I started blogging with the intent to blog regularly…. which didn’t happen. I haven’t posted anything for months. This was also the case whenever I’d try to start a journal or diary as a child. I’d be enthusiastic and zealous for a few days, maybe weeks, then slowly fade out until there were months, or even years, between entries. Old habits die hard, I suppose. But now to get to the point- I’m back. And I have a newly found zeal that seems to rear its head every year around this time. It is January, and so come the New Year’s Resolutions. I am a generally realistic person when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, and I have found that as the years pass, I tend to be a little pessimistic when it comes to them. I know my habit of starting things with a bang and then ending them, well, nearly as quickly as they started; and so I now set small goals for myself that seem reasonably attainable. For example, some of my resolutions thus far are as follows: 1. I will do laundry every day. I am horrible at laundry. I hate doing laundry. I hate folding clothes. I hate putting clothes away. I am notorious for washing a load, drying it, putting it in a basket, and leaving it there. For days. My husband doesn’t say it, but I know he hates it, because I also hate to iron clothes, and he so graciously does the ironing. But I have resolved to do some form of laundry every day so that my avoidance of it does not lead to the mountain of laundry that so overwhelms me I never put it all away. So far, so good. I am on maternity leave after having our second child, and I am proud to announce that our laundry has stayed under control, and I am learning to hate it much less. 2. I will learn to cook something new every month. Just one dish every month that does not involve a box with instructions that includes the phrase “just add water”. I recently graduated from a master’s program that has enabled me to get a job where I will be home for supper every night with my family, which means I will be cooking more. Much more. And my husband will undoubtedly get tired of Hamburger Helper, barbecue chicken, and spaghetti (our three staples).
After reviewing my small resolution list, I began to think to myself, “ML, this is pretty pitiful. Laundry and cooking? You can do better.” So then I did a little soul-searching, and I realized something. Those aren’t such small resolutions. I recently attended a Purity Day at our congregation that was geared toward our teen girls and promoted sexual purity until marriage. Our speaker also gave a lot of advice to the parents of these young ladies, and I am grateful for that. My husband and I now have two children: a son, Coell, who will soon be three, and our new baby girl, my Hannah. Listening to the speaker at Purity Day, I couldn’t help but make mental notes of all the things I want to say to Hannah one day about remaining pure until marriage and finding a Christian husband. One thought led to another and I realized that I am not adequately prepared to raise a teenage daughter. I have a lot of work to do. I mean a LOT. I have done a fair amount of studying on Christian parenting and “how-to” books for being a better mother, and one theme I have found to be constant is that being a better mother requires a Christian woman to be a better wife. In Proverbs 31, Solomon describes the renowned “virtuous woman”, and I find it interesting that in verse 11, the first verse that begins to describe her traits, it doesn’t talk about her mothering skills. It first mentions her skills as a wife. It says:
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.”
Huh. Interesting. So back to my puny little list of New Year’s Resolutions. 1. I will do laundry every day and 2. I will learn to cook something new every month. I realized that at the heart of both of these things is my husband. As small and insignificant as they initially seemed, I dug a little deeper and realized the reason I wanted to do these two things. I want to please my husband. He loves when our home is clean and in order, and he loves when I cook a meal that we can all sit at the table and eat together. I want to do laundry because he wants to live in a neat home that he can be proud of. I want to learn to cook more things because I want him to be satisfied when he gets up from the table. I want him to “trust in me” like the husband that trusted in the virtuous woman. So my New Year’s Resolution, my New Life Resolution, is to be a better wife. In so doing, I will be a better mother.
Knowing what I know about myself, I need to make an action plan for attaining this goal. I admit that if I vaguely say, “I resolve to be a better wife” that I will quickly lose focus and get off track. So I am going to stay focused by using a guide, the only guide that matters: the Bible. I am going to do an in-depth study of the virtuous woman found in Proverbs 31: 10-31, and apply the things I learn from it to my life. I realize that doing a better job at keeping up with the laundry and becoming a more creative cook are not going to make me the best wife I can be. But it’s a start. Those are measurable, tangible things I can do and that my husband can hold me accountable for (which I may soon come to regret!). They are small steps in the right direction and the feet to my action plan so that I am less likely to lose focus. I may even start taking suggestions from my husband to expand on my list (just maybe).
Proverbs 31:10 says:
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”
I want to be that woman. I want my husband to be able to trust in me with his heart, and I want my children to grow up in a home with that example. I only get one shot at raising my kids, and I only have one lifetime with my husband- unless we are found faithful in His sight in the end.
My Master’s degree is a master’s of science in nursing. I am a certified family nurse practitioner. I have spent endless hours learning how to safely care for my patients. The preparation was grueling at times, but certainly necessary. If I will put that much effort into caring for the physical well-being of complete strangers, doesn’t it make sense that I should do the same and more in caring for the spiritual well-being of my own family? I think so. After all, the effects are much more far-reaching. And so, I resolve to embark on a journey that I have entitled “Becoming the Virtuous Woman”… prayers are much appreciated.