Day 22-Death and Life

I have a sassy mouth. I know that I have had it nearly as long as I was independent. It’s sarcastic and often cutting in my words. For many years I gave no caution to what I said, only that I made sure it was said. I can still hear my mom when I was around ten or eleven saying “Sara, your mouth is going to get you in trouble if you don’t stop talking.”

And mom was right.

As one would expect, it cost me some relationships,  tense working conditions and some hard conversations. It also led to me looking at how I wield words. I have talked about this before here on the blog several times.

I was reminded of this last night as I listened to one of our study’s co-leaders discuss the power of our words in a marriage relationship. As a woman, we like our words. We like to talk things out, discuss and ruminate. We enjoy catch-ups and gab sessions. We love our gossip right?

Well if we dig into Proverbs we see that our words are pretty powerful, whether joking or true. In 18:21 of Proverbs we see that death and life are found in the tongue.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
    and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Whoa.

So we have the power to destroy. Or we have the power to give life. All in what we say with our mouths. We who love the good of it will reap the good of what it bears. Those who love the bad of it will reap the bad, rotten of what it produces.

Do you relish in being able to craft a harsh diatribe? Do you revel when you can talk about others? Do you cut down your husband or boyfriend to your girlfriends? That has an impact far beyond anything you can see or do to regain it.

In looking at how this affects wife material, I have to really push you to look at how you criticize others. It’s a hard one I am learning in the midst right now. Not that you have to put on a facade or lie, but that you find means of encouragement and lifting up. The world is a critical place already, why would we want to add anything additional to it?

When you want to gossip, pause and consider how the foundation you set now will be what you build upon in relationships. In marriage. If you’re married, I beg of you to find ways to talk about your husband in the positive when you’re at work, with your girlfriends and with your family. For us single women it gives us a means of inspiration and hope. A light to guide us in the right direction of being wife material.

If we are loving others just as Christ loved them, how are we reflecting that in what we are saying? Do we choose life or death with our tongues?

Day 15-Now and Later

Marriage isn’t about growing old together more than being young together.

Gary Thomas, The Sacred Search

I think so often when we are single or even in dating or engagements we try too hard to look forty years down the road instead of at the present. What you are choosing now impacts that future you, and your future marriage.

Last night I sat in a room full of women as we set out to study Biblical marriage and submission over the next six weeks. (Yes, I signed up for this) In my group, I am the lone single woman. Other times that would have made me uncomfortable or feeling in the spotlight. Not this time.

Why?

Because I am choosing now to work on things before I commit to marriage. I am choosing to be young now, fill my time with decisions and experiences and learning which will impact my marriage whether that is five years or thirty years down the road (can we go with the five please Lord?)

I don’t want to wait to work on areas in my own self until I am in the bonds of a marriage. I want to grow now to be the woman God has meant for the man He is preparing now as well. We become so future focused that we fail to enjoy the now. We think, “when I get to that point I’ll do that” when in reality if we aren’t doing it now, we more than likely won’t be doing it then.

Why not do the things now you would love to do with your future husband so that you two can enjoy being young together as you grow old together? Don’t take your time of preparation and foundation laying for granted, as I have done in the past. We must avert our focus from obtaining a man for now in order to be the woman of His tomorrow.

Day 12-The Truthful Woman

Being single. We have all heard the platitudes, the awkward comments at family gatherings, and my favorite comment “I don’t know why you haven’t found someone yet.

You know, I haven’t even thought of that. You mean I need to look?

I apologize for my sarcasm, but when you’ve been single 33 years you tend to build a thick layer of it around your life when it comes to comments on your marital status, or lack of one.

I feel like I can say this here among friends.

Sometimes being single just absolutely sucks. Knowing you are the one who has to cook the meal, pay all the bills, take out the trash, do the laundry AND clean the car can get to be aggravating at times. Getting the pity looks when you sit alone at church or eat alone in a restaurant because you really want to eat there at that moment…it can push you to irritation and frustration.

The truth of the matter is…that is okay.

It is…It’s absolutely okay to admit that right now, it sucks to be single. The waiting, the dating, and the lack thereof too can be crappy.

It’s okay to sit and be weary of being single. Of looking down the years you have ahead of you and wondering if it’s just going to be a continuation of the current life. It’s okay to dwell in this moment of questioning whether you should have stayed with that person or if you’ll ever have another opportunity at love.

Because that’s where you are at. It’s being honest with what you are feeling.

I know I don’t honor that. I tell myself to get over it and move on. Yesterday I realized that I have to honor my truth in this time. I don’t believe it’s self-pity, as long as I don’t continue to let it dictate my self-worth or bear itself out continually in my life.

