In a recent couple’s retreat, I had learned a lot of things and would like to share one of the lessons learnt. However I am not covering lesson taught by the retreat speaker as I would like to encourage couples to go for future retreats. This lesson is more of an observation that I have made. Firstly I thoroughly enjoyed the time out with my wife as a couple after nearly a decade of dedicating our energy, attention and emotional on our children. The retreat gave us an opportunity to do the things that are important to the health and growth of a marriage. Other than learning from the retreat speaker, I have observed and learned from other couples as well.
There is a phase that says, “Behind every successful husband, there is a capable and successful wife”. However, I have learned that behind every successful husband, there is a supportive and caring mother of his children. When the men were asked to say something good about their wife, many would mention their wives’ ability to take care of the children and family well, so that they (the men) don’t have to worry about the home and that give them the confidence to focus on the business or job. This is true. Most wives will take on the divine appointment as care givers of their children and home. Other than taking care of the children and making sure that they are fed and healthy, they will try their best to make sure that their house is in order. And I must say that this is usually true even when the wife is a working professional. When a domestic helper is employed to help in the house, most often than not, it is the women who will supervise and ensure that the house chores are done properly.
This brings us to the portrait of a godly woman mention in Proverbs 31:10-31. Despite the fact that this passage sets a very high standard for our modern women, nevertheless it is from the bible and so remains biblical. Although Scripture is silent on whether women can or cannot have a career, it is not difficult to realise that there are commands upon commands that women should diligently manage the domain of their homes. There is no way to go round it, leap over it, or ignore it. The godly woman’s first priority is her home and I am glad that I have seen a lot of good examples during the couple’s retreat and from those who had mentored me. Wives don’t have to eliminate other interests and activities as long as they are able to achieve their primary goal as mothers.
Sadly, the opposite is also true when women strive to be successful and have traded in the priority of the home for the almighty dollar. With neglected children, we will lose a generation of young people in future to the world. Unfortunately, you cannot earn enough dollars to buy back your son once he’s become a victim of delinquency, drinking or drugs. You cannot earn enough dollars to restore your daughter’s virginity once she gives it away. The television set, the digital world, the day care center and even the church will never be adequate substitutes for real and living mothers.
To be a mother is a gift from God. “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:3). Motherhood is a divine appointment assigned to women by their Creator. He designed women both physically and emotionally, not only to conceive and give birth but to nurture as well. There is no greater privilege than joining hands with the Creator in bringing forth a life that will live forever. Even though being a mother had its challenges, motherhood brings unrivalled joy (John 16:21). If such mother does exist as your wife, then according to Proverbs 31:10, you found yourself a wife who is far more precious than jewels.
Unfortunately, most husbands are oblivious about what they have and in some way neglected the lady of their life. Husband, when was the last time you told your lady how special she is? When was the last time you took her in your arms and told her how happy you are that you chose her over all the others? You see the greatest thing you can do for your lady is giving her praise. Even a little praise can go a long way. The most frequent complaint I hear from women is that they feel they are being taken for granted. `I’m supposed to cook, I’m supposed to clean, I’m supposed to meet his needs, I’m supposed to do this, I’m supposed to do that, and when he comes home, all he can say is, `Where’s dinner?’. There’s no reason for women to go on feeling this way when the antidote is so readily available. And that antidote is another lesson that we learn from the retreat, that is to give praise to our lady. A simply word, “Darling, thank you for this 12 years of being there for me” will do magic to the lady’s heart. So husband, please praise your lady as much as possible because she deserves it.
Finally, it can be frustrating at times to read the portrait of a godly woman in Proverbs 31:10-31. How can any of us live up to such a high standard? Remember, every precious gem comes from the rough and imperfect stone. It takes the chisel of the Jeweller to chip away the flaws and form the facets that reflect His light. All it takes is a willing spirit.
Last but not least, I want to wish all mothers, “A Happy Mother’s Day”.
Preacher Alvin Lim
May 13, 2012