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Friday, February 22, 2013

The Good Wife…

She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:12 (ESV)

I was talking to my BFF today about being an excellent wife (I aspire…). We laughed. Part of my theory is that good wives do the right things, says the right things, is loving, supportive, submissive, creative, all things becoming. So do Excellent Wives. The difference? Well, in my (likely addled) mind, the good wife, for all her accomplishments, has not yet evolved past her need to declare her achievements to her girlfriends. The Excellent Wife does all things in elegant silence. The Good Wife still needs a cheering section along with a place to vent. Anyway…

My beloved has struggling with a critical decision for the several months. He is not struggling with whether to proceed; that he well knows. His struggle is with making peace with the doing of what he must. I have practiced being a good wife. I consistently try to encourage him to move forward, acknowledging his fears, seeking ways to be helpful, but never nagging. My beloved does not respond to nagging. Nearly 20 years of marriage and a lifetime of observing the marriages of my parents and grandparents taught me that there is a way to support someone in arriving at a particular decision, without giving the appearance of doing so…

today I am a Good Wife,
and I will celebrate today’s victory
by sitting quietly beside my beloved
while he channel surfs (argh).
I won’t complain…
I won’t complain…
I won’t complain
So, in an earnest attempt to be a good wife, I vented and sought prayers from my BFF and my Gayle in getting my beloved from where he is to where he desires to be. The process has been slow, but part of the blessing has been in the constant encouragement of my dear sisters, who cheer me on when I’d rather roll my eyes, who send me firmly and lovingly back to my knees and off the cliffs I’m threatening to jump OR toss someone off.  They are the real reasons I have any shot at being Good.

God sends just what we need when we need it. I find it fascinating that my two closest female friends are just like my husband…process driven, methodical, analytic, really smart AND that God sent them to me to help me understand him better. They help me to appreciate him in ways I could not nearly as well on my own, AND, and this is where I see the Hand of God, work out the right strategies and language to ensure he can hear and receive what I’m trying to convey. God is so awesome.

So, today, I heard my husband say something I’ve prayed for and sought God’s guidance about since late last year. He said it with such conviction that the me sitting beside me shook her head cartoon-style, really fast, before recovering quickly and assuming my best “excellent wife” game face. (I do channel excellent wife every now and then…) He has made his peace with doing what he must. And, like a good wife, I called my BFF to share the news.

Do you want to know one other reason my BFF is the best? Because she said the Excellent Wife might not exist…”too Stepford” I think she says, thus confirming further that we are friends because we get each other’s obscure pop culture references. She manages to compliment me, encourage me, and make me laugh in one tantalizingly simple sentence.

So, today I am a Good Wife, and I will celebrate today’s victory by sitting quietly beside my beloved while he channel surfs (argh). I won’t complain…I won’t complain…I won’t complain
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