Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Good Wife

Married Student Studies as His Wife Serves Dinner to their Daughter

In the old days, Mothers used to hold a special place in the home for Fathers. The children were taught not to sit in his chair. They were taught to serve him first. They were taught to respect their Father as the head of the home.

But somewhere along the way, Mothers became more independent. No longer would they be like Edith Bunker, who did everything for her husband, during the height of the women's lib movement.

I like to think I take good care of Mr. White. I like to think I am a good wife. But yesterday I noticed something had been forgotten. I noticed him on edge and unhappy. I realized it was my fault.

I had been talking too much about the children's problems. I had been discussing money and bills. While these conversations have their place, it should not be the all-consuming - day-in-day-out focus of our home life.

When I realized this was happening, I remembered the old farm wives who used to make large meals and feed their weary husbands. They worked tirelessly for the comfort of their men - the providers.

I remembered sweet women, who were wives of great ministers - like Mrs. John R. Rice. I thought of her favorite book, which I have read numerous times. It was something she kept by her bedside and loved dearly. It was called, "God's Ideal Woman,"by Clifford Lewis.  It was written in 1941. Mrs. Rice wrote the foreword for this book. Then I thought of another amazing book, from the same publisher (Sword of the Lord), called, "Beautiful for Thee." This one was published in the 1970's. Ladies, these kinds of books were written before Women's Lib changed a culture. These old books teach us how to be good wives and mothers.

As I thought about these books, I knew what I had to do to cheer up my husband. I asked him if he was comfortable and I resolved to be silent. . .

I would be meek and submissive and concern myself only with the moment, and Mr. White's happiness here at home. This must be a place of refuge for him. It must be a place of peace and rest. So I went into the kitchen and made a delicious supper.  Then we both sat together and quietly read the newspaper. I kept all my opinions and thoughts to myself. I had to learn the art of silence. I had to learn that my husband needed quiet so he could recover from his own worries.

I think Mrs. Bunker had it right all along. She wanted to make sure Archie had his meals and his coffee and his special chair. She created a home for him, a place he wanted to be, despite the feministic pull of the world.  She created a place where she served him with love and devotion, and did her very best not to cause him any additional worries.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Inspired to work hard - What I Learned from My Husband's Weariness.

I Need to be Here - The Home Must Be Occupied.

A Little Visit - A Cozy Morning at the White House.

Find Home-keeping Inspiration, in Mrs.White's book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking.  Paperback, 274 pages.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Anonymous said...

This is SO very true! You really hit the nail on the head here with me...I have to work diligently to balance keeping him informed but not over burdened. We have been married 28 and a half years, and I still try harder every day to become a better wife. Love your blog!

Cindy said...

Great post and one I am so glad you shared. I'm a firm believer that when women's lib came along, it changed our society and our place as women. Oh how I wish we could turn back the clock but it doesn't work that way.

My goal and ambition in life has always been a good wife and mother, it was my dream as a little girl and even though I am no where near that age now, I still have the the same ambition.

It saddens me that our younger generation sees being a homemaker as "something as less than". To me and for me, it has ALWAYS been such a wonderful honor.

I love your blog, and btw, I am going to look into those books you mentioned. Thanks for sharing.


Debbie said...

I LOVE this post. Such a great reminder to me that I need to be a better wife. This is the second thing I've read lately, that reminds us to make our homes a safe haven for husband and children.
I think I'll keep this in the front of my mind and strive to make my home more of a sanctuary.

Thank you so much for writing about old fashioned values. We need more women like this:)


Closed said...

Thanks so much for the reminder. This has been an area of struggle for me lately, and this was just what I needed to hear (read!). Christ came to serve and not to be served. He is our example, so we should be serving the man whom He gave us, and the children that He blessed us with, and teaching them to do the same. The man is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church. Thanks again!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that post. I needed to b reminded of those truths you wrote.

Have a blessed day in THE LORD!

Matthew 6:33

Julianne said...

I loved reading this post, I too need to learn to keep my mouth shut more often. Our words have the ability to help and our words have the ability to hurt. And I believe it takes a really strong woman to be able to hold her tongue when necessary. It takes strength to be selfless in our selfish society. Christ was our prime example of selflessness, and if we follow his example then there is a peace and a joy that comes.
PS, I love the pictures you find to put in your posts!

