The Proverbs 31 secret, the secret of the burning heart

Ballista has written a couple of posts, here and here,  about the Proverbs 31 woman, and he was kind enough to link to one of my posts about same. We seem to be coming to the same or at least a very similar opinion on what the Proverbs 31 model is, and what Proverbs 31 idolatry has rendered in the churchian wife today.

In the ensuing comments after his second post there was some discussion about the preferences of women and how indulging them can yield needed benefits in the marriage that can supersede strict interpretation of rigidity regarding industriousness in Christian wives. If I am off in my paraphrase, then take mine as the positing of a straw man….I don’t mind. The point stands either way, and this straw man, while a potentially flawed tool in a specific argument, in this case actually exists in the back fields of many a marriage. So, let me take a swipe at him.

I posted there attempting to undo a couple of false dichotomies. (1, 2) Linked for back story, the specifics are not really that important.

What is important is the point I attempted to make about the unhappiness of the modern Christian woman verses the claims of pursuing engaging activities…activities of preference, that leave the wife in a better state to then meet the needs she maybe “just knows” (because maybe the husband even says so) are the important ones.

I  hope this post doesn’t come across as bitter grapes or picking on anyone because the point that follows is of equal opportunity. My thoughts took me to a recent Oswald Chambers daily I had read last week that spoke of our needing to learn the secret of the burning heart.

We need to learn this secret of the burning heart. Suddenly Jesus appears to us, fires are set ablaze, and we are given wonderful visions; but then we must learn to maintain the secret of the burning heart— a heart that can go through anything. It is the simple, dreary day, with its commonplace duties and people, that smothers the burning heart— unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus.

Much of the distress we experience as Christians comes not as the result of sin, but because we are ignorant of the laws of our own nature. For instance, the only test we should use to determine whether or not to allow a particular emotion to run its course in our lives is to examine what the final outcome of that emotion will be. Think it through to its logical conclusion, and if the outcome is something that God would condemn, put a stop to it immediately. But if it is an emotion that has been kindled by the Spirit of God and you don’t allow it to have its way in your life, it will cause a reaction on a lower level than God intended. That is the way unrealistic and overly emotional people are made. And the higher the emotion, the deeper the level of corruption, if it is not exercised on its intended level. If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many of your decisions as possible irrevocable, and let the consequences be what they will. We cannot stay forever on the “mount of transfiguration,” basking in the light of our mountaintop experience (see Mark 9:1-9). But we must obey the light we received there; we must put it into action. When God gives us a vision, we must transact business with Him at that point, no matter what the cost.

We cannot kindle when we will The fire which in the heart resides, The spirit bloweth and is still, In mystery our soul abides; But tasks in hours of insight willed Can be through hours of gloom fulfilled.

The Proverbs 31 woman, be it in the fields “managing” or in the home clipping coupons, found the secret of the burning heart. It hope it isn’t murky how the dots connect.


10 thoughts on “The Proverbs 31 secret, the secret of the burning heart

  1. No, no, no no. There was no talk at all about the preferences of wives. You know I like you, but I sense a little spinning going on here on your part.

    The talk was about the fact that some husbands, when the fruit of a wife who is trying to do it all comes up, make a conscious and unilateral decision to set the priorities they want their wife to focus on. Life is about tradeoffs and the decision to put one’s energies into one thing necessarily dictates that less energy goes somewhere else. The point we were trying to make is that the Scriptural position is that the wife is to submit to her husband’s prefernces, whatever those might be.

    I’m not sure what you were reading, but I saw nothing that indicated that we were advocating for a wife’s preferences taking priority.

  2. Now if you want to argue that our husbands are wrong for what they would prefer us to focus on or not focus on, be man enough to say that.

    Don’t make up an excuse to attack the “typical Churchian woman”, because the meme doesn’t fit, not in this case.

  3. Elspeth

    Im not sure how it keeps getting missed that I have repeatedly stated, if Im making up a hypothetical, I will accept that, and then I will forge ahead with that.

    There is not a spin. I am not as it seems to be perceived wanting to argue about Vanessa and her husband.

    Are my points valid if framed in a hypothetical? Yes, they are. And in that sense they are no different than any other blog post that is inspired by an exchange of comments that lead to the thinking in the post.

  4. Now if you want to argue that our husbands are wrong for what they would prefer us to focus on or not focus on, be man enough to say that.

    Don’t make up an excuse to attack the “typical Churchian woman”, because the meme doesn’t fit, not in this case.

