As a woman, my emotions could be so strong that I allow them to control my decisions, thus shaping my character. Being that I want to be a biblical woman and not a worldly woman, I need to turn to the Bible for guidance and direction to become the woman God wants me to be.
Today on the podcast we are finishing up our series on Proverbs for Couples as we discuss Part 2 of the 10 Qualities of a Godly Wife. If you haven’t listened to Part 1 yet, you can catch it here.
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Eric Engle: Hi. This is Eric Engle with my beautiful wife Jolene, for another episode of the Marriage Mentor podcast. You will join Jolene and I in part 2 of the 10 Qualities of a Godly Wife. We had to split this up because it was so long, so let’s just back into it and we’ll get going.
Number 5: She submits herself to God’s Word.
Jolene Engle: She does and you know, it’s kind of like, Are you submitting yourself to God’s Word or to your emotions or to the culture or to your past? Because there’s a lot of areas where we could say where we’re going to submit and you’ve got to be able to make sure you’re submitting to:
A) the One Who matters.
B) the One Who is always right. Okay.
God’s Word is always right.
Eric Engle: And this is something that was on the men’s list as well.
Jolene Engle: Right and I put it here for a reason. It’s Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and that part is key, you know, not leaning on your own understanding because we do that.
Eric Engle: Because I think I know what’s right.
Jolene Engle: Right. And in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. See, you’re looking for God to guide you. I’m looking for God to guide me because I’m not that bright. Okay. I want God’s will for my life, not my will. God’s will be done, not my will.
Eric Engle: Okay. That’s easy to say. It’s a little harder to do, isn’t it?
Jolene Engle: Yes, it’s very difficult to do because as I said earlier: “I’m my own little mini-messiah.” It’s just like oh, Jesus, He’s my Messiah, He’s my Savior, He’s my Lord but my actions and attitudes will determine who is truly the lord of my life.
Eric Engle: Okay. So when she submits herself to God’s Word that means that God has said some things about marriage and about what being a Godly wife means and most of the time, well, all the time, it’s contrary to what the world says. Then it’s contrary to the advice you get from Christian friends and from the t.v.
Jolene Engle: Right. Well, and the Bible is a pretty simple book. The instructions that are laid out are simple so if we could just have that childlike faith and say “yeah, I’m going to embrace that and watch what God does”, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense to us. Okay. What matters is, am I going to be obedient and follow Jesus?
Eric Engle: Well, you know, submitting yourself to God’s Word, in essence, that’s following what God’s Word says, you know, and I think about putting something together, at least as a man, you know, I tend to look at the picture and go, “okay, let me put this thing together.” And I only go and read the instructions when I start screwing it up. Maybe that’s a man thing; maybe that’s just me. But why don’t we go to the instructions first and we won’t get it wrong?
Jolene Engle: I can’t answer why a man won’t. I could say as a woman my emotions could be so powerful, so strong, which is leading me. I’m allowing my emotions to lead me more so than the Word of God or the Holy Spirit. Okay.
Eric Engle: And emotions will deceive us.
Jolene Engle: Oh yeah, I mean, emotions deceived Eve. Okay. She was deceived because she wanted to be like God. I mean there was so much there for her back in the garden that, you know, unfortunately, a lot of women will, and it’s sad, they’ll e-mail me or they’ll leave a comment on Youtube or a comment on my site, well, they’re all arrogant. These women will be so arrogant and say, well just because some woman thousands of years ago was deceived doesn’t mean that I’m going to be deceived. I start laughing because I said that!
Eric Engle: Just in that statement shows that they’re deceived.
Jolene Engle: Right and I can remember reading that portion in Genesis and thinking well just because Eve was deceived doesn’t mean that I’m going to be deceived. It was arrogance and deception. Okay. So I’ve walked through that and not only did I have that arrogant thought but then, later on, I was deceived in other areas. So, I’ve just kind of learned, okay, just accept God’s Word. I don’t need to argue with it. I don’t need to argue with God’s Word.
Eric Engle: Well, once again, the premise that we talked about before is that if you cannot speak anything into existence as God can then I would submit that He is brighter than we are.
So, number 6: She watches over her household.
Jolene Engle: She does. Proverbs 31:27-28: She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her. You know I often say that I’m at my post. There’s a prioritization, you know. When I look at this portion that says, she watches over her household… There’s a diligence there (not just watching the pot of boiling water.) laughing
Eric Engle: What are you watching for?
Jolene Engle: I’m watching the hearts of the home.
