(How do you say “Cómo estás” to more than one person?)
I’ve been working on a blog post on honeymoon myths, as well as one on “mishearing” God, but here’s a filler post in the meantime. I was thinking about many of my made-up proverbs and how interesting it is that they can actually apply to women. If you hang out with me long enough, you’ll hear certain statements over and over again. Here are a few, in no particular order, modified to suit us ladies:
1. The woman who feeds her man keeps her man.
Except when I’m campaigning for the proliferation of facial hair, I try not to say too much about men. The primary reason for this is simple; I am not a man, and if I were one, I would be frustrated by the number of meetings women have to decide what men want and need and how they will act on their decisions which are usually off the mark.
But after years of observation, I have come to realize that men are very simple creatures. All a man needs from his wife is to be fed. I might have the order wrong, but if you want to keep your husband happy, “feed” (fill) his stomach, feed his spirit, feed his ego, feed his sex drive.
2. A wise woman feels no need to share every detail of her life.
Discretion is so important, especially in this day and age where it appears that all thing seen and heard must promptly be reported and the problems of life are a great discussion topic for the most public of barazas. Discretion preserves a woman not only in matters of salvation but also in everyday living. A wise woman knows that not everything she sees is worthy of her commentary, and not all commentary is worthy of a response from her. It has wisely been said that silence is often misinterpreted, but can never be misquoted.
3. A prudent wife is from the Lord.
Whether we like it or not, the woman was created for the man (Gen. 2:18, 1 Cor. 11:8-19). Does this not mean that she comes into her husband’s life as an asset? She comes into his life to enrich, not to impoverish. Before a man decides to marry you, it is very okay for him to sit down and ask himself how his life has improved or declined since he met you. Can your husband’s heart safely trust in you (Prov 31:11) ? It is possible for a man to trust a woman to his harm. Ask Samson!
4. Every woman needs to know her price.
Every woman needs to know her price. It is very easy for a woman who does not know her price to be sold out to anyone or anything. Disagree? Ask Eve – Gen 3. God has placed in every woman the power to influence not only men, but also nations and generations.
In this day and age, where Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law and we are seated in heavenly places in Him, it is an abomination for any woman to let anything good die or stay dead on her watch. A woman is a bearer – a life-bearer, fruit-bearer, flag-bearer, torch-bearer, burden-bearer, image-bearer, office-bearer, bearer of grace and truth.A woman is an influencer with no excuse. Like Rahab, she takes responsibility for the safety of those she loves. Like Esther, she knows that she has been created for such a time as this and will risk her life approaching kings so that her people are not extinguished. Like the Shunammite, she secures blessings for the next generation and receives a prophet’s reward (Matthew 10:41-42) because she recognizes prophets in her midst and honors them. Like Bathsheba who secured the kingdom for her son, she thinks ahead and remembers God’s promises and the king’s words to her. I’m reminded of a woman named Jehoshabeath who hid the king’s son from his wicked grandmother, and in so doing secured his place as the royal heir. Everywhere a good woman is found, she is securing something great not for herself, but for others.
5. Atung’ dhako ok leng’ (A woman’s arrow never misses its target). – Luo proverb
And so every wise woman must know how to harness that power God put in her to be an influencer. Because while on the one hand we have Rahab, and Esther, and the Shunammite, and Bathsheba, and so many others, we also have Delilah, who got what the Philistines failed to get several times; Jezebel, who influenced her husband so that the Bible records that there was no man who did more to provoke the Lord to anger than Ahab did; the women of Proverbs 2 and 6 and 7, etc. There is enough power in just one woman to finish an entire army.
I thought about Michal today, and remembered the verses in 2 Samuel 6:
David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel today, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself! And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, who chose me before your father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I make merry before the LORD. And I will yet be more contemptible than this, and will be abased in my own sight: and of the maidservants whom you have spoken, of them shall I be held in honor. Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
Therefore Michal…had no child unto the day of her death. “Therefore”, meaning the reason for her having no child is the fact that she despised her husband and his unashamed praise. This, I have always known. However, today I asked myself, why was the fact that she despised her husband so abominable that she ended up being reproached herself with the kind of situation that was looked down on in her generation? Could it be because of a woman’s power of influence? That her words could so sting the king of Israel that he might be derailed from his cause? It’s hard to explain how I see it right now but I want to suggest that perhaps the Lord knew just how powerful her words were that He humbled her instantly for her husband’s sake.
6. A woman who twists her mouth, twists her home.
For some reason, women seem to have this strange power to hold on to things that offend them. Because they cannot contest the Bible’s admonition to submit, many times women try to control things in other ways – using their bodies or sulking, for example. But while you are busy trying to win a fight, your maid is busy serving your husband’s food with a curtsey; the secretary is busy serving coffee with a smile, the messenger says, “Yes, sir. No, sir.” While you’re ignoring your boyfriend’s texts, your best friend is saying “no rings, no strings”, providing the emotional support he is looking for as you reject him, and subtly planting seeds of doubt in his mind, presenting herself as a model wife. I’m not saying live a paranoid life. I’m saying know that you are not the only one who knows and sees what you have.
