LETTERS TO MY SON: how to help your wife thrive
She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
I’m a little nervous about writing this letter. Because we’ve allowed these bits and pieces from my mother-heart to be made public, I run the risk of being misunderstood, of having people cut and paste and take my words to you out of context.
But you know me. You know my heart to help you and to lay a foundation for a strong and beautiful partnership with your wife of someday. God’s Word is infallible, perfect, right, true—but my words aren’t. And so, I ask you, and everyone who reads this to give me a little room. These are my thoughts, my take on what I believe the Scripture teaches, not a rigid box that every husband or every wife or every family must fit into in order to follow after God.
That said, as my son, I want you to know some things about women that many men seem to be unaware of.
We are strong, resilient, adventuresome, loyal, willing to take risks, persistent, and unafraid of great sacrifice for our families.
Who do you think really settled the West? While men most often led the adventure, it is the women who brought their families, their ingenuity, their perceptive skills and adaptivity to the wilderness. Women created homes, carved beauty, cared for fragile lives, and brought control to the chaos of an unsettled land. They work alongside their husbands to make their dreams come true.
And we haven’t really changed. We’re still pioneers at heart, willing to do whatever it takes to see our families thrive.
That’s the kind of woman you will marry someday, Matthew.
And yet, at the same time, we are fragile creatures. We feel deeply. Grief, rejection, pressure, stress, fear, anxiety. We have this capacity for relationship that makes us take responsibility for how everyone in our lives is doing. And sometimes we get lost in the process. Sometimes our men fail to see the vulnerability behind all that strength.
We are impressively capable and yet we are fragile from all that feeling that is inherent to who we are.
So… what has that got to do with this description of a wife who evaluates and plans for the buying of property and then develops it and works it and prospers?
Simply this: In the overarching story of your lives together, your first responsibility is to be the primary provider for the wife you want. Given the right circumstances and the protection and provision of her husband, your wife will thrive, and in that soul strengthening freedom, she will surprise you with her success. But it’s up to you to watch over her lovely, loyal, hard working drive to succeed for the benefit of her family.
First of all, here’s what I don’t mean: that wives should never work outside the home. And here’s what I do mean: that you must guard your own desire for nicer things from pressuring your wife to set aside her family priorities and work more and harder and longer than she should.
Now, life is messy and stuff happens. Men get sick, they lose their jobs, they need further education, they start businesses and need support. I get that. Life, real life, is full of seasons that demand every resource we can bring to the table in order to survive.
What I want to impress on you is the vision of a man who is looking at both the big picture of values and goals and provision for a lifetime, and at the care and nurture of a wife who will, at times, work harder than is good for her in order to make those goals happen. Just watch over her.
Be in charge.
Know your budget.
Stick to it.
Be thankful for what you do have.
Don’t always need more.
Lead your family well.
Let your wife flourish and thrive and think of creative ways to use her gifts to enhance your lives— not to provide for your needs.
Make it your goal to see your wife in her sweet spot. That place where she wakes up with a smile on her face because she gets to be both productive and creative, at the same time knowing that her family is growing and thriving under her care. Make that your goal, Matt, and you will be copying what Jesus does with us, the Church, His bride.
Husbands, love your wives,
just as Christ also loved the church and
gave Himself up for her,
so that He might sanctify her,
having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
that He might present to Himself the church
in all her glory,
having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing;
but that she would be holy and blameless.
So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it,
just as Christ also does the church,
I know this is a lot of weight to put on a man’s shoulders, my son. And yet I also know that God has given you what it takes to imitate Him in this kind of loving. Be strong and courageous. Be smart and responsible. Work hard and think ahead. Be willing to fight for your family’s well-being, to dream ahead of the way you want it to be, to plan a path to make it happen.
Above all, let God be your provider by laying your life before Him and asking Him to lead.
I love you!
From my heart,
P.S. Caution: Don’t read more into these words to my son than I mean.
Women have always worked- hard. Sometimes they even get paid. (!) The Proverbs 31 woman was a successful investor, she made money, lots of money. She was good at what she did. But there are years of a woman’s life when she needs the freedom to pour all that drive and intelligence and giftedness into her family. It is the wise man who does what he can to make that happen.~ Diane