Eric Engle: So expound on that.
Jolene Engle: I’m checking to see the pulse. When my kids were little I was checking to see, Are they learning, am I training them, are they understanding the way I’m training them? Because I have an obligation and a responsibility to train them up in the ways of the Lord. Okay. That is my responsibility as a Christian parent. Okay. Now I could be lazy in it and I have been lazy in it and I think, oh yeah, I was too lazy in that area and I can see it in my kids today or go back and try and be more diligent in it but there’s a diligence there and a responsibility of a wife to look at what is the tone of the home? Okay. ‘Cause we hear the saying mom sets the tone of the home.
Eric Engle: And you mentioned the diligence so this is an ongoing thing of maintenance, making sure, are the hearts right?
Jolene Engle: I’m like a watchman on the wall.
Eric Engle: Right, right.
Jolene Engle: When my kids were younger it was a little bit different than how they are today. By the time this podcast is done Noah might be 16, and we actually have another young man, teen boy, who lives with us that we’ve had for the last couple months now. He’s 17 and Seth is 17. So, my home is filled with testosterone, boy smell.
Eric Engle: Yeah, yes.
Jolene Engle: You know, and I’m the one that’s doing the nurturing of the hearts and I’m asking and I’m seeking, where are you at and you know, my sons, they’ll plead with me, mommy can you go talk to daddy? You know, because I’m like the queen over here that they’re petitioning. Hey, go speak to the king on our behalf because the husband is usually a little more harsh and because I’m with the kids more than you, I’m understanding their hearts better than you do so I could go to you and say, Hey, can you think about this? Can you consider this? Can you talk to him about this… his feelings were hurt about that. This is ongoing, to making sure that the hearts are close to Jesus, the hearts are close to each other, and the family unit is representing Christ. Okay. ‘Cause a lot of people will look at that verse and just think, well, the dishes are done and the laundry is clean. She watches over the ways of her household. I take that verse totally different because I’m looking at…
Eric Engle: Well, the dishes and the wash: I mean-big deal.
Jolene Engle: Well, it is a component.
Eric Engle: I understand it is a component but when you compare that to the hearts of the family and of the husband and such, it’s not a big deal versus, you know, I’ll take dirty dishes. I get tired if there aren’t any glasses but I’ll take dirty dishes over broken relationships in the home.
Jolene Engle: Right, right. So I had to learn that people over, you know, stuff and order, ‘cause I love order. I could be full on OCD. Full on, but then everyone else in the house would be walking on eggshells.
Eric Engle: I think my dirty socks laying on the floor would have solved that problem. Has it not?
Jolene Engle: That’s where you kind of learn to be gracious. It’s just like: Is this something that I want to go to battle for?
Eric Engle: Hey, real quick, when we’re talking about Number 6: She watches over her household, touch real quickly, what does that mean when the boy brings the girl home?
Jolene Engle: Well, I want to know about her. Sit down on the couch. Share that with me. How’d you meet her? Let me see your instagram account. I mean, I’m asking all those questions because he matters to me and I want to protect him and I want to make sure, is she a moral woman? Okay. I was an immoral woman who then became moral. Okay. But there was a transformation there. So I don’t have a problem with a gal who has a past. I just need to make sure it’s a past and not something that’s still happening in the present.
Eric Engle: Right, but you’re even watching for their outside relationships not just the relationship inside the home.
Jolene: Oh, sure! Sure, the young man who lives with us, well, we had a conversation with him the other day and I made a statement about, you know, do you think that I would act towards my sons in a certain way and he said no, you’re very nurturing, and I nearly fell off the couch because I’m like, nurturing? I would never think that would describe my personality or my character because I’ve had to work on it. It’s not something that I just naturally embrace.
Eric: But you watch over your household.
Jolene: And he knows ‘cause I watch over him now too. Every time I see him, when he comes home, I’m asking him, How ya feelin’, how’s this, how’s that, ‘cause I want to know about what’s going on in his life.
Eric: Okay. Number 7: She does not quarrel.
Jolene: (Laughing) At this point all the women who just heard this thought, well, you must be sticking yourself in the closet all day long and keeping your mouth shut because how do you develop…..
Eric: I am woman, hear me roar.
Jolene: I know and it’s disgusting to see how our culture is today but that’s beside the point.
Eric: C’mon. Come on back with me. Number 7: She does not quarrel. Tell me about it.
Jolene: (Laughing) Okay. Proverbs 21:19: Better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and angry woman. There’s three times in Proverbs that it refers to a contentious woman and I didn’t know what contentious meant as a Christian. When I read that verse, I thought, What on earth does that even mean?