Anonymous said...

This is a great post! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Great post!! I loved it and so agree. I feel so blessed to have a husband who is my best friend too - and loves talking to me. I think he likes to talk more than I do! lol!

Stopping by from the HHH!

Far Above Rubies said...

Good post. Thank you.

Unknown said...

God has been teaching this very same thing to me! In my practice of silence, I have also become more peaceful in my own heart!

Thank you for your special post.


Large Family Mothering

Anonymous said...

Great post! I am always amazed at how I can unintentionally fall into this world's feminist thinking even though I am very strongly against feminism. Thank you so much for the reminder and gentle nudge!
As to reply to Brit's comment from above. I can understand how you feel (I once thought the same way) but maybe you could think about how Edith was portrayed and treated in that TV series. It was so grossly exaggerated and manipulated to show that an obedient, submissive wife was not something to aspire to and, in fact,something to avoid. Whenever I have had those thoughts of "Why should I be the one to. . . instead of him?" the Holy Spirit always whispers "Because it starts with you". This is not a criticism, Brit, just some thoughts that I just wanted to share. Take care all of my sisters and keep fighting the good fight!
Blessings, Jennifer

Unknown said...

I echo Jennifer's comment, "Because it starts with you," and want to add that as I am struggling with this, I am burdened by the idea that I do not have the patience and faithfulness in PRAYER for my husband that I should. Rather, I feel the need to be the one to correct everything that I believe needs to change, rather than praying and waiting for it to be a stirring in his soul that prompts the change. Thank you for a wonderfully insightful post!

Anonymous said...

Um, the above comment was left by someone else's account by accident (shared computer, oops!).

Jami Balmet said...

What a wonderful post!! I love to hear other woman in this day and age speak like you. So often we are afraid to voice this {especially on the internet!!}. And yet if we are to have a Biblical marriage and a loving home then we should be talkng about these thnigs all the time. What a beautiful reminder to all wives out there. I am humbled by this message all the time and try to make a peaceful home for my hubby to come home to. I'm so happy I came across your site today. I will be back to read more :)

Stopping by from the Raising Homemakers Link up

Jami @Intentionally Living

Ehrica said...

Thank you so much for reminding me of what is really important. Our lives can be filled with so much stress when focusing our attention on bills, money and chaos. My husband and I are going to sit down today and see what things we would like to change and work on in our home, we are also going to focus on the positive things that we can build upon. Thanks again!

Jodi Jepson said...

Very encouraging thank you. I needed to hear this. I will look for these books on Amazon or e-bay right away, what a blessing it will be to have these. I appreciate you mentioning them!
In Christ, Jodi

Dimple said...

I have to remember to hold my tongue regularly. I have been married 30 years, by God's grace. I spent the majority of those years speaking my mind, correcting and demeaning my husband. I'm thankful we are still married!

The gentle quiet spirit which is so valuable to God is also valuable to my husband, and when I succeed in acting according to that spirit I find peace, and support which is better than that provided by people.

Thank you for visiting my blog today, it was nice to see your name in my inbox!

Lindsay J said...

I am a newly married gal who just had our first baby. Despite having a rebellious, "independent" mother and having come from a generation that strives to see both genders as no gender and label it equality, I am looking for different female leadership. It's been stuffed down my throat my whole life that being domestic in any way is practically agreeing to slavery.

This blog is shocking to me and refreshing. As much as I like what I read, it makes me nervous to imagine myself so wholly dedicated to serving my family (even though that desire is what brought me to this page). Even though my instinct is to care for my husband and family, I have to unlearn all I've been taught (kitchen = jail cell; and while you are working in there, do it with resentment).

Thanks for the perspective on homemaking that I've needed and searched for.

A Candle to Read By said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. I think "Eve' has fallen for the Serpent's lies once again in believing that her role is to serve herself. Although I work outside the home, I believe and live the role of the "helpmeet" as best I can. As wives, we take care of our husbands and children so that they can take care of the family as the earthly head of the home. I am not diminished nor turned into a second class citizen by doing their laundry or cooking for them. Those tasks are my true vocations. Sadly, our culture has rejected this and girls today will not experience the satisfaction in keeping the home and nurturing the family.