Over the past year or so the verse, Proverbs 31 has popped up more and more in my life. And I think things like that happen for a reason. Here is the verse (emphasis mine):
Who can find a virtous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
so he will have no lack of gain
She does him good and not evil
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax
and willing works with her hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
she brings her food from afar.
She also rises while it is yet night,
and provides food for the household,
and a portion for her maidservants.
She considers a field and buys it;
from her profits she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength
and strengthens her arms.
She perceives that her merchanise is good,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
and her hand holds the spindle,
She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of now for her household,
for all her household is clothed with scarlet.
She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
when he sits among the elders of the land
She makes linen garments and sells themm
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
Strength and honor are her clothing;
she shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tounge is the law of kindness
She watches over the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also and he praises her:"
Many daughters have done well
but you excel them all"
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised
Giver her the fruist of her hands,
and let her own works praise her in the gates
Everytime I read the verse I focus on something different or walk away with a new understanding. One of my most recent understands lead to the life application that I need to keep house in a way that helps my husband.
My husband has a touch of OCD and finds it hard to function around clutter. Literally, walking into a cluttered room overwhelms his senses and stesses him out. When he is already stressed out from work or illness a cluttered house becomes the straw that breaks the camel's back.
My husband needs me to change the way I keep house. I am a piles person. Everything has its pile and occasionally (on weekends) those piles get sorted out and put away. Its my process. But it doesn't work for him. I don't make piles becase I am lazy but because it has become my default organizational system. So I am starting from scratch and making sure every item has a place. And yes, a designated junk drawer counts as a place. I am working hard to remember to put things away right after use and not leaving them out to stumble upon them again. I can stumble upon them again and think "oh yea, I need to put this away" and go do it. However, my husband sees the item laying out and starts to stress out. If I can take a few extra moments of thought and work to leave a place looking organized and prevent us from having a pointless argument over left out scissors then its worth it to me.
My husband is helping me with this endeavor and has recognized that creating piles is my "method". He's suggested that if I am having a stressful day and feel the need to create piles then I should do it in the guest bedroom and shut the door. It's out of his sight, gives me more time to come back later and keeps the rest of the house looking neat.
I'm not saying that he needs or expects me to keep a spotless house on my own. But I think that he needs me to change my cleaning and organizing habits. And if changing those habits benefits my husband, and my marriage and doesn't hurt me then why wouldn't I?
The verse says much much much more to me but I want to explore it bit by bit.