Eric: Right. I think you asked me, what does that mean?
Jolene: I’m sure I asked you. I’m sure I probably looked it up. You know, I look up a lot of words because I have no clue what they mean and it’s funny because people will google that and it shows up on my search, on my blog because I wrote a blog post, Confessions of a former contentious woman. Okay. Because that’s who I was. And it means simply to contend, to argue, to oppose, to quarrel. You’re always in a constant state of that fighting.
Eric: You know, when you think about contending, I think about someone putting up their dukes. Okay. Putting up your hands ready to fight.
Jolene: Right. So when you look at becoming a woman who’s developing a character trait of one where she is not quarrelsome, I am sure that there are some young wives, millennial wives especially, that are just like, that’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard because they think that they’re losing, giving up their rights. Okay.
Eric: Okay. And they don’t have to contend to have influence. Okay. Because if they fight, they lose influence. They lose that favor.
Jolene: They’ve lost their voice. I had a woman that I was mentoring for a while and I said, well, you’re called to follow your husband and she kept saying, well, does that mean I’m going to lose my voice? And inside I would always laugh to myself because I thought, Woman, you have no voice in the marriage. Your husband doesn’t even want to be around you so you have no voice. The voice you are using today is repelling him. He doesn’t want to be near you. And so her fear was, well, if I follow him, that means I’m going to lose my voice. It’s just like, do you not get it?
Eric: It’s the only way she’s going to gain a voice.
Jolene: Right, right. So the more quarrelsome a wife is with her husband and don’t mistake what I’m going to say for you as in, always agree with everything. Okay. ‘Cause let me ask you, husband, do I always agree with everything you say?
Eric: Do you?
Jolene: Yes. (laughing)
Eric: (Laughing) How am I supposed to answer that? Of course not.
Jolene: Of course not.
Eric: It says not quarrel but the verse also uses the term “contentious”, okay, so it’s not just having a disagreement, we don’t agree, but I’m contending. I’m going to fight you. Bring it. You know.
Jolene: You have a spirit of, an argumentative spirit, all the time. You’re just ready for a throw down every second of the day with your guy because you’ve got to prove something to him.
Eric: Well, I’m smarter than he is. He doesn’t lead our family. He does this or that, you know. He doesn’t provide well or he doesn’t have a great relationship with the kids or he doesn’t treat them right or, so, all these excuses.
Jolene: He watches questionable shows that I don’t agree with, okay. I get all of those e-mails and comments so it’s just like, well, so what are you looking to do? Are you just looking to parent him and tell him he’s wrong and fight with him ‘cause you can take that path or do you want to take the other path to influence him towards godliness.
Eric: Well, and the Bible says, the Bible tells you clearly what a guy does but it says it’s better to dwell in the corner or a rooftop than it is with a quarrelsome wife or a contentious wife. And at the time that was written they would have, like, rooftop terraces with outside stairs that went up there so it’s like, I’m getting out of this house. I’m going to be separated. I’m going to live apart from this gal because it’s better for me to do that. Guys will retreat.
Jolene: They will retreat.
Eric: If you’re an argumentative wife the guy will just retreat. He’ll end up in his recliner, in the garage, watching t.v. when it’s 40 below zero, you know, and you’re wondering, what’s he doing out there?
Jolene: Well, ‘cause the wife is probably barking at him, telling him he’s doing something wrong, he didn’t take care of this, how come you’re always like that and so you have that side. You want to start developing a different attitude there, you know, instead of having that quarrelsome, argumentative, contending with him, always opposing him attitude.
Eric: Right, this brings, I’ve mentioned this before, but, we were in a restaurant at one point and I saw a guy there that I knew and he’s sitting at the bar and he’s sitting alone and it’s dinner time. Okay. It’s dinner time and he’s sitting there alone and I’m thinking, there’s something wrong with his marriage because he didn’t meet anyone but he didn’t want to go home. Okay. ‘Cause I’m sure he had a contentious wife at home.
Jolene: Well, there’s no effort to be contentious. We naturally default to that. That is our flesh filled state. Okay. So you have to combat that by walking in the Spirit and asking Jesus, help me not to be that woman today. I want to be that kind, accepting woman, you know, and you’re not going to be perfect in this. This is all progress. This is all growth. This is all becoming more like Jesus.
Eric: Okay. So Number 8: She’s gracious.
Jolene: Yes, Proverbs 11:16: A gracious woman gains respect. I thought that verse was awesome because as I write about Biblical submission and respecting your husband, I can’t even begin to tell you how many comments I get from angry women who say, well, what about him respecting me? Okay. And I’m thinking, girlfriend, just go be gracious. Be gracious and you’ll gain respect. Okay. But if you’re critical, you’re expecting what you’re dishing out, you’re dishing out garbage, and for some reason you think if you dish out garbage he’s gonna bake a cake with it and hand it to you. It’s like, why would you think that? Why on earth would you think that? They think that it’s going to produce different results, that their actions and attitudes will produce these loving results.
Eric: Well, and part of that goes back to being contentious ‘cause, it’s like, I’m going to assert my rights and being gracious, you know, here’s another example. We had a couple that, I don’t remember what the guy did, he did something that she didn’t like but his intentions were right. He was trying to do something good but he screwed it up. Okay. And she let him know, hey, you screwed this up. I don’t like it. You didn’t…that’s not being gracious. Instead, she needs to look at him and say hey, you know, he intended something good; it turned out bad; she should be gracious and show him love towards what he tried to do. You know? Here’s an example, we’ll use this example: Let’s say you have a child, a three year old child, he draws this picture and comes to you and says, mommy, I just drew this picture. You don’t look at it and go, well, that’s a crummy picture. I could do way better than that. I mean, you’re way outside the lines. You didn’t use the right colors. I mean who’s that supposed to be? Is that supposed to be me? You know. But you don’t do that. You show that three year old grace because they did something in love. They tried to do something for good and there is no grace there.
Jolene: Well, for some reason I can look back and in my journey of being that young mom, it was way easier, way easier to be gracious to my kids when they stumbled then to be gracious to you when you failed or faltered in some way.
Jolene: You know, I don’t know if it’s just a mom thing. I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s because….
Eric: You realize the child’s deficient and you don’t think the husband is? Hey, I got news for you. All us husbands, we’re all deficient.
Jolene: (Laughing) Yeah, maybe we think that, but maybe there’s a part of, okay, I’m shaping this child’s life so they need more or our help but then the flip side the Bible calls you the head of the home and you’re the spiritual leader of the homes so there’s this idea that, oh, our children are going to naturally not measure up because they’re kids and they’re learning. But then on the other hand, we think that you guys should have arrived.
Eric: I should have it all together. By the way, let me tell you right now: I’ve got it all together. Okay. Let’s just write that in the book right now.
Jolene: (Laughing) The listener can’t see that you’re joking. But yes, we’re definitely a work in progress and we won’t arrive until we get to our destination, which is heaven. So I think that we always have to be mindful of that as wives, that, you know, as we look at our husband, we think, how come you’re not growing? But then, it’s so easy for me to say, well why was I so critical to look at the fact that he’s not growing? So obviously, I’m not growing. If I’m that critical that I’m always looking at you saying, why aren’t you growing, husband? Clearly there’s a lack of character of myself ‘cause I have a critical spirit.
Eric: Right, right. Okay, so Number 9: She seeks wisdom.
Jolene: She does seek wisdom because she is in a powerful position. Proverbs 31:26: She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness. A wife is a husband’s most trusted adviser. Okay.
Eric: You are.
Jolene: I know that.
Eric: Well, she either is or isn’t.
Jolene: God intended for her to be.
Eric: Right, because God created her as a helper to him, so if you’re going to help me, I will come to you and say, hey, I need help.
Jolene: What do you think about this? But if I bash you over the head all the time or throw a brick at you every time you ask my thought on something or if I’m always barking at you, you’re not going to come and seek me out in any shape or form. You’re not interested in what I have to say. So, but if I’m gracious, if I’m not always argumentative and opposing you at every turn, okay, I’m seeking God’s Word, I’m seeking to live for Him, I’m concerned about the hearts in the home then who do you want to come to because there’s a gracious spirit and there’s understanding.
Eric: And if I’m accepted by you, I do want to come ask you.
Jolene: So, seeking wisdom and a lot of wives do, I see this, seek wisdom, not necessarily to be your husband’s Holy Spirit. Okay, because that role is reserved for the Holy Spirit.
Eric: That’s a great point and let me just expound upon that. Look, you see your husband sinning, okay, you can go to him as a sister in the Lord and have that discussion because you’re both heirs to the crown. Okay. You have that right, but it’s another thing to parent the husband about…once you approach him you can’t keep nagging him until..hey, you’re doing this wrong, you’re doing that wrong, you need to do this, that’s not very Godly what you did. I mean, because there’s either a criticalness or there is a relational approach. Being critical and trying to be his Holy Spirit convicting him of sin will never work.
