Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Journey: Honor and Blessings

Scripture meditation/memory verses for this week: "Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land...Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her" ~ Prov. 31: 23 & 28 (NIV)

Welcome to our eighth week of looking at the Proverbs 31 Womans journey in her marriage. Today, I want to explore what is means to be "blessed".

Recently when snowed in, I took a marriage book off my shelf and flipped through it. It was a book I had studied when my first marriage was failing. I read through my comments in the exercise portion and there was a repeated theme in my responses. At that time I was constantly writing about being appreciated as a wife and mother and the need I had for someone, especially my husband at the time, to tell me I was doing a good job or to praise me for the effort I was making as a woman who had to work out side the home. It was one of the elements the grew to be destructive in our marriage and played a factor in its failure.

Have you been there? It's a painful time to remember but a reality for many young wives and mothers who are not feeling appreciated or acknowledged in their efforts to be a blessing. In those circumstances, we are far from be "blessed" in their sight, so what are we doing wrong? If we are to bless them enough to be called "blessed" what has to change?

I have also been on the other end when my current husband has referenced me as his godly wife to another person or another lady commented on how godly she perceived me to be when internally I knew I was failing. but those comments felt like an incredible hug that just wouldn't end. Have you been hugged that way? It's not a selfish thought...this blessed women is what we are to strive to be!

So what does it take to be called "blessed"? How do we live to bless our husband, our marriage, and out God? As I was thinking about these possible characteristics, my mind went to the Matthew 5: 3-10 (HCSB) and the beatitudes:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
because the kingdom of heaven
is theirs.
Blessed are those who mourn,

because they will be comforted.
Blessed are the gentle,

because they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst for righteousness,

because they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
because they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
because they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
because they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness,
because the kingdom of heaven
is theirs.

So lets make this fit into marriage...

The blessed woman is a godly woman that does not live for herself but she lives for others first. She has learned that being broken is a spiritual gift. There is less of her and more of God. Being poor in spirit is not about being depressed and being timid, it is about being a women who is secure in her God and because of this, her husband finds strength from her.

The blessed woman has not doubt experienced grief and loss but she has learned from Jesus example. She is able to communicate her care, her concerns, her tears to God and to her husband. She can accepts the loss or pain and is able to grow from it and love stronger. She is able to minister to others with a heart that is caring. Her husband is able to come to her and he knows he will be loved and supported. She is also able to allow her husband to embrace her when she is most weak and to rest in his strength, as she also does with her heavenly Father.

A blessed women lives her life humbly. She is content with what her God and her husband has provided for her. She is a woman of meekness and this characteristic is treasured by her God and her husband.

A blessed woman craves God and remains in Him. She feeds His truths to her husband, to her family, and to others. Her life causes other to crave God. She compliments her husband spiritually. They are able to walk together in their faith and grow in.

A blessed woman is overflowing with the mercy she herself has received from God. She extends this mercy to her husband, her family, and others. She is kind and compassionate. She does not allow the pain others may bring on her to bring her down or to make her react unkindly. Her husband cherishes this about her.

A blessed woman has a pure heart and pure motive. She prays before she speaks or acts. She considers the affect before she takes actions. She is sold out for God in body, mind, and spirit. She is about pleasing God and pleasing her man. And in return, they are pleased with her. She is a woman who says "yes" to God...a Jesus girl.

A blessed woman seeks to create peace in any environment she is in. Her home is a haven of peace and comfort and her husband (and others) feel welcomed in it.

The blessed woman does not bow down to worldly pressures. She is not about "keeping up with the Jones". She is about being the woman of God that He intended her to be. And when adversity and persecution strikes, it only pushes her closer and more dependent on her God. She trust and confidently walks with God. This makes her husband secure in her.

Her children arise and call her blessed;her husband also, and he praises her
~Proverbs 31: 28

Our husband need us to be these things so he can be what God intended him to be. A lot of qualifications to consider in being able to be called "blessed" be seen as one who blesses her husband and her God. I don't know about you but this is what my husband deserves.

Read this passage of scripture in the Message version for more insight....

"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.
"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.

I want to be a wife that is a blessing to my husband. I want to also be a blessing to my God. I know you do too. This week, I encourage you to ponder on the "Beatitudes of Marriage" I found by an unknown author below. Look at applying this into your days and be BLESSED! Search for supporting scripture that gives each of these statements biblical truth!

Blessed are the husband and wife who continue to be affectionate, considerate, and loving after the wedding bells have ceased ringing.
Blessed are the husband and wife who are as polite and courteous to one another as they are to their friends.
Blessed are they who love their mates more than any other person in the world, and who joyfully fulfill their marriage vow of a lifetime of fidelity and mutual helpfulness to one another.
Blessed are they who attain parenthood, for children are a heritage of the Lord.
Blessed are they who remember to thank God for their food before they partake of it, and who set apart some time each day for the reading of the Bible and for prayer.
Blessed are those mates who never speak loudly to one another, and who make their home a place “where seldom is heard a discouraging word.”
Blessed are the husband and wife who faithfully attend the worship service of the church, and who work together in the church for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom.
Blessed are the husband and wife who can work out the problems of adjustment without interference from relatives.
Blessed is the couple which has complete understanding about financial matters, and have worked out a perfect partnership, with all money under the control of both.
Blessed are the husband and wife who humbly dedicate their lives and their homes to Christ, and who practice the teachings of Christ in the home by being unselfish, loyal and loving.
-- Author
Believing Him~Pamela


Anonymous said...

I do not remember praises. Just being there for one another. I guess. I remember the hard years raising you teens and all. But stuck to the stuff no matter what. I still long for your siblings to be loving our Heavenly Father to. I know I do not pray enough. Love you all with all my heart. Mom

Mariel said...

what beautiful thoughts. I so enjoy hopping over each week and reading your P31 thoughts. It is such a sweet passage of tangible application!! Thank you for sharing what the Lord is teaching you :)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Whew... that's a lot of requirement! Only through God's strength and help can I be called "blessed". You've given some good pointers here that will require a longer chew for me, but I'm willing to go there because it's God's Word and his requirement of me.

Love you friend.