I am a bit of a perfectionist. Actually, I am a lot a bit of a perfectionist.
I like to have a spotless house, all the time. And I don’t just mean clean, I mean everything is organized. I am not a “toss-it-in-the-other-room-to-deal-with-later” kind of gal. It all gets put away. But I came to a point recently where I found that many times I was getting frustrated with my husband when things weren’t getting done the way I thought they needed to be done. I was feeling like I wasn’t good enough when the house wasn’t looking good enough, and I was taking it out on him.
The problem wasn’t that the house needed to be cleaned; it was that my heart needed to be cleaned.
I have heard this verse so many times, “A wife of noble character who can find?” Proverbs 31:10 (NIV) But when I read it recently, I saw it in an entirely different light.
What exactly is “a wife of noble character?”
Character is more than keeping the house clean and making sure dinner is ready. It’s more than doing laundry and wiping noses. Character is a reflection of your heart. You can do all of those things in your marriage and as a wife because you “have to” or even because you feel like you have to. But if the reflection of your heart is not one of humility, grace, and love, how joyful will you be in serving your family? And how much love will you pour out to them, even when the floors are dirty?
Consider these 5 ways to serve your family joyfully:
1. Spend some time being quiet. I find that I am the most peaceful when I can take some time to have no noise in the house, and read, or write, or pray. Taking this little bit of time, even if it is only 15 minutes, can significantly calm me.
2. Stop negative thoughts in their tracks. When I have a day that really gets off track, I find myself thinking negatively about everything else in that day whether it is about things I can change, or things I cannot. It is important to stop these before they continue to affect your heart because once you let the poison in, it spreads quickly and dangerously. Take care of what you can change, and let go of the rest.
3. Be gentle. Men need respect and talking gently and respectfully to my husband even when the house is a mess, helps to avoid unnecessary arguments. It is not easy to do, and you may feel like you are throwing yourself under the bus by not letting yourself blow up. BUT, think of it this way, how do you respond when your husband approaches you by yelling and belittling you? Wouldn’t you rather he be gentle, understanding, and loving? My guess is yes.
4. Ask God to show you the areas that you are lacking. We all have faults and it is important that we are quick to discover them before we let them do too much damage. Be quick to work on these things, fully trusting that God knows what he is doing, and knows you better than you know yourself.
5. Ask God to show you the areas that you are thriving. It is also important to know that we are on the right track and not get too focused on our faults. Invest in the areas you are strongest as much as you invest in the areas you are weakest so that you will be strong in many areas.
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far above rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:10-12 (NIV)
Danielle, her husband Mike, their son Gabriel and kitty Izzy, live in Ohio. Danielle holds bachelors’ degrees in Fine Art and Photography from Milligan College. She draws and publishes weekly original cartoons about the humor she finds in pregnancy and parenting on her website www.snazzyartables.com and writes about money, marriage, and grocery shopping on her blog mightymetz.wordpress.com