Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Proverbs 31 Wife/Being Submissive

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I admit it. Whenever I hear someone say, or read somewhere, "the Proverbs 31" wife, my eyes roll so far back into my head. Here we go. I for one thinks there are way too many "instructions" out there for the woman and not nearly enough out there for our men. This is why when I read about the 1 Timothy man here, it really did resonate with me and I agree with every single thing she wrote. Nevertheless every time I still hear that P31 woman thing, I cringe. The whole thing always remind me of this song:

Yes. Nigerians I feel especially love the P31 verses because I think it caters very nicely to our "Mommy Martyr"/"Saint Wife" way of life around these parts. All of this contributes to my cringing and eye-rolling.

Let's consider the verses if we can for a moment. First of all, it seems a bit out of place doesn't it? Out of nowhere, like it was tacked on at the last minute, or after a while. This is furthered by the fact that it's the last chapter in Proverbs. But be that as it may, I've also tried to find out more about the context and the writer. P31 is supposed to have been written of an advice of King Lemuel's mother to the King. Many biblical scholars believe that King Lemuel was the same as King Solomon. In that case, the words of P31 are Bathsheba's advice to her son. It is said that she gave this advice to Solomon after a drunken revelry in which he woke up late the next morning, and in waking him up is when Bathsheba gave him this "oracle" or advice. The context I find really illuminates the chapter. Bathsheba essentially admonishing her son over his drunkenness (and possibly womanizing) and in the same breath encouraging him to find a wife of "noble character". So although Solomon is indeed King, and a blessed one at that (1 Kings 10:23) his mother still desires him to have a hardworking wife, trustworthy, charitable, creative, etc. Or, perhaps since Solomon did have many wives, she was just admonishing him to remember the good works of his wife/wives (Pharaoh's daughter?). In the last verse it says "Give her the reward she has earned..."

So there, to me that is the context. For me, I don't want to be Martyr Wife, or Saint Mommy. I just want to be the best person I can be, which does fall in with the P31 woman, but it's not a burden or ghost or yolk that I carry about upon my shoulders. I just want to be a good person. A credit to my husband and children, one who has respect from the community because of her character, good works, and honor brought upon her by the standing of her husband "at the city gates".

Now on being submissive, for some reason many people bring that up also when they talk about the P31 woman, though being submissive is not mentioned anywhere in that chapter. It is mentioned elsewhere in the bible though. Submissive. That is also another word that whenever it creeps into conversations about marriage, my eyes do their thing again or I just cringe. I had to deal with this after I got engaged. What did I believe? and How can it be realistically actioned while still staying true to myself? I reasoned that I agree that there cannot be two masters to a ship. There can only be one master. One person who's word carries a bit more weight in family matters, one person to make the final decision: Yea or Nay. I want my husband to be the head of the household, to enjoy all the honor and respect that position brings. That can never be compromised by anybody. If that is to be so to the outside world, then that has to be so first in our home. This reasoning gave me peace. To me that's what "submit to the authority of your husband" means. I remember having this conversation with Bo when we were talking about role expectations in a marriage. I told him, you are the authority in this home, you are the head of this family, there's respect and honor in it, but there's also responsibility with it. And always remember that the power of your authority comes from my relinquishing that position to you (as directed and empowered by God, but actioned by me all the same). You must love, honor, and respect me for that act. He agreed, and honestly we've never really talked about it since then. I know my husband and I are on the same page, I know he carries me along fully in EVERY single decision, we are equal partners in every thing and every way, yet I know and he knows, that when it comes down to it, he's the decision maker, he's the trump card.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ain't No Sunshine When He's Gone

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm kind of sad and restless. The hubster's gone off to London for about a week for work, leaving Ms. Wifey (that's me) here by my lonesome. One one hand it's nice to be able to just relax and not worrying about house chores, and just to think I can decide to do dishes at 1am if I want, bliss! But overall, I just want to run back to the airport and be in my man's arms where everything is safe, and where love resides. Recently I've found myself taking the piss where Bo is concerned, I just bury my head in his chest and behave like a kid. I don't know where it comes from but I every thing just seems to melt away when I do that and I DO feel like a carefree, happy child.

Bo & I haven't been arguing recently which always makes me weary. I mean I'm very lucky but we do get along incredibly well, for that I'll always be grateful to God. Sometimes we can go for months without any incident at all, just love love and more love. I had the flu a few days ago and was sitting in bed, just sniffling and sneezing. Bo comes up to me and says "show me how to waltz." Of course I'm thinking he's nuts, it's 10pm! He says no really, show me. Now once in a while Bo & I just either dance in our living room or in our bedroom and I've always tried to get him to do the basic waltz steps but he always looks at me as if I have five heads. So I was quite surprised when he asks if I can teach him. I get up anyway, and teach him the basic box step. Before long we're doing a very very rickety waltz, mind you, but still a kind of waltz and we're just chuckling away falling over ourselves. I felt really really happy then. It's past 10 and we're being silly in our bedroom and it's like even my body has forgotten that it's battling the flu. We have many moments like that are so special to me. The picture up there pretty much sums it up for us, dancing in our living room, me with a wide grin, or a sly smile.

Back to no arguments, is it strange for a married couple to practically go months without even a disagreement? We were out to lunch with some friends last weekend and a friend of mine exclaimed "you guys are so much alike!" It made me laugh so much because originally, we're not alike at all, or so it would seem on the surface, but perhaps we do have much more in common in terms of personality and outlook than I realized. Whatever it is, I'm happy to say my streak of re-falling in love with my husband is still alive and well. I'm thoroughly enjoying being married to the man I'm married to. I'm so blessed, when one considers what happens to others out there. Which reminds me, (boy, it seems I have a lot to say today!), I'm noticing something about myself that I can't really explain. Whenever I see a couple that seems more "couple-y" than Bo & I, or just extremely happy and in love, I start getting competitive about it, as if we're the only ones that should be that happy! Isn't it ridiculous? Like I like the reputation Bo & I have amongst our friends that we're the "IT" couple that whenever I observe a couple "threatening" our title, I get jealous. It's funny to me. I should be happy for them, instead I'm thinking, gosh, I hope Bo & I still look this cute... it's just one of those things :-)
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