You are reading Part Three of the mini-series subtitled “The Virtuous Woman.”
In part two of this series, The Trustworthy Wife, we learned that a major way a wife can harm her spouse is by fighting against him, rather than for him and with him. Bringing defeat not only to her husband, but also to the marriage and herself. In effect, she tears down her own home.
But another crucial way we can harm our husbands is by belittling or cutting them down. Especially if done in public. Not only does it cause great harm, but it’s unpleasant and embarrassing to witness.
And really the only person who comes out looking bad is the one doing the belittling. Not only does it show what a mean and unpleasant person she is. But it always makes me wonder why she was dumb enough to marriy someone she thinks so little of.
We live in a dog-eat-dog world where unkindness, competition, slander, and sarcasm abound. A world in which kindness is seen as weakness. Where stepping on others to get ahead or climb the ladder is not only OK, but good. A world full of people who malign, blame, and cut others down, thinking to make themselves look better. And sometimes this even carries over into marriage.
So the virtuous woman goes out of her way to strengthen her husband and children, and build them up
The virtuous woman builds her home
She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.Proverbs 31:12 WEB
Remember how, as children, when someone called us names we would rant “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me?”
It’s not true! That was a cover-up, intended to hide how much the unkind words really hurt.
We often remember mean remarks many years later. Our emotions don’t have a soldier’s shield. Those well-aimed arrows don’t just bounce off without inflicting injury. The hurtful words can go deep, causing wounds which linger and fester.
A safe harbor
By cutting them down or pointing out their faults in public, we can make our husband and children seem (and feel) stupid. Or we can work at creating a safe harbor in the home. A place of encouragement and building-up.
We’ve probably all seen children who are convinced they are stupid. Just because they’ve been told that all their lives. I have friends, wonderfully talented people, who believe they are failures who will never amount to anything. Others have convinced them of it.
If our spouses and children cannot find support, acceptance, and unconditional love at home, they might search for it elsewhere. And that could lead to disaster.
If our spouses and children cannot find support, acceptance, and unconditional love at home, they might search for it elsewhere. And that could lead to disaster.Tweet
So rather than cutting-down and belittling, show them that they are persons of value and worth. Make your home a safe shelter, a place they long to come to! Convince them you believe in them and will always be there for them!
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.Proverbs 16:24 WEB
And for the single woman:
Treating others with gentle kindness should gradually become more and more a part of who and how we are. Begin to make this a habit now, before you marry. Not only will your future husband thank you for it. But it could very well be just the thing that draws his attention to you! Making him say, “Ah, there is a woman who will do me good, and not harm, all my days!”
I used to think gentle kindness came automatically. But I sure didn’t have it, so I envied those who did! But it’s a fruit of the Spirit, which with the Lord’s help, we can cultivate in our lives!
And one good aid is Scripture memorizzation. So that when tempted to speak unkindly, verses like Proverbs 16:24 can come to mind. Reminding us to speak pleasant, sweet words. And instead of breaking spirits with harsh words, we bring sweetness to their souls, health to their bodies, and build flourishing families!
Read all posts in the Virtuous Woman series.