7. A woman views her marriage as a potluck, not a jackpot.
It would do every woman well to remove from her mind that marriage is about taking herself to someone’s house to put her feet up and enjoy “enjoyment”. Please remove from your mind any notion that marriage is a give-and-take or a fifty-fifty deal. It is not. Marriage is a give-and-give*. And as has wisely been said, it is 100%-100%. It is two becoming one.
Marriage is work. That is why you look at married men and say you are waiting for a husband like your pastor. That shine-shine you see is his wife’s work. If she pulled you aside and told you what he was like when she met him, you would run moja kwa moja to River Road to look for that shrubbing guy you gave the wrong number, remember him? The one who “cannot even” afford a car, smells of a sukumawiki stall and has a dirty backpack? Yes, with the oversized, mismatched suit and smiling shoes.
Before you hate on your man’s inability to do or own or say some things, please just tell me what prayers you have said for him because if you are truly a woman of God, certain things in a man’s life need to begin to improve instantly just by virtue of your presence. A godly woman will inspire her man to get his act together. She will come into marriage armed with strength for the battle, prayers for the dark nights, and comfort for the troubles. If you have been with this man for 3 years and nothing in his life has improved, he is not the problem – you are. Yes! If things are worse because of your presence, that is witchcraft. It is coldhearted to demoralize a man and deplete the little he has when all he needs is help.
If you are in a relationship right now and all you are thinking about is how you are going to go to Enashipai with 15 bridesmaids and a limousine that costs more than your rent for the next year (so that you, with your 28k salary, can outdo your friend, the minister’s daughter who mints that much in about a day) then of course this is your prerogative. Please don’t cry when, one month after your wedding, you and your husband are fighting because the sh. 15,000 rent is due but after collecting all your combined 20bob coins and sweeping the entire house to find one 5bob coin and one old kernel of roast maize under the cushion, you can only come up with sh. 14,440.50.
8. A woman who refuses to be humble will be humbled.
This is very true. The Bible says God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. To resist a person is to meet everything they do with an equal or greater force than they have applied. And to be resisted by God is to be in the worst of all possible states. God resists the proud. In other words, the God of the universe sets Himself against anybody who is proud. He does not send any angel – He personally sees to it that this person’s plans are frustrated. God says that no weapon formed against us will prosper. If He be for us, nobody can be against us. Amen to that; but where will a person go if God Himself is against him/her? Pride, you see, is the quickest route to self-destruction.
Humility (being humble) is so much better and so much easier than humiliation (being humbled).
9. A woman who fault-finds will doubtless find fault.
What you look for, you find. Fault-finding is different from discerning. There are things that are just a plain hot mess and to which it would be folly to turn a blind eye. Please don’t become an alcoholic’s wife and say it is because you didn’t want to be a faultfinder. What I’m talking about is the ability to extend grace. The problem with faultfinding is it comes from a position of self-righteousness, setting oneself on a pedestal. If Adam did not need help, we would not exist. Obviously, if a man needs help, he is not perfect. I put it to you that he is well aware of his weaknesses. I know this because I am trusting that you were wise enough not to end up with a fool, or the one who is so wise in his own eyes that there is less hope for him than for a fool. If you have soberly agreed to be joined to a sensible, God-fearing man, then know that any possible fault you can find was paid for at Calvary, and your job is not to point it out, but to be a strengthener. To help someone is to give them something they do not already have or to point out that which they have but are not aware they possess. A critical spirit cost Michal the gift of motherhood. Be very careful, because God takes very seriously the way we handle His sons’ hearts.
10. Show me a woman’s friends, and I will show you her future.
I was reading Proverbs 31 a few weeks, maybe months ago and realized that this entire chapter speaks about several people with whom a virtuous woman interacts – her husband, first and foremost, then her household, maidservants, the poor and the needy, her clothing customers, the merchants, her children. This chapter does not say anything about the woman’s best friend, chama, girlfriends, whatever you want to call it. There is no verse that I can twist to cause it to demonstrate a woman who spends significant amounts of time just “hanging out” with other women. Is this a mistake? No, it cannot be. In fact, we are told she does not eat the bread of idleness. This woman is simply too busy living life to spend time talking about or doing absolutely nothing.
That said… who are your friends? If you want to be married, befriend married women (sorry, I said women, not men – please leave their husbands alone or else these women’s prayers will meet you at 3am and there will be no defense in the heavens for you). If you want to be a giver, befriend givers. If you want to grow, choose to spend your time with people who uplift and exhort you, not people who smother and stifle you. And if you want to prosper, live in peace, and secure your eternal destiny, befriend Jesus.
You know it’s all love…
*But remember that what you give comes back to you pressed down, shaken together and running over. So you will also “take”, but go in longing only to give.You might also like: