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Hi, welcome to our blog! We are newlyweds living in Memphis, TN. We love life, adventure and of course each other. We're starting a blog to keep track of any and 'all things Jacques' so we can look back and cherish memories from our first year of marriage. We'll be sharing memories, I'm sure a lot of our dog Bella, favorite recipes, books, trips, spiritual thoughts, home projects, and anything we're enjoying in life at the moment! We hope you enjoy as well. Much love, Michael and Rachel Jacques

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Monday, August 19, 2013

The Virtuous Wife - "a woman of strength"


Here I am nine months after my husband, Michael, and I said our vows. It's amazing to me what God has done with our marriage in that short time. And not only during that 9 months but I have felt Him working in our lives since we were engaged two years ago. From not having a church home, to finally finding a church that we really enjoyed, to joining, coaching basketball (Mike), attending the Marriage and Laughter seminar in January and finally to God leading us and a few other couples to start our own Young Married Sunday School class, He has truly been working. I have seen one of the biggest changes in my husband's heart which completely melts my own. The man that used to be on a time frame in church and didn't like to read the bible, now beats me getting up and ready for church and is probably more consistent with his quiet time than I am. I say all of this to show you how God is truly working because it is through Him that we have found this undescribable joy and fullness in our lives. Our marriage is only complete in Christ.

I have really taken pride and joy in being Michael's wife. I say in my letter to Michael on our wedding day that I was never the girl that dreamed about her wedding day. I dreamed about having a "big girl job", traveling, and life but that I could all of that and have the man of my dreams. Looking back, how silly was I to not dream about being married? I guess I was afraid of being fully reliant and dependent on A MAN. I mean, come on... they are just men. But God had assured me time and time again why I fell in love with Michael and why he is my partner and why I should be reliant on him. So, I strive to be the best wife I can be. In the beginning, that meant doing all the laundry (still try to do this because let's face it I don't want him doing mine :)), cooking most nights during the week, and other "wifely duties". However, it was soon clear to me that those things didn't make a home. It wasn't going to feed my husband's heart and I started thinking was I really living the life of a Christian wife and doing the things God called me to do?

This is really when we began to get more involved in church. We bought Michael a bible, we began having quiet time together one Monday mornings to reflect on what we learned during the sermon on Sunday, and we've tried to do a bible memory verse each month. We also try (although we have been really bad lately) to read from a couple's devotional, "The Love Dare" each night before we go to bed. Also, little things such a prayer before every meal, even out at restaurant has become a staple in our marriage and something that him and I look forward to.

As I continue to think about what it means to be a Godly woman and wife, I decided I was going to reflect back on one of my favorite chapters in the bible - Proverbs 31 (specifically vs 10-31). I'd like to do this on the 6th of each month (Michael and I were married on October 6, 2013) as a reminder. You may be very familiar with this. It is the "token" Christian wife scripture. However, I think it is much more than that and can be applied to all women. There are so many things we can learn from this annonymous woman. Over the next couple of months I'm going to be writing about my journey through Proverbs 31 as I dive a little deeper. I have found this blog as an outlet for me but also if I can help any women, encourage just one of you, then that makes pleases God and makes me happy.

I'll begin by saying what in the world is a VIRTUOUS wife? It sounds pretty cool doesn't it? I feel like a little kid in class raising my hand saying "I want to be one! Pick me!". A virtous wife, in a literal sense, means "woman of strength". Now I'm really waving my hand in the air wanting God to pick me. But the truth is, God offers this to any woman, not just a select few. So why is this meaningful? And what does being a woman of strength mean?

1. I think this is meaningful because God said so. :) God has created Eve from Adam's flesh (or to be literal Adam's rib, Gen 2:21-22). Notice the key reasons God created women in the verse below (I've bolded them).

Genesis 2:18 – 24
18) Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." 19) Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20) The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21) So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22) The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23) The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." 24) For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25) And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Adam couldn't do it alone. He needed a "helper sutiable for him". Notice that it didn't say just any ole helper or another man. He needed a woman, and the right woman at that. God knew exactly which woman Adam needed and he created Eve. And it's important that it was a woman, not a man, because God knew that men needed the kind of helper that would be emotionally supportaive and posses different qualities than a man.

God also says that a virtuous woman's worth is far above rubies (Proverbs 31:10). Did you know that rubies are worth more than diamonds? Let's put it this way, if diamonds are a girls best friend, then rubies are a girls soul mate. :) I'm not a jewelry expert but I believe it is in part because they are so rare. Also in vs. 10 it states "Who can find a virtuous woman" indicating that virtuous women, like rubies, are also rare. In other words, a women who is virtuous is precious to God. So, we are VERY important to God's design, ladies.

2. What does being a woman of strength (a virtuous woman) mean? Does it mean strong in the literal sense? Probably not... although having a strong and healthy body does help you be more confident and more active which leads to being a healthier woman and wife. A woman of strength indicates the kind of woman that the woman in Proverbs 31 is. She knows what she believes. She loves the Lord and can handle anything that comes her way because she has the Lord on her side. She not only takes care of her family but she works, and works hard not only in her home but outside of her home as well - volunteering, working with her hands, making investments/ she makes thoughtful decisions on behalf of her family. Geez, she is pretty great. When it comes down to it I think it's all about her heart and her intentions to do what is pleasing to the Lord and what is right for her family. If you don't have your own family yet, that means to your parents and friends.

Over the next month I'll go through the verses and we'll see what all of her characteristics are. I'd like to focus on them one at a time to reflect on what they really mean and how to practice them in everyday life. The first part we'll be focusing on is the verses below:

"The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain." Proverbs 31:11

Until next time,
R &M