched her life, you wanted to get to know her — for on the inside was the beauty of peace, joy, and contentment that passes all understanding.
Which Wife Are You?
Which wife are you? I ask myself which wife am I? We are vessels to be filled and used by God. We can decorate the outside to look as lovely as we desire. What is on the inside is our character. It is who we are in the closets of our lives.
We read in Proverbs to seek wisdom and allow it to sink into our hearts. As it does, we desire to live it out as ninety-two-year-old Mrs. Jones, who was our example in my last writing.
Examples of the Ugly Wife
One who wasn’t such a wise example was Zipporah, Moses’ wife. She was less than adequate as a wife. She was already known to be lazy, as she traveled with her six sisters who did all the work. She was boastful and arrogant and difficult to travel with. Yes, it seems she was attractive on the outside.
There is no evidence she became a believer; hence, she never developed a godly character with a servant’s attitude. She was known to be inadequate, helpless and neurotic. Sad! She ceased to be a part of Moses’ life.
She chose a character of inadequacy.
Depressed, self-pity-oriented women are far from helpmates — part of their husbands’ lives (Eugenia Price, The Unique World of Women).
Mary Todd Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln had a wife of poor character. She was a beauty on the outside but not so pretty on the inside — her character was poor.
She was a flirt with other men and pushed her husband to higher office. She wanted more money and constantly kept them in debt.
She abused the servants and was furious at Lincoln for paying them so well. She supposedly chased him with a knife and threw potatoes at him.
A frequent visitor to the White House reported that Mrs. Lincoln, “was vain, passionately fond of dress and wore her dresses shorter at the top and longer at the train than even fashions demanded. She had great pride in her elegant neck and bust, and grieved the president greatly by her constant display of her person and her fine clothes.”
Needless to say, it was a pain-filled marriage (John Piper,”The Slow Fires of Misery,” Enduring the Pain of Flawed Marriage. Marriage Series: Taste and See Articles, October 10, 1995).
Our True Character
Character — who we really are — comes alive when we live with another person. Not when we date, or even when we (wrongly) live together before marriage.
The real character of a wife comes out after marriage — living in the miry clay — in those day to day, moment by moment exchanges between her and her husband.
How Is Your Character?
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Do I dress appropriately to honor God and please my husband?
2. Do I attempt to wear the hair style he likes?
3. Do I look for ways to listen when he talks, cook a pleasant meal for him, have the children’s toys picked up so the home is un-cluttered?
4. Am I hospitable to his friends and family?
5. Do I work on my inner beauty — character — as much as I work on my outward beauty?
6. How would others describe my character? (Yikes, that may hurt!)
7. Am I willing to search Scripture as if looking for hidden treasure that I can apply to my life in building my character?
I hope so.