I remember one of the first verses that hit me pretty hard in the Bible. It hit me pretty hard because I recognized my God-given priorities, and I wasn't doing them in the right order. I had my children and friends and family members way above my husband. How do I know? Well, that was where I was spending most of my time and where most of my thoughts were centered. I started praying that I would live 1 Timothy 5:9-1; and that if I should ever be left totally alone, my church would recognize that I was a woman who had lived up to this verse.
"No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as: bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble, and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds." 1 Timothy 5:9-10
When I started aligning my early mornings with the LORD, I found that the rest of my day began to follow this verse more and more, for I sought to practice His will in my life. The first one who is mentioned in the verse is the woman's husband. She must be faithful to him first and foremost on this earth. When I do him good, I do Him good. Faithfulness holds a lot of love in its hands. So many of my actions (as seen in the Proverbs 31 passage) will encircle my husband in love.
"Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land." Proverbs 31:23
As I mentioned in a previous letter, I use to think that this verse was somewhat out of place in this passage. There her husband shows up all of a sudden in the midst of all this woman's work. But after reading this passage for the umpteenth time, I realized that the respect this man was given was greatly aided by his wife's hard work. Not a whole lot of talk going on by her (only one verse mentions her speaking in wisdom and instruction, while the rest of the verses show her movements); especially from house to house; but a whole lot of action going on in her own house. Her work glorified her husband. As he was glorified, so was her LORD. Which made 1 Peter 3:1-2 make all the more sense.
"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that if any of them do not believe The Word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives."
The non-verbal work going on here is one of submissive action. Action done in respect by a wife to help her husband be all that God has called him to be. These verses and the Proverbs 31 passage have changed my mind incredibly and have had a profound effect on my homemaking practice. It is a much higher calling than I could ever realize. And one often done in considerable silence and self-sacrifice. Just the kind of life that my LORD led on this earth, laying down His life that The Father might be glorified. I, too, lay down my life that another might be glorified. My LORD lived for thirty years in relative silence as a carpenter's son. He called no attention to Himself, as the Father willed, for most of that thirty years. He also worked silently and sacrificially in a home. This, to me, is the essence of submission: a choosing of self-sacrifice and self-discipline for the good and glory of another, according to the Word of God. The ultimate goal of this submission is glory to God.
In so doing, I find greater fulfillment than I would have ever imagined. For as my husband grows stronger in my self-sacrificial love and respectful work, my sons and my daughter also grow stronger. And I realize once again that God is right. God is always right.
Have I totally achieved it like the Proverbs 31 woman? Not by a long shot. But I am still a ways away from being 60, and my husband is a ways away from being an elder; up a child if he is trainable. So each child is trainable. Even in his second home: the church. Some are a little more difficult to train than others, but they are trainable if the parents are "clutching their LORD's Hand" each step of the way. For I am quite sure there were many children present when the LORD Jesus spoke to the crowds, when Peter spoke, when Paul spoke, and now here in our own churches. Leaders raising leaders. I am absolutely in awe of His Ways. Bless His Holy, Holy Name!