This fall I’m learning so much from cross country. I’m not the runner; I’m the mother of the runner, and as I watch and cheer, I’m observing. Last week a large group of girls gathered at the start, some shooting out fast from the line to take front positions, but they couldn’t sustain it. The winners were those who were committed to their goal, prepared to go the distance, and wise enough to set a good pace.
When was the last time God brought a painful challenge into your life as a wife? As if to work out the P31 gal’s endurance in my own heart in a fresh way, just yesterday the Lord led me to a low place. (You can read the nitty gritty here.) I wrestled between my fleshly desires and my godly ones. A hardship tempts us to cast aside the goal of godliness with excuses like, “That Proverbs 31 wife isn’t even realistic!” The pain suggests we weren’t prepared for something “that disappointing.” We might be inclined to just flop down, burst into tears, and whine out our troubles as if we can not be victorious … aka “meltdown.”
In circumstances that stretch us in life and marriage, we do our husband’s good by resisting the urge to fall apart and striving, instead, to persevere in a godly response. In times of hardship, excellence endures. A challenge involving pain gives us opportunity to do our husband “good” by contributing our endurance.
Oh, Lord, help us be women of excellence who:
- commit to the goal of godliness, staying focused on that goal when we are under life’s assault
- go the distance and embrace the extra mile it takes to be excellent
- set a pace of wisdom we can sustain in our married life
P31 isn’t just a sprinter; she is diligent all day, she makes the most of her available time, she provides what her household needs, and sets her selfishness to do what’s best for her loved ones (vv. 14-15, 18). On the cross country trail, as well as on the marriage trail, there will be women on the course who don’t take their training seriously, and it will show in their lack of victory and in the condition in which they cross the line, if they finish. It was show in their husband’s spirit, freedom, and prosperity. Is he carrying an extra load, or doing life alongside a woman of endurance?
There’s no doubt the course is hard, including challenges that promise pain. We’ll see it on the faces of those around us, and we’ll display it in our own. Marriage isn’t for those who lack commitment to the goal, readiness to go the distance, and wisdom in pacing. The teams that win are teams that endure. Let’s make our husbands glad we’re on their team!
What challenge has God allowed in your life to give you the chance to endure with your man?