    No, no feelings whatsoever about how any other man manages his home. I neither get too deeply concerned about how a particular woman manages herself and her marriage and home. I start responding generally when they sell their mistakes to a wider audience, which is not anything to do with what happened here.

    But I expressly stated that if my comments are not about the dialog from which they came, than I intended to make up the “typical churchian woman”….specifically BECAUSE if its not the case, it, as you say, doesn’t fit.

  5. “If I did that I would be bored”

    She was specifically referring the Peggy Bundy model of homemaking. Wouldn’t most women be bored with that? Not to mention they’d be a heck of a lot fatter than Peggy Bundy.

    But I see now where our communication broke down, even though I’m still unsure why that one snippet invited so much ire.

  6. I’ll just restrain myself to what I see here. I brought up Peggy Bundy as the anti-Proverbs 31 woman simply as an avatar of comparison, and to note as what most men are seeing that the modern woman only functionally brings the value of her own vagina (i.e. sex) into most marriages and has no desire to do anything else to be able to be of more value in her marriage. This has been repeatedly stated ad. infinitum in so many places that I can’t help to think it’s more common than not.

    For example, there’s more than a few examples I’ve run across of women (and yes dated one before I knew better) that would just starve to death if you only gave them raw materials for cooking (i.e. nothing pre-prepared), a well-stocked kitchen (want a pan, spoon, whatever, it’s there), and kept them away from take-out and other methods to get others to actually prepare the food. She simply couldn’t do it, wouldn’t try, and wouldn’t think of trying. It’s notably a reflection of their upbringing, but of their own natures as well. Literally with cooking these examples are…Peggy Bundy. I’ve also run into similar examples involving cleaning where their places were well below my standards (which is saying something if you knew me personally). Again…Peggy Bundy. Of course, the combination of the two isn’t exceeding rare either.

    I know with some women there’s an intent to personalize what is being written to believe that it is about THEM, but I really didn’t address anyone *specifically* in either of those two posts. Given the Titus 2:3-5 bent that religious followers should have, surely I would hope if men are seeing these examples of women, that the women who actually should be acting in Titus 2 regarding these same things would jump to action. Unfortunately the evidence is to the exact opposite to the point that I find posts every once in a while about “Christian women” refusing to rebuke promiscuity in women (i.e. “the sluts”) and even going after the men for dare breathing a word about it. If this is the case with sin, how much more so women who desire to be SAHMs who genuinely offer little to a man (if she doesn’t follow Marriage 2.0 and withhold that one thing she *can* offer) in return for feeling entitled to the world and everything in it by her husband’s hands.

    I got a thought one time reading some of Sheila Gregoire’s rantings against the manosphere about that. It was this: We wouldn’t have to be doing what we do in the manosphere if the women would do it in the first place. In other words, we’re doing what Shelia Gregoire et. al. should be doing.

  7. Anybody who reads the 31st Chapter of Proverbs objectively realizes that it no more describes the modern wife any more than the Song of Solomon realistically portrays ‘romantic’ love. According to the latest census figures, 3/4 children don’t even live with both their natural parents.

    As far as women’s preferences go; anybody can see what they really look like. The divorce, abortion, and out-of-wedlock birthrate is ample testimony to the fact that women—even ‘trad’ or Christian ones—aren’t worth shit to any decent man. The only tradeoffs involved is to bow to the almighty vagina or she jumps into bed with some lowlife in retaliation.

  8. I won ‘t indict anyone for jumping into bed with a lowlife as a first reaction….though that may follow the explosion of the marriage.
    This little exchange got me thinking about leadership again, and just as I went to bed last evening I jotted down, “leadership is not coercion”. That will be a post, the title is very misleading, sounding like a white knight sermon, but the thoughts are quite opposite. Not sure I will get to it on Easter Sunday. Folks about to wake up around here.

    I was/am a little bit surprised by some of the reactions to the points I was making, as ballista aptly observed, its not about any person, and I’d come to not expect that reaction from frequent posters in the sphere.


    Christ Himself split history, more than the usual BC/AD references, he actually carved it into some smaller pieces like with a slap chopper, because imagine, the world changed with each of His utterances….Every. Single. One. changed the world to before-He-said and after-He-said

    How much more the resurrection?

  9. This little exchange got me thinking about leadership again, and just as I went to bed last evening I jotted down, “leadership is not coercion”.

    Sounds interesting. I look forward to it.

    [dont do that….it could be a bust]

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