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Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Woman's Wiles

I was reflecting yesterday on my meditation of the Book of Job. As I said before, this book has so much to learn from I could write a lot about it.

One of the things that struck me was that Job persevered and kept his faith and trust in God, through the loss of all his worldly possessions, even his children and his health. He persisted until his wife said to him Job 2:9 "Then his wife said to him, 'Why do you persist in this integrity of yours? Curse God and die!" Can you imagine a wife saying those words to her husband? Even in these modern days it would be unacceptable, but in biblical times? It demonstrates,  not only  her lack of  caring and compassion for him, but also her lack of respect.

We are told that Job discounted his wife's words but, sometime afterward, he did turn from God and cursed his birth. I cannot help but wonder if Job might have persisted in his faith if he had had his wife's support. Perhaps he gave up because he had lost the respect of his wife, which I would imagine would have been even more painful than losing the respect of his peers in those days, in any day for that matter.

We are taught in biblical womanhood to submit to our fathers/husbands, but that doesn't mean that we do not influence them.  In 1 Peter 3:1-2, St Peter addresses women as follows: "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands, so that if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of the wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives" 

Check out this phrase "without words". Our husbands know when something is wrong with us, even when we don't say a thing, don't they? I don't know about you but I give off some kind of "aura" and my husband just knows. ;-)

St Peter understood how a woman can influence her husband's actions and choices, how her behavior can invoke a positive or negative response. Throughout the bible are examples of how a woman used her wiles on men.. notably Delilah, Rebekah, Judith.. how I love Judith!  And what of Eve.. the most infamous of all. The downfall of man came about when Eve persuaded Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit. Have you ever wondered what would have happened if he had refused and Eve alone had disobeyed?

 God created woman and put something into her to draw man. That influence could be used for bad  or for the good... to glorify God, as Judith did.  Let's look at the woman most honoured in the bible.. Mary the mother of Jesus. At the wedding in Cana, Mary asked Jesus to save the bridal couple embarrassment because their wine had run out.  Jesus replied in John 2:4"Woman, why do you involve  me? My time has not yet come". Yet Mary told the servants to do whatever he told them, trusting that he would do it to please her. The fact that Jesus wanted to please his mother tells of his great love for her.  Here is an example of how positive  a woman's influence can be. .My husband tells me all the time that it was my own journey with God that made him want to do the same. (Personally,  I believe that God was just not going to take no for an answer any more! He pursued him and captured his heart, if I had anything to do with it, then Praise God!)

As we continue Week 2 of  The 25 Day Praise Plan Marriage Challenge, I want to challenge you to  not only build him up your husband as a man, but to build him up as a man of God. I plan, even while being romantic and lavishing praises upon him, to make sure that my behavior influences him the right way. I plan to support him and encourage him with the  Word and, by shining brightly for Jesus, to inspire him to let his light shine too.

Let's use our womanly wiles in a positive way, to influence our men to be upright, God-fearing and to be strong in their faith.  Let's support them with the kind of strength that God gives to woman... to fulfill our roles as their helpmates.

May His Graces and Blessings be with you always!

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