by Tracie S. Burns
Everyone has heard of the term, “the next good thing,” or “the next best thing!” Salesmen will use this term to sell their new product. This phrase will convince the consumer that they are ahead of their friends in status if they own this product because it is the “next GOOD thing!”
When a good thing comes along, it changes life for the recipient. It can make life easier, less stressful, more productive, and more beneficial. When the automobile was invented, it made the world more accessible to humankind. When the commercial jet was put into service, no longer did people have to travel across the ocean for months and months on an ocean liner. Now, within hours, they could travel throughout continents!
In 2000, as newlyweds, my husband and I splurged and bought a cell phone. I remember feeling like it was totally unnecessary, but my husband was insistent that it would help us and make life easier. We shared that cell phone for almost two years. Eventually, we took the plunge and each purchased our own phones. At the time I was hesitant, but again my husband was resilient, stating it would give him a peace of mind when we were apart at our separate jobs. In 2004, I was on my way home from work, driving through an extremely busy freeway interchange downtown when my truck quit running! I was traveling in the far left lane (the fast lane), and the traffic was heavy and pressing in around me. Because I could not get over to my right with the freeway so packed, I pulled quickly to my left into a small shoulder of the road that was barely the width of my truck. There I coasted the truck to a stop. I could not even open the driver’s door to get out of the truck because the concrete wall was inches from my window. With shaking hands, I dug in my purse for my cell phone and called my husband to come rescue me! From that day, I have never doubted the great benefit— the good thing—of having a cell phone! Recently, I told my husband that my cell phone was pretty much my work computer; I cannot perform my job, or my life, without it!
Proverbs 18:22 says, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.”
For all the wives, and those planning to be a wife, God calls us a GOOD THING! In addition, those lucky guys who married us (or who will be married someday) will obtain favor from the Lord! I would have to say that being a wife is a benefit for everyone!
However, there is a caveat here. In order to be a good thing as wives, we must STAY a good thing. A good thing, when it ceases to perform the function it was intended to perform, becomes a detriment to the recipient. When that cell phone my husband and I shared stopped working correctly by dropping calls and not holding a charge, we were ready to chuck it straight into the garbage! That cell phone became a massive frustration and was nearly useless. For all appearances, it was indeed a cell phone, but it was not doing the job of a cell phone in the ways it was created to function.
Marriage is a God-ordained institution. God, ON PURPOSE, created a wife for Adam. We were not an afterthought or a Band-Aid on God’s mistake. We were in the plan all along! How spectacular is that, to think that God waited a tad, let Adam see his shortcomings, and then gave him Eve to make him whole!
Titus 2:4-5 says, “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
God would not have asked the aged women to teach these things to the young women if He did not consider the things imperative to these young women in becoming good wives, mothers, and church members. Titus 2:4-5 gives us the formula that God wants for us to stay that GOOD thing!
Sober is having disciplined thinking. So much can be said for the dangerous road that can be traveled in a woman’s mind when she is not letting God control her thought life! My husband has jokingly said about women and their uncanny knack for overthinking things, “You women just think too much!” He is meaning that we dwell in our minds on things that we cannot change or fix instead of just letting God handle the things that are not ours to handle. Philippians 4:8 gives a perfect formula with which to measure those things we dwell on mentally. If it does not meet the Philippians 4:8 criteria, it is not worth keeping in our minds. A consistent diet of Bible reading, praying, and telling others about Christ will help keep our minds clear and Christ-honoring.
“…love their husbands…”
Love is a directed affection! It is not the warm, fuzzy feeling I get every morning while I drink that first cup of coffee; love is an action! As wives, we should put our love into action every single day. Dr. Hyles used to tell us as Bible college students that a boyfriend and girlfriend should show each other that they love each other in a thousand ways before they ever utter the words “I love you” to each other. If we love him, it should SHOW! Be interested in him, in his interests, and in his work for the Lord. Work alongside him in his ministry (bus route, Sunday School class, nursing home service, etc.) Let us not only say “I love you” every day several times a day, but also show that love in even more ways.
