Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Woman of Noble Character Challenge: Week 1

I came across this challenge while cruising a friend's blog. I decided to take up the challenge for a few reasons. First, the quote she uses at the beginning is from an October 2000 General Conference talk "The Joy of Womanhood" by Sister Margaret D. Nadauld, 11th General Young Women's President. I found that very cool considering there was no indication that the author of the blog has any affiliation with the LDS church.

The other reason I took this challenge was week 5. It made me smile! But I will get to that one in a few weeks.

The Week 1 challenge is Proverbs 31:10-12 "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."

"Are you a virtuous and capable wife more precious than rubies? Does your husband trust you, and do you enrich his life? Do you bring him good everyday? Write a post about something you would like to change about yourself, and something you love about yourself. How does this add to the enrichment of your husband's life?"

The challenge says to say what you love and what you can improve. I love that I love my husband. I indulge him in his interests. I really could not care less about airplanes. Yet I know what an SR-71 is and actually felt excited for my husband when he got to touch one! I love planes because he loves them.

This is also the thing I would change. I spoil him. When I was in college, one of my professors told how a wife made wonderful but less-than-healthy meals for her husband. He eventually died of a heart attack. The professor said "No jury in the land would convict her but that woman killed her husband!"

That's me. I make him cakes, steaks, pies and fries. I buy real butter and white bread because he likes it. I buy his favorite junk foods. I am a terrible wife!

On a more serious note, I love this chapter of Proverbs. I see it as a goal for the kind of woman I want to be. I know I am not there yet. I am a work in progress. I have relaxed in my "old age", realizing that I don't have to be this woman now. I can and, hopefully, will become this woman someday.

When I read these verses, the part that jumps out at me is "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her..." I have often reflected on the trust shared between a husband and wife. We live in a world where men are demoralized, mocked, depicted as incompetent idiots who only care about themselves. I do not doubt there are men who fit this description. Many of them don't.

To me, trust in marriage goes far beyond sexual fidelity. My husband trusts me to keep his secrets. I know his flaws and weaknesses. I have seen the side he hides from the world. He trusts me to keep that safe. I am not talking about anything criminal, of course. We all have things we want to keep private.

A few days ago I was watching a crime drama that depicted a couple fighting for custody of their children. The wife played very dirty. She revealed her husband's troubled childhood, his bouts of depression, and other weaknesses he had admitted to her during their marriage. He had no doubt told her these things when their marriage was strong, when he trusted her and looked to her to share his burdens and comfort him.

As I watched the wife and her lawyer pick the man apart in an attempt to prove he was unfit to care for his children, I realized that it was only a case of art imitating life. I felt angry at the couples who do this in real life. I felt deep sadness at the families and lives that are destroyed by selfishness. I imagined how lonely and broken I would feel if I were in that situation.

I was reminded of the great trust my husband has placed in me. His heart is a delicate and precious treasure that I can protect or destroy. I may fall short of this duty from time to time, not because I am not trying but because I am human. For me, learning to protect that precious gift is the mark of a truly virtuous woman.


Unknown said...

What a beautiful post, Amy. I am so happy you joined my challenge. The love you have for your husband poured from my screen.

I have fallen so far in the past. It was when I was lowest that a couple of sisters touched my life. Although I am not LDS, I have a wonderful connection to the LDS.

God bless you for you truly are a ruby.

The Adventurer said...

What a great post I can relate to it so much. My husband loves planes and anything about vikings. I indulge him and listen when ever he wants to talk about his interests. I go to museums and lectures so he has someone to acompany him. These things are now my interests. I am afraid I make him eat healthier meals as I want him to be around a while:).