I realize, as an adult, how much a spouse affects your marriage, ministry and life. The choice of a good spouse is extremely vital.
I waited 28 years to meet the right spouse and marry him, but, though that was longer than I planned, it was such a blessed wait and fruition. My spouse is a godly, encouraging, sacrificial and loving leader. Because of him, I can be busy in ministry with joy, rearing boys in a Biblical manner and grow in my own spiritual maturity. He protects me from worldly influences that will harm me and slow down my sanctification, and he cheers me on when I am obeying God--all with a huge dose of love and humility.
Of course God has a perfect plan for both my boys--including their choice of spouse, but, even in His sovereignty, He wants me to pray about my requests, instruct my boys in Biblical wisdom and do my best, with the strength and direction of the Holy Spirit, to model righteous behavior of a wife in marriage.
You might ask, "What can I do as a mom?" Mine are almost 4 and 7. Isn't it a little early to be thinking about their marriages and spouses?
Not at all! They are watching and taking mental notes! How am I modeling how a Christian wife should act and speak? My boys are at home a lot, and they constantly see how I interact with my husband. Do I want them to find a wife who acts like I act? That is a powerful question, and a very important indicator of what they will consider "normal".
If I am submitting to my husband, helping him in life and ministry, and encouraging him as a helpmate, my sons will see this as the "norm" for what a wife does. Later in life, if they find themselves spending time with girls who argue constantly, girls who assert prideful authority over them, and girls who concern themselves with her own interests over God's or my boys', they should bristle with the sense that this is not right. They will realize they need to end that kind of relationship. That kind of girl should feel "off" and "uncomfortable" to them.
Most importantly, I pray they find it very normal and familiar to find a girl who loves God more than anything--putting her love into action and obedience to Him. May they seek a Christian not just in title and church attendance, but a Christian in reality--having a changed heart, loving God with her all, bearing fruit in her life, including in how she is interacting with anyone courting or dating her.
I want them to be blessed by finding a girl who behaves like their mom. Am I living up to the description I list above? How do I know?
Well, first I need to inspect my time. Most importantly, is God the center of my life? Is this apparent in the time I spend in Bible study, prayer, devotions, serving at church, fellowshipping and training my children in the Word? I KNOW I want my sons to find a wife who puts importance and priority on God and the pursuits of His kingdom. Am I training them that this is how she should behave and spend her time?
Also, regarding time, am I spending a majority of my time on selfish pursuits--participating in pasttimes often for my own glory or selfish pleasure, spending time with friends to the detriment of my duties and family's needs, shopping excessively to please my vanity, being obsessed with my appearance, or making an idol of my beauty routines--or, rather, am I spending a majority of my time serving God and my family? Am I counting others more significant as myself as Philippians 2:3-4 commands?
Is my time spent helping my husband with a happy heart? Do I clean without complaining? Do I make meals with love, often considering what meal will bless my husband with health and enjoyment? Do I ask him how I can help him that day with a sincere hope that there is a way I can, even if it means an extra errand? Do I demonstrate joy in my role as a homemaker and wife?
Second, I need to inspect my speech. Am I building up my husband? Do I portray him as the leader and decision maker to my son? Do I say things such as, "Daddy works so hard for us. What a blessing to us! Let's pray for his day." "This is a big purchase. Mommy needs to ask daddy if this is something he wants our family to buy." Do I apologize when I make a mistake? "Mommy did not speak the way God wants her to speak. I should not have complained, or have gossiped, or have lost my temper. Please forgive me for sinning in my words and actions."
We all fall short. Of course, when we do, we repent and confess our sin before God. Then we trust He has given us all we need for life and godliness and we pick up tools we need in scripture to make progress, all with the help of the Holy Spirit. Then our aim is to grow in these areas.
We have to have a plan--we battle against sin with the help of the Holy Spirit and effort. Put off any sin and PUT ON righteousness--this is work! The work doesn't bring us salvation, but it is a natural behavior when one is a new creation in Christ. Stop watching the questionable TV show and spend the time doing devotions with your boys. Stop spending the money your husband would rather you didn't spend, and instead of the time you used shopping/spending, serve others with a specific, planned service. Come up with a specific plan and PRAY about it.
Realize that you are daily contributing to painting the picture of what your son will consider normal and good in a wife. If you have girls, you are helping to paint the picture of how they will behave in their own role as a wife.
May the brush strokes I add to the picture today be glorifying to God and a powerful influence in bringing a good and godly wife into my son's life someday.