Is it possible to become a proverbs 31 wife before marriage?
I recently came across a lively discussion on my friend‘s Facebook wall.
The discussion was sparked by this post.
“At times we have to be realistic. The Proverbs 31 woman is seldom found in the girl you marry. She comes as a ‘potential’. Then as you nurture and nourish her, she gravitates towards the woman in Proverbs. “
My friend’s words touched a nerve and set off a ton of comments.
After reading the comments (and sharing my own .2 cents), I realized that a lot of times, single men and women feel pressured to become perfect spouses before they become spouses.
From the outside, singles are being taught to prepare for marriage.
Which is fine preaching by the way as long as somebody remembers to tell them that the preparation is for a heavenly groom, not an earthly one. (The earthly groom is just a happy beneficiary)
Now as singles begin to think about godly relationships and marriage, they inevitably start to think about the areas they may fall short.
“I am not a good cook. I don’t like to share my personal space. I hate picking up after others. I don’t trust easily. I want to still hang out with my friends without limitations e.t.c”
Yet, on the outside they continue to hear about the virtues of a Proverbs 31 wife.
But on the inside they see how much they fall short. And the clash of “reality” vs “hope” begins.
As I thought about this tension and based on my own single experiences, two things came to mind.
1. On being a Proverbs 31 wife – potential challenges shouldn’t stop us from pursuing a dream
People who stop pursuing a dream because they heard the road was difficult don’t get much done in life.
Just because you heard “marriage is hard” is not reason to stop pursuing a godly relationship.
I think all marrieds will agree that there wouldn’t be a single marriage on earth if everyone gave in to fears and apprehensions at the beginning.
Of course apprehensions can help us make better decisions. But we must appreciate that success in life involves learning to overcome challenges.
The good thing about marriage is that you don’t (or shouldn’t) get married in a day.
The process of time – friendship , courtship, engagement – can help us confront and deal with some of the fears and apprehensions.
But you will never get the opportunity to face and overcome your fears if you don’t step on the road that leads to marriage.
2. There’s grace to do marriage (the same way there’s grace to be single)
As a single person, marriage was one of those things I desired but was always apprehensive about.
Like most people, I was living off the “singlehood grace” and it was completely lost to me that there could be another level, another grace tap into, on the other side of the altar.
In his awesome devotional Selah, Joseph Iregbu says
“It is not enough to desire to do great things for God; you must pursue the spiritual enablement that motivates and sustains it: Grace. …. do not make that pursuit (of the great things) a sheer act of will, without seeking the grace that will ensure it serves as God intends.” (brackets mine)
Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
Marriage is a great gift and blessing, one that many desire and pursue. But we must understand that the one-flesh journey, as God-intended, is a grace thing.
Grace does not eliminate issues and difficulties of course.
But it will help you overcome and attain the gift of a happy marriage and home. It will help you shed off your “single” mind and living and help you become one-flesh with your beloved.
Certainly you must prepare for marriage. And by prepare I mean be in the business of being whole and healthy and living intentionally.
But find peace in the fact that there’s grace reserved for the next level, grace that you might not entirely perceive now.
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