My Instagram feed was filled with photos of mothers and daughters captioned by inspirational quotes nodding to strong women everywhere. Even though I am a woman, I felt the day didn't apply to me much since I'm not "raising women". Literally 100% of my energy is spent on keeping tiny little men alive, but with each double tap on a post, my mindset began to change. I realized that even though I am currently only raising boys, this day can be for them too. As the following days passed, my mind continued to turn regarding International Women's Day which led to a post stirring in me.
Simultaneously to International Women's Day, God had placed Proverbs 31 on my mind, not for myself, but for my sons. It's not a coincidence that I have been praying this portion of scripture over my boys and their future wives during the very month designated to women.
Using Proverbs 31, I put together 5 things I want my sons to remember on International Women's Day.
1: Treasure her.
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Proverbs 31:10 NIV
View your wife as God does, a precious treasure, worth more than any physical prized possession here on earth. Cherish her more than you would a brand new truck. Value her more than the upcoming soccer game. Live a life where she knows, after God, she is your top priority.
2: Trust her.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. Proverbs 31:11 NIV
If you marry a woman of noble character, there is no reason to micro manage her, or use your authority to control her. There will be times when you need to make the final decision, but there will also be times when your wife needs to make the final call. When that is the case, trust her. Establish a full confidence in her, so when she needs to make an important decision without you, she knows you will have her back.
3: Support her.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing. She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises. She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day. She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden. First thing in the morning, she dresses for wok, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She’s sees the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking. Proverbs 31:13-19 MSG
Whether your wife desires to be an entrepreneur, in the military, a CEO, a stay-at-home mom, or all of the above, be her personal cheerleader. Let her hear your support from the sidelines as she does her thing. Be her ongoing support while she is strong and be her brace when she feels weak. Don’t snuff out her dreams, but create an environment where she can flourish.
4: Encourage her.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a women who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:28-30 NIV
Women never grow tired of hearing words of affirmation, whether it be in regards to their physical appearance, their character or their cooking. The atmosphere you create in your home will portray itself in your wife and eventually your children. The words you speak will radiate from her as she goes about her daily tasks. Praise her for her noble character and her fear of the Lord, and watch her relationship with God blossom even more.
5: Honor her.
Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:31
Your words have the power to build your wife's reputation. A virtuous women can rest assured knowing the way you speak of her to your friends, co workers and children will only heighten her character. Let your honor for her be known privately by making it a priority to listen to her desires and let honor for her be known publicly by the way you serve her. Open the door for her, allow her to go first, and meet her needs before your own.
Bonus number 6: Celebrate strong women, but also celebrate the women who raised them.
When you come across the woman God created for you, celebrate her! Rejoice, because you have found a good thing and received favor from the Lord. In the midst of this celebration though, remember to also celebrate the woman who raised her. Raising strong children is hard and every mother deserves to be celebrated.
The world will always be screaming in my boys faces about women's equality and independence from men, especially on this day, so I feel it's my job as a mother who is raising Godly men to open the discussion while they are young. It’s my job to teach them how to celebrate women the way the Word tells us to.
Happy International Women's Month!