Friday, February 24, 2012

40 Days of Virtue: A Change of Priorities

Woven Leader Cheryl Simpson

"Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life."
Proverbs 31:11NLT
“How are you enjoying your retirement?”
Having retired in June of 2011, hardly a week goes by that I am not asked this question. With my heart bursting, and a lilt in my voice, my reply goes something like this,
“This is beyond what I thought the Lord had in store for me.”
My cup is truly running over! Although my days still begin as early as they did when I was working, I now have time for early morning workouts, caring for my granddaughters, and the luxury of spending quality time with the Lord.
Perhaps the greatest change is not so much the freedom of being off the “treadmill”. Instead, it is the change in my relationship with my husband Ken. In our thirty-six years of marriage, I began to realize that I had kept him at arm’s length, feeling as though there were not enough hours to fit him into my schedule. Throughout those years, many of which I was working two jobs, Ken remained loyal. He was the loving, kind and faithful husband that I had married and for which I am most grateful.

God really began to impress upon me the importance of prioritizing this relationship. While my activities were indeed noble all those years, Ken had truly taken a backseat. I am grateful to say that a new chapter in our marriage has begun. Today I am very conscientious of what an incredible husband God has given me. I am cautious of not being gone as many evenings in the week; careful to get the rest I need so that I can truly listen as he recaps his day, to really hear his heart. And, this leads my heart to spend more quality time in prayer for him.

Proverbs 31:11 speaks that the husband of the virtuous woman has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value or importance. To shorten this verse up, the writer is saying that her husband trusts her.
   He trusts her eyes. 
     What am I looking at today?
   He trusts her ears.  
     What am I listening to on the television, radio, gossip, etc.
   He trusts her heart! 
     Do I seek ways to express my love and devotion to him?

Martin Luther wrote about the virtues of a godly woman, sharing that she loves (fears) God and loves his house. Martin Luther also shared that the husband could be confident in her in all areas of living. I praise the Lord that my husband was long-suffering with me, so very patient just as our Heavenly Father is patient with us.
Friend, is it time for you to reorder your relationships?  To get your life into proper perspective relationally? This is what that should look like:  God first, your spouse second, your children third, then others. Pray that God will reveal the relationships in your life that are in disarray . Respect your husband. This is his greatest need from you. It will help your marriage move above and beyond your issues.
Cheryl is the grateful wife of 36 years to Ken. They have two children and five granddaughters. Previously a public school teacher, she now spends a good part of her week doing pastoral care for her church, Newark Church of the Nazarene.
She is a Woven Woman: a Woman of Virtue!

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