Stacy is a fellow crazy cat lady who is staff to Miss Buttercup. She is also one of the people who is slowly but surely tempting me to try coconut oil. 🙂
She opens her mouth in wisdom; kindly instruction is on her tongue. — Proverbs 31:26
I would love to be the type of woman that Proverbs 31 describes. Wouldn’t we all? I fall far short, but do love using the verses for inspiration, and also to keep myself in check. I can read over the verses and pinpoint exactly what I do and don’t identify with. Many of the things I don’t see in myself are things I need to work on or improve upon.
When I read verse 26, the first thing I thought was, “Yes, I am wise and I do speak with wisdom”. Just as soon as I finished patting myself on the back, I realized there was another half to that sentence. Not just that instruction should be on my tongue, but kindly instruction. See, this is where it gets iffy for me. I am pretty wise, and I am pretty good at giving instructions, but I fail miserably in the gentleness and kindness categories. God has given me the gift of being able to grapple with things, figure issues out, and He has gifted me with a big dose of common sense. He also blessed me with the ability to teach others, to guide, and to instruct. But what I constantly seek His grace on is how to show those skills as a wife with kindness. I can be biting, and I can even be caustic. No amount of wisdom or instruction matters if you aren’t able to relay it kindly, and that is a lesson I have been learning and relearning over the past several months of marriage. I know that I don’t want to be the type of wife who is constantly nagging, or who snaps at her husband because things don’t come as naturally to him… but that is who I am sometimes.
This verse reminds me of the work I have put into myself, and the work that needs to continue to benefit my husband, myself, and my relationship with God. I want to be the type of wife who can pass wisdom on to her husband in the most loving of ways. If I’m doing it right, I bet he won’t even know that that is what I’m doing! My husband, like yours probably, responds so much better when I approach things from love and gentleness. In fact, I’m quickly learning that my husband is more likely to retain my wisdom and instruction when I give it kindly than when I give it curtly. He is much more likely to pay attention to why I am saying something than how I am saying something when I speak to him the way he deserves. We unfortunately live in a culture where men are put down and even treated as an extra child. I’ve seen this in myself when I take the above verse and omit that one very important word. That isn’t the type of wife I want to be, nor the type of wife my husband deserves. Let’s use this verse as a reminder that our husbands will love us at our worst, but deserve our best. Let it remind us that our husbands will retain our wisdom and instruction when we give it to them kindly. And let it remind us that, when we open our mouths, we have a threefold responsibility in our vocation: to share our wisdom, to instruct with that wisdom, and to be kind in our instruction.
Stacy is a newlywed who blogs about faith, frugality, living with PCOS, and green living over at Catholic and Crunchy. Feel free to stop by!