Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Becoming a Wife
My heart has been so full lately. Full of hope, full of excitement, full of a little bit of anxiety and a lotta bit of happiness. I'm still in shock that I'm someone's wife.
I've been thinking a lot on what it means to be a wife. As a child, I was the queen of the make-believe playhouse, complete with a husband and a child, played by my best friend and my sister. It was never a question--I was always going to be the wife if we were to play "house." They may have switched up their roles some, but I was always the wife, the mama. And to my little-girl-mind, that meant wearing one of my mom's aprons and opening the oven a lot, asking my "husband" how his day was, and brushing my child's hair. I daily watched my mom be a wife and a mom (and a great one, at that), and those are the tasks and duties I took from it.
Thank goodness that we grow up. If only that portrayal was the extent of what it means to be a wife, maybe then, I'd have it down pat.
But oh, dear friends, I'm learning daily that being a wife is so much more. So much more than playing house, so much more than the June Cleaver picture we all know. I have sweet, precious friends who have been praying for me for months...praying over this relationship between me and Andrew. Praying that my heart is ready to be a wife, and that I can somehow grasp, even if just the shell, of what it means to be a wife who glorifies God by serving and loving her husband.
I have such a long ways to go in my "wife" journey, but it's the most important role I'll ever learn in this life, second to being a worthy servant of the Lord. It's overwhelming yet thrilling, this task that is before me. I hope and pray daily that I remember the word "grace." Grace to myself, when I don't feel quite good enough, grace to my husband, when I feel like he's just trying to be difficult, and grace every other moment of the day. I don't know about you, but God's grace is an undeserving blessing that I am more and more grateful for as the days pass. Maybe it's the fact that I'm growing up and growing in Him and realizing how imperfect I am and how desperately I need it, but oh, goodness. Thank you Lord, for your grace.
Back in the days after we got engaged, we had lots of congratulations, of course. But one congratulation stuck out to me, one from a dear, dear friend who I may as well call my mentor. It was a congratulation of some sort, but more of a prayer, than anything. And I've saved that message ever since. No telling how many times I've read over it, wondering if I'm fulfilling my role as God would want me to. And yet again, I tell myself, "Grace, Rachel, grace."
The text message said this:
"Good morning, friend. Just thinking about you and all that you are about to embark on. I know wedding preparations are of precedence these days. Venue, music, flowers, photographer, dress.
My specific prayer for you over the next few months is that the Lord will cultivate an awareness of the important role of WIFE. A praying wife. A wife who esteems her husband. A wife who never chooses nagging. A wife who encourages. A wife who tunes into the idiosyncrasies of her husband. A wife who anticipates his wants and needs and happily obliges as if she is serving Jesus Himself. A wife who goes the extra mile when she doesn't feel like it. A wife who seeks to enjoy his interests. A wife who reaches out and says she's sorry even when she's "right." A wife who reaches out in a fight and offers the first hug. A wife who lays down her own life for her husband. THIS is Godly love in marriage.
The wedding hoopla will die down and you will soon learn a new (wonderful) reality."
So, to all the wives out there, to all the soon-to-be wives, or even the women who want to be a wife one day...read those words and cherish them like I have.
With every day that passes, I'm learning what it means to be a wife, and am eternally grateful for this man who made me his wife and for a Lord who loved us enough to let us do life together.