Jolene: No, and you’ll lose your voice real fast. Your influence will go out the window quicker than, you know.
Eric: Number 10: She is humble.
Jolene: Proverbs 29:23: Pride ends in humiliation while humility brings honor. I’ve eaten a lot of humble pie over the years, doesn’t taste good, never tastes good. Humiliation never feels good. It just doesn’t. It just stinks on so many levels.
Eric: So, how can a wife be humble? How is she not humble? How can a wife not be humble and contrast the two?
Jolene: I don’t know. I’m just not humble. I’m arrogant, prideful, self-centered, you know. I just look at that vileness.
Eric: Okay, and we talked about, I think a lot of women want to be acknowledged. Okay, because a lot of time I feel like they aren’t acknowledged or they aren’t doing a job, they’re doing a thankless job and they want to exalt themselves and…
Jolene: We want to be worshiped.
Eric: You want to be worshiped. I guess that’s pride, isn’t it?
Jolene: It is. It’s pride. It’s like my middle name. I’d like to get rid of it but the only way I can get rid of it is if I embrace humility and humility is at constant war with my pride and so the Lord’s had to knock me down on my can at times so I will learn humility. Now what I’d like to do is learn of humility without big trials, you know, without big areas of refinement that the Lord will bring into my life.
Eric: What’s an area a gal is not humble in a lot of the time?
Jolene: For me it would be, we as wives, we know, okay, let’s assume that the listener knows that the husband is the head of the home. Just that verse sticks in my craw. That’s tough to swallow because, why is he the head of the home? He doesn’t know how to handle it. He doesn’t know what’s going on in the home. I’m in the home more than he’s in the home. Why is he the head?
Eric: All those statements there show lack of humility, don’t they?
Jolene: All of them, so then as I went through all the years of my illness then I thought, praise God that I am not the head of the home because I can’t even feed my kids. I can’t even take care of them and give them a lunch. Okay. So I did not have the weight of the world on my shoulders and I was very thankful that I don’t bear that responsibility. Okay. I don’t have those pressures. But we’re at war. We want that control. We want to be in charge but then the reality is, do you really, do you really? If everything was on your shoulders, would you want to be in charge and then stand before the Lord and give Him an account of how you managed it. Did you do it? Did you lead like Jesus? Okay. So those are things that I’ve learned. Thank You Lord that I am not the head of the home. I can now say that because there’s a lot of freedom there. There’s a lot of peace there that it’s not all on me. So what can I do as a wife to be that helper that God has called me to be to allow you to be the man that God has called you to be, to lead the home, to have the vision, to lead us in the destination as a couple and a family to honor God. Okay. So it’s easier for me to take that position by your side and not the position where I’m out front leading.
Eric: Okay, so that’s Number 10. Obviously, there could be a lot more for women and men on both lists but that concludes what we wanted to do and you have any final, closing comments?
Jolene: No. I would just kind of pick one. I mean what it comes down to is you just allowing the Holy Spirit to speak into your heart and help you to cultivate that Christ like character and He’ll point out. He’ll say, now this is an area right here that you’re struggling in. Work on that.
Eric: Well, and for the gal and the guy and the guy’s list, there might be just one that jumps out.
Jolene: Smacks them in the face.
Eric: Right. Or there might be a couple that hurt.
Jolene: When you feel that way, that is the Holy Spirit telling you, this is an area that is not right. Get it right with Me. Okay. Come to Me. The Lord is asking you to go to Him and for you to surrender that to Him and to ask Him, Lord, help me to walk in your truth. Help me to decrease so You can increase.
Eric: So, if after listening to this podcast anyone’s offended by any one of those, that’s a good tell tale sign that that might be one that God’s poking you on.
Jolene: Yes and I can look at that whole list and say God’s poked me on all of them. You know. And that’s ok because we’re growing. We’re believers that are growing more and more like Jesus so I see it as a healthy thing. I don’t see it as, oh what a bad thing. Ten out of ten I have failed all of them. Does that make sense?
Eric: Of course. You always make sense to me.
Jolene: Well hopefully we make sense to the listener because that’s why we do this.
Eric: I’m sure we do. Anyway, I’m Eric Engle.
Jolene: And I’m Jolene Engle and you can find me at joleneengle.com.
Eric: You can get me at ericandjolene.com.
Jolene: Until next time.
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