I've previously commented how much I appreciate the wisdom and encouragement from Jess Connell's blog; she cuts to the heart of contemporary issues facing wives and mothers, and draws perfectly from Scripture to challenge our heart attitudes. She writes with humility, gentleness and wisdom.
This evening I read her 'anti-psalm', a reversal of the 'excellent wife' of Proverbs 31. Sometimes by considering an opposite, you really start to appreciate more of the truth. This has both challenged and encouraged me because I find that our society (and even many within our churches) do not value faithful service in the home. Even within the church, there is a tendency to speak ill of family members (often partly in jest, but with disrespectful undertones), to crave 'me' time, to not appreciate the traditional activities of keeping home, cooking, mending, offering hospitality, being well organised, being frugal and thrifty (these words are often interpreted as a person being stingy or mean, but in fact are an outworking of stewardship of our God-given resources which enables us to be more generous and to be able to share and bless others with such resources). Often it is not considered the best use of time to aim to undertake these things to an excellent standard. So often there is an unspoken message that we would be so much better off using our talents outside the home, or perhaps that as home educating parents we are missing out on gospel opportunities which we might have if we were less focussed on our own family.
I won't say more, but simply (with Jess's permission) am reposting her 'anti-psalm'. Her full Blog post on this is here.
A terrible wife is a dime a dozen.
She is common– easily found.
Her husband feels tense; his heart is never fully at rest around her. She blows through his resources and squanders his contributions. There’s never anything left over, to invest or to give. The tight finances point to a larger reality: he can’t really trust her.
She spends more time and energy tearing him down than building him up. Every day of her whole life is spent making him worse off.
She sits around, aimlessly waiting for opportunities. Her hands are idle, because nothing magically comes her way on its own.
She does the bare minimum necessary to contribute to the nourishment and care of her family (and sometimes, not even that!). She can’t be expected to go to great lengths to bless her household.
She sleeps in, and uses her time poorly. Her household often gets to mealtime without anything planned or prepared.
She buys things on a whim– spending money on possessions rather than purposeful, long-range investments.
She’s weak-willed and weak-bodied, and thus, unwilling and unable to do the things God has put on her plate.
Her efforts are spent unprofitably, on things that don’t bring fruit.
If she’s up late, she’s doing impractical, useless things or spending her free time as “me time.”
Her skills are few, if any, and what she does do is careless and done poorly.
She can’t afford to be generous. The money’s all gone because she’s spent it on other things.
Her heart and hands are turned inward. Whatever her words say, the result of her actions and inaction reveal that her own desires eclipse the needs of others in her heart.
The thought of tragedy or difficulty makes her anxious and fearful because she hasn’t properly prepared her home, her family, and herself for these possibilities.
She doesn’t actively put her mind and creativity to work on improving the basic, everyday things in her home.
Her husband is ridiculed and thought ill of in their community because of how poorly she’s talked about him. Others don’t respect him, because his wife doesn’t either.
She spends her time and energies aimlessly and fruitlessly.
She puts money in the pockets of merchants, rather than the other way around.
Weakness, irresponsibility, and indecency are her clothing.
She churns with anxiety and fear about the future.
Her words are foolish; people around her are negatively influenced by her cynicism and critical attitude. Bitterness and judgments about others regularly spew from her lips.
She’s stressed and concerned about all manner of things, but oblivious to the realities of what’s happening inside her own heart and home. There, her exhaustion and stress boil over into laziness and inaction.
Her children rise up and can’t wait to get away from her. They curse her.
Her husband also, and he can’t find anything good to say.
A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised,
But this woman’s charm is deceitful, and her beauty is in vain.
Her hands are fruitless, and leave her nothing to enjoy or be praised for.
- I am a Christian mother of five, and our highest goal as a family is to serve God in every aspect of our lives. Jesus promised His disciples 'life in all its abundance' (John 10:10) - that has been our story, a rich life, not devoid of challenges, but certainly abundant. Previously writing at www.homeeducationnovice.blogspot.com, we have come to realise that education is just one area where our faith shapes our choices and direction in life. This blog seeks to share our adventure.