“We’re warriors – embodying strength and valor, doing mighty things in our families and marriages” – Jen Weaver
While I was dating my now husband I worked at a Christian bookstore. I loved books and it was wonderful to have an unlimited supply at my disposal. I had the ability to read just about any book I desired from that store. I often found myself in the marriage section working through titles on how to be the best wife I could be. I remember telling a co-worker then that I didn’t understand why it was so tough to have a good marriage. I was pretty certain that if I would just lay myself down, seek God and put Him first, and aim to be a good wife, my marriage would not be in so much need of all of the help those books promised. Ha! It was a great dream and full of good intentions but I had no idea how hard it would be to lay my life down, work hard to overcome hurts in my life, hurts in my soon-to-be husband’s life, and to chose God’s will over my own time and time again.
Really what I wanted then was to be the Proverbs 31 woman but I did not understand the grace that I needed to bolster that desire.
I remember when it clicked for me that the Proverbs 31 woman was not really part of the shame game that she had falsely been equated with by Christian women in our day. It eased my mind to know that she didn’t stand up after being proclaimed THE WOMAN that all other women should compare themselves to, pound her chest and say “I am woman. Hear me roar.” That would have served to heap shame on for me because try as I might, I could not muster up enough strength to become even close to being like her. Perhaps she just stood up, raised her hands in the air and said “Only by your grace God. You have done this good work through me.”
After I realized, through the Holy Spirit’s revelation, that I am empowered to be the woman that Proverbs 31 speaks of, I looked at her in a whole new light. She wasn’t so different from me. I’m sure she desired to be a crown to her husband and to do him good and not harm all of her days. Somewhere along the way she discovered that God’s grace enabled her to be powerful and effective at being the wife (and mother) God had called her to be. She was empowered not by her works but by accepting God’s power that would work through her, even in her weaknesses.
What a load off!
Joy sinks in when you realize God’s heart for us as women. He is passionate about us being strong, powerful, valiant, hard-working, encouraging, diligent, and a source of care for those we serve. He longs to use us in the lives of our husbands and families.
Looking back I wish that Jen’s book had graced those bookstore shelves and had caught my eye over 20 years ago. When Jen began chapter 6 in A Wife’s Secret to Happiness she had seen through the way we have made out Mrs. Proverbs 31 taking her as a source of weight that we must bear if we are to ever measure up. Jen exposes the lies of the try-hard life and leads us to the truth about how empowering it is for us as wives that there is a detailed account of the blessing God longs for us to walk in as women.
Chapter 6 in A Wife’s Secret to Happiness is all about being a strong, victorious, powerful woman. I believe sometimes we think that being a submitted wife, a help-meet, and a godly woman means that we are weak, quiet and passive. But that’s not it at all. If I could have pointed that younger version of me to the truth then it would have saved her (me) a heap of heartache and trying so hard to be what I was already empowered to be. I’m so grateful for the reminders in this book that are pointing us toward the truth and renewing our hope of being strong and mighty.
So, I’d like to ask you:
- Do you believe that you are empowered to be like the Proverbs 31 woman or are you still trying hard to measure up?
- Do you see yourself in Jen’s version of Esther’s story? (I loved this story “Jen style.”)
- What does it look like to be empowered by the Holy Spirit with grace?
Come join us over in our book tour Facebook group to discuss this week’s chapter. Even if you are just jumping in or behind we’d love to have you join us.
I hope you’ve been joining us each week for our book tour. If you missed last week’s chapter you can find it here. All the Chapters and posts will be available here so if you ever need to go back or get caught up please do. We’d love for you to share your thoughts with us at any time along the way.
P.S. I want to take just another minute of your time and tell you that, if you haven’t picked up Jen’s book yet, you must get it and read it. I would not be hosting this book tour or telling you about this book if it wasn’t something that I really truly believed would help you and will be a blessing in your life. I could keep gushing, tell you about what a great writer Jen is, tell you how lovely she is as a person and how passionate she is about healthy marriages, but I’ll spare you all of that and just ask you to trust me that this book is one of the best investments you can make for your marriage!