2: Blessing Mom and Mate

     It seems that men derive much of their sense of personal worth from their job. When a man is successful at work, in a sport or at a hobby, it builds his self esteem. Men derive satisfaction in knowing they are good at their job and in providing for their family.

     But what about our wives? Where do they receive the encouragement necessary to keep her going? As a stay-at-home mom she has no “career” or chance to be successful in the world’s eyes. She won’t appear in the local newspaper or receive plaudits from the local media. In the hidden world of her home, she is pouring out her life to make her husband and children a success. Who comes along side of her and tells her “well done” or “good job”. 

     I was pondering on this as I was reading Proverbs 31. The whole proverb is good but the last few verses really caught my attention. Proverbs 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household, And eats not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 29 Many daughters have done worthily, But you excel them all. 30 Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; But a woman that fears the LORD, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her works praise her in the gates. ASVThese verses were illuminated by God’s Spirit. I saw clearly that she is to be praised by those she is serving, loving, and working for her husband and children. It even directs us what to say. Children are to rise up and call her “blessed.” Her husband also is to honor her saying: “Many daughters have done worthily, But you excel them all.” 

     When I read this I began having times to encouragement for my wife. My sons and I would thank Sandi for all she does and has done for us. My wife has appreciated our thanks and words of praise over the years. This past weekend Sandi and I attended a couples retreat and I learned that while it was a good thing to thank Sandi for what she has done, it was more important to honor her for who she is.

     Let me illustrate this distinction. Many times I have thanked her for taking care of my son John who has Downs Syndrome. She takes care of his teeth, put his retainers in at night, monitors his bowel movements and puts drops in his ears. This is tedious and unpleasant. But instead of recognizing what she has done I verbalized it differently to address who she was. Looking into her eyes I said, “Sandi, I appreciate your caring heart and diligent spirit in meeting the daily needs of Johnny. I know that these tasks are not always pleasant but I have observed your labors and I honor you for them.” Instead of recognizing her work, I was honoring her person. As a result the words found their way into her heart and not just her mind.I have been seeking to do this daily since last weekend. May I encourage you to do the same? If you are unable to think of or recognize character qualities worthy of mention, pray. Ask God to help you appreciate your wife, and see her, as he sees her. If Jesus were present how would he praise her?  You will be amazed at what he reveals about your bride, and his bride. As you practice honoring your wife in this way, encourage your children to do so as well. Proverbs says the children rise up and call her blessed. They have much to offer to their mother that she needs to hear. But we set the tone. Regularly praising your wife and encouraging your children to do as well, is the way God designed to make our wives know they are loved, valued, and appreciated!Romans 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. KJV1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. ESVExodus 12 Honor your father and your mother KJV

Steve Demme
If you would like more helpful advice along this line, I heartily
recommend the book  Discovering the Mind of a Woman, by Ken Nair.