Once during a conversation my husband said to me, “I never thought I had the right to tell you what to do.”
My life turned the corner. We were having coffee in a little café in our southern town. By then I had grown past the deep frustration and impasse of a few years before when we almost broke up. I had immersed myself in the study for this book. I was exploring my role as a woman. For the first time in my life, I realized the extent of how much my husband respected me as he nudged me toward wholeness. God respects me the same way.
I had never thought of it: nowhere in the Bible does God instruct a husband to speak for his wife, coerce her, or tell her what to do. How amazed I was. The deductions that emerged in my mind after this statement influenced a major change in my philosophy until this day. If my husband was not supposed to tell me what to do, direct my life, guide me…that meant I was to find that out for myself. I was to discover what my life, my role and job description should be. It was God and Scripture that would inform me.
This became the most motivating adventure of my life. No longer was I second class. No longer was I to be a responder only, but both an initiator and responder. I was needed and wanted. My female, inborn persona was going to be challenged. I instinctively knew it would be unique to me as an individual, but also that I would discover foundational instruction to all of us as women. This wisdom could be the resource for inspiration from one woman to another.
I had a husband who trusted my decisions and wanted me to learn how to make good ones. It was late in life to learn, but now the process began with more encouragement than ever.
Now a few years later (where before I would have grown sullen and silent when I was angry) I speak up and speak out. I learned to choose my words, determining to be respectful…taking chances, counseling him, even taking initiative. One day I asked him with some trepidation, “Do you think I say what I think now?” He looked up from the computer and said with a slightly wry smile, “I never think you hold back from saying anything you think.”
Does it show? The job description of the wise woman who builds her house is filled with inspiration from inside her head and heart. This role, influencing a husband and children and household, is a most powerful, far reaching, life changing role…for her and for them.
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