“…love their children…”
Loving our children comes naturally for us as mothers. God has put in us a natural love of our children, but according to God’s Word we must also show our love through disciplined child rearing. I could stop here and teach a whole other lesson on disciplined child rearing, but I will lightly touch on it by saying, we must never let our children come before our husbands. Motherhood’s early days of sleep deprivation, feedings every 2 to 3 hours, and unexplained crying are enough to try one’s soul, but we must set principles for raising our children long before we ever change that first diaper. Without principles, soon that child will run our houses and our marriages will suffer as a result. As wives and mothers, we set the temperature—the spirit—of the home. If there is turmoil in the home, many times it can stem back to Mom forgetting to let her principles make her decisions in child rearing and not letting her mood in the moment call the shots. When we set and adhere to principles in disciplined child rearing, we will preserve our husband’s affection, and as a result, our children will learn through observation to love and respect their father.
Principles and boundaries on what will be discussed concerning our marriage and with whom it will be discussed will save our marriages! Mom and Mother-in-Law are never, ever to be our confidant or counselor for our marriages! Mom and Mother-in-Law should think our husbands are the best men on the planet. The world should think that my husband is the most amazing man to have ever lived because I have nothing but fantastic things to say about him! God has put a counselor in each of our lives called a pastor to help us when we need counsel concerning our marriages. Otherwise, discretion should always, always, always rule the day when it comes to discussing our husbands!
Being chaste requires a disciplined purity. We should strive to keep our thinking pure by ingesting into our minds only things that hold to our biblical principles. We are the gatekeepers for much in our homes: TV, internet, movies, books, magazines, conversations, etc. When something does not align with biblical purity, our principles should tell us to turn it off, throw it out, or change the subject. When our thinking is not right spiritually, we should go straight to our Bibles and ask God for help. Also, for when things mentally become overwhelming, let us never underestimate the power of just taking a nap!
“…keepers at home…”
Keeping a good home requires disciplined housekeeping. Now I will stop here to say, I rarely have a perfect house. Most of my adult life I have worked full-time and I understand that when it comes to keeping house with a job, husband, kids, and church work, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! Maybe we can just be okay with the fact that instead of the mountain of laundry being dirty, it is on the couch all washed and clean (albeit still a mountain). I would rather focus my time in the home on keeping the hearts and minds of those living in my home clean and pure. Many have gotten their priorities misaligned when their houses are sparkling and spotless but filled with worldly individuals who do not put the Lord first in their hearts and minds.
Good is disciplined service. “Doing good” is not a “being,” but a “doing!” What are we doing good for others? Yes, it is easy to do good in those things that come naturally for us (like loving our children), but what are we doing good outside of our home? Many Christian ladies let their husbands and children be a crutch or an excuse to avoid service for God. Most churches would fold without hardworking, Christian ladies. Ladies keep the nurseries, teach a bulk of the Sunday School classes, serve as secretaries, and are the official huggers on bus routes. Ladies have the natural ability to bring warmth and acceptance to greeting a church visitor and making that visitor feel at home. What are we doing for God OUTSIDE of our home that will bring honor to the name of Christ? Whose name have we brought to the Lord in prayer this week that is not a family member or close friend? Let us never underestimate the abilities God has given us to serve Him in our local church and in the family of God!
“…obedient to their own husbands…”
Disciplined submission is no easy task, but we can all find security and comfort in being submissive in the areas in which God intended for us to be submissive. I come from a long line of strong women. My grandmother was a World War II British war bride who left her entire family behind on the shores of England to follow her “Yank” to America in 1946. She never knew if she would see her family again, but as she told me once, “Your grandpa was the man I chose and married. I was going to follow him because that is what a wife does!” She was not saved at the time, but even she knew what her role was as a wife. My mother was a teen and young adult during the feminist revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. She was a tiny, 5’1” spitfire that, as I watched over the years, put her “strength” aside and trusted my dad when he was leading. She once told me, “Spiritual submission does not mean being a doormat! It means a feminine strength residing under God’s control.” We must trust the men whom God has given us to lead us! God wants us to trust them with the small things and the big things. Let us ask them for advice and allow them to talk while we listen. A great man understands his necessity for a wife with her feminine thoughts and opinions, and most likely, he will desire to know his wife’s advice and ideas also!
Let us all work throughout our lives to stay that “GOOD thing” that God intended us to be. God has given us as women a great formula in the Bible to fulfill our God-given roles! We are needed and necessary in the plan of God, but we must constantly be cultivating ourselves with the fertilizer of Scripture. Great things can happen when we all decide to become and continue being what Proverbs 18:22 calls, “…a good thing,…”