Rejoice-able. This is clearly not a real word, but as I read Proverbs 5:18 (in the ESV), this non-word popped into my head:
“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.”
This proverb was written to a man, reminding him to not look to other women, but to find fulfillment and joy and satisfaction in his wife, specifically, the wife he married when he was young.
I thought, that’s the problem with all these marital issues, these guys need to start rejoicing with the wives of their youth again! Come on guys! But then that word came into my head:
I thought how the husband does indeed need to rejoice with his wife and how he needs to love her and care for her, but then I thought about the wife’s job. She must be in a place where she is lovable and rejoice-able. The wife has to have the heart and mentality of rejoicing with her husband and enjoying him. Faults and all.
Recently, my husband and I had the privilege of spending time with an older couple who clearly enjoyed one another and had been doing so for thirty years. My husband asked, “so, what is your secret?” The wife said, “probably accepting each other’s faults and weaknesses. And not just accepting them, but enjoying them.”
Enjoying your spouse’s faults? That sounds crazy! But it sounded so wonderful to me, and so freeing. We can’t necessarily change things about our spouse, but we can pray and enjoy the process and enjoy the relationship. Beautiful.
The verse in Proverbs continues with the wife being a lovely deer and a graceful doe.
Lovely. Graceful. I can’t help but thinking of Bambi’s mom – sweet, innocent, protective, strong.
These are the kind of words that describe our job as the wife. Seems pretty simple. We just need to be lovable. Well then why is such a simple task so terribly hard at times?! I’m not a professional, but I do know my own selfish heart, and I know that it’s hard to be lovable because of my own thoughts, my own selfish way of holding on to things and letting frustrations dictate my ability to rejoice and to be lovely.
To be raw and honest, in my home and in my marriage, my husband has so patiently led me and shown me that it’s hard for him to love me like he’s supposed to when I’m not huggable. We call it being prickly. You can’t hug and hold a cactus or a porcupine. I’ve learned that I need to let down my prickly defense mechanisms and allow myself to soften and be humble and grow in being lovable.
How can we be lovely, graceful, rejoice-able wives?
After I read Proverbs, I read Deuteronomy 10:12 in my “You-Version” reading plan, and it was almost like God was giving me the “how-to” because read this! Moses was teaching the Israelites, but it absolutely pertains to us:
“what does the Lord require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul…”
The key to being rejoice-able, lovely, and graceful is:
To fear God, to walk in His ways, to love Him, and to serve Him heart and soul.
This isn’t a perfect formula. We are imperfect wives loving imperfect husbands; however, there is beauty in the midst of the rough edges as we seek to please God in being the best wives to our husbands that we can be. And as my husband teaches, we can only be responsible for ourselves and our own actions and responses. So wives, we’ve got to be snakebirds in being lovable. Doing everything we can do, and letting God take care of what only He can do.