‘Don’t pray for anything you are not‘. That’s what I was told once upon a time. In other words, don’t pray for a husband if you are not a wife. But how could I be a wife without a husband? It didn’t seem logical to me at the time. But now I understand I was being told that I should not wait to become a wife before I became a wife.
Fast forward a few years and my pastor in Philadelphia said the same thing. But sadly I took that to mean I should play the role of a wife to my boyfriend. I should practice in the role so I would be ready when the “day” came. In essence, what I ended up doing was giving husband privileges to a boyfriend and that was a mistake.
Fast forward to October 2016. My pastor hosted a Ladies Night CAYA service. CAYA means Come As You Are and is a bible study/discussion for young adults on subjects that are important to them. Ladies Night was all about the single, saved woman and the challenges and frustrations that particular demographics face and how the church over spiritualizes the challenges of being single. Pastor Wesley asked a question that was very similar to what had been said to me once upon a time and again while a member of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. Pastor Wesley asked, “Are you exhibiting what God says a wife is?” Sounds eerily familiar. But thankfully through lessons learned I know what he didn’t mean. And so I did some self reflection. Am I acting as a wife should act? Do I possess the qualities God says a wife should possess?
Of course the first thing that came to mind was the infamous Proverbs 31 Woman. We all know the story:
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
This woman, The Virtuous Woman, is bad to the bone!! We’ve all read it at some time or another and thought, “I want to be like her!” And then some of us quickly thought, “Who is like her? She is unattainable.”‘ But when you read about the Proverbs 31 Woman certain qualities stand out: She is trustworthy. She is a hard worker. She makes sacrifices to care for her family. She is generous. She is strong. She is wise. She is kind. And so I asked myself, “Self, do you possess these qualities? Are you what you are asking God to give you?”
Another point Pastor Wesley made is that marriage is not a solution to make you a wife. You begin to exhibit those qualities along the way. Now, as I wait on the Lord and his timing, am I also allowing God to develop/strengthen these qualities in me while I wait? Am I submitting to the work that God needs to do in my life so that I have a foundation for when the husband comes?
As I considered those questions I can honestly say I am. I can honestly say I started….or began to take it seriously…..some time ago. And maybe I’m not quite there yet. But God is still working on me. He is still working out some kinks. He is preparing me to be a wife to the man he presents to me. And I am fully submitted to the work he needs to do in me because when that “day” comes….the day I become #MrsFuture, I want to live every moment thereafter being the best wife I can be.