This is short, perhaps just the beginning of an idea, a discussion.
It’s partly about the word “just,” especially when it means “only” and carries the implication of a self- or externally-imposed limitation.
It’s about choice, even when others think your choice is beneath your potential.
It’s about judgment, and others’ failure to recognize that most of us have more or different dreams waiting behind the scenes to become the focus of our lives and choices.
A friend of many years recently revealed two things publicly that have been received with strong responses:
- her dream was/is to be a “classic American” wife and mother a la June Cleaver, and that this is her American dream
- she recently filed for divorce from her husband
Responses to the second all follow in the same vein: sympathy, compassion, prayers, offers of support.
But responses to the first revelation have raised eyebrows and generated various levels of judgment that her dream is wrong, undesirable, bad, as well as condemnation of examples of newer variations on the American dream as entitled, lazy, absurd, and more.
My first response was personal:
I congratulate your choice to want and to strive to be a Proverbs 31 woman, wife, and mother, though I am baffled at the idea that there is only one American dream, the one anyone refers to as “the” American dream. I would prefer that no one impose any dream on my life and choices, much less a uniform “American” one. I would also prefer that no one judge me for my choice of dream, but as God didn’t grant me control over others’ minds, alas, judgment happens. I love you, sister, and pray for you support, comfort, and peace as you make your best choices moving forward into a new life situation.
But my continuing ruminations led me to wonder what kind of man does God direct as a match for a Proverbs 31 woman. A simple Google search for led to mostly articles and commentary on a Proverbs 31 husband, but my favorite presentation referenced Ephesians 5 and really focuses on the man’s role in lifting up his wife the same way Proverbs 31 focuses on the woman’s actions and choices. Be sure to click on the “Ephesians 5 husbands” in the Searches related to “husband for proverbs 31 wife” at the bottom of the results.
25 gHusbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and hgave himself up for her,
26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by ithe washing of water jwith theword,
27 so kthat he might present the church to himself in splendor, lwithout spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.1
28 In the same way mhusbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
30 because nwe are members of his body.
31 o“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and p the two shall become one flesh.”
32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
33 However, q let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she r respects her husband.
I’m truly privileged to say that I can easily name 20 men in my regular circle of friends whom I believe and have witnessed who are Ephesians 5 husbands and women who are Proverbs 31 wives. I try hard to be a Proverbs 31 friend. And I dearly pray to God to send my friend her Ephesians 5 husband.
This is by no means the end of this discussion – whether in my own meditations with God or out loud with friends in person or online. I welcome your thoughts and especially your prayers for my friend and for all people to find the passion and acceptance to pursue the dreams they choose.