Truthfully there are days, moments, instances when I just hate being single. I don’t want to hear the platitude of “enjoy this time of alone.” Nope, I just want to be in this truth that I am tired of single. If we cannot be honest with ourselves about what we are feeling, and knowing God is right there with us in that moment of suffering (because it is suffering, don’t lie to yourself that it is not), then we aren’t on the road to wife material.

We must be truthful and honest about it now, while we are feeling it and it is ever present-in the day, the moment or the hour. It’s okay not to pick yourself up by the bootstraps. We weren’t meant to…

Day 7-Seeking Aright

When I was younger, I would spend summer days with my Mamaw. My dad would drop me off down at her house for a fun-filled day of exploring and learning. I distinctly remember one day digging through her sewing materials for a pattern to work on with her. It’s probably one of my fondest memories of her-sitting with me as I scrounged, seeking out the very best thing to make for myself with my newly obtained skill.

Many times in working on becoming wife material, we seek out those things which are deceptively good. Things we believe truly to be good, and wonderful, things which we bring us to a place of growth and wisdom. Ultimately they are mere distractions, put upon us not to aid in our being knit together but rather to deter us from our focus at hand.

We find things to keep us “busy” but not doing, spinning our wheels rather than advancing much on the path in the journey. When we are seeking to be wife material, it means we are, at the forefront, seeking God in all things. Not out of a need for perfection but out of a sincere heart for Him. It isn’t about the other stuff, it’s about Him and our focus upon Him fully.

It’s not about seeking to get married, seeking to find a mate, seeking to receive anything. It’s about seeking Him. He calls out for our whole heart, not just a sliver. The entire thing.

For me, I think seeking after God instead of pursuing a relationship with a man can be the absolute best way to find what I am looking for. For my true treasure, the desires of my heart, well…they are found in Him not in anything or any one else.

So while I continue to dig for the perfect piece in which to knit into my wife material, I have the thread and pattern with which to begin pursuing a masterpiece of a lifetime with Him.

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all of your heart.-Jeremiah 29:13

Day 6-Happiness and Obedience

Today I wanted to take a moment and share a quote from one of the best books I have read in the past ten years. Over the course of the last few years I have been ever-more focused on singleness, dating relationships and marriage. In doing so, I have read more and more on those areas with fervor and discernment.

There are some great resources out there for you, regardless of marital status as to what those roles look like. There are also some truly terrible ones.

I would encourage you, as a part of becoming wife material, to explore reading on the facets of marriage that are formed in a biblical structure. God created and ordained marriage so that it would honor Him and bring Him glory. Why not go to resources that will illuminate that pathway for you?

“If we try to put our own happiness ahead of obedience to God, we violate our own nature and become, ultimately, miserable.”

The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller

In order to explore wife material, I must examine where my obedience is to God. My ultimate goal in life is not to obtain a man or beat another woman out to be married. No. It is to be woven with the strong thread of Christ throughout that the fabric of being a wife in ingrained into the material.

Happiness is fleeting. It is temporal and based upon circumstance. Obedience is commanded and leads to joy and contentment that outlasts a moment.


I’d love to share resources of books you have read that have influenced how you view marriage, singleness and/or dating relationships. Feel free to share below. One lucky commenter will win a copy of Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage” at the end of the 31 Days!

Day 4-A Virtuous Wife

Seeing those words before has made my skin crawl a bit. Why? Because if you are a believer and follower of Christ you know what those words start. They are the beginning of what many have used as defining the ultimate wife material, which is found in Proverbs 31. We see it pop back up in 1 Timothy and 1 Peter.

Some have used it for a checklist of sorts, a prescription of how a wife should be. And it’s a doozy. It’s full of things, as a woman, I pray to live out and live into. I could go into a whole series on my questions surrounding this passage, and bring in commentaries from various writers, women and men, as well as theologians on the juxtaposition of these 20 verses. But I will spare you all.

I dwell on the phrase virtuous woman and what the remainder of the text points to in that definition of her. It’s a woman, although the weaker vessel as we are defined by God in that manner (and yes I do butt heads with God on that role), who is firm in her wisdom and resolute in her fear of God, carrying with her grace. She is mindful of herself, and of how to manage others as well.

She doesn’t try to change herself for others, nor does she force others to change to meet her needs. Through her actions, with grace and dignity, she is unchanged by the way the wind blows or what circumstances come her way.

I think on these things and then say “I’d like to be her friend!

As women, we often put too much pressure on ourselves based upon the definition of perfection in this role we have been blessed to live out. We seek too much of living into others’ expectations of our lives, as women-whether single or married.

Instead I want to have a strong heart. One that is in the hands of the Father who created me to live out what He has called me to be-a virtuous woman. It looks differently in us all collectively, but it means a strength in grace and awesome wonder at our Creator. It means a guarded heart and an open mind. It means I am committed to virtue in all things of my life.

Does that look messy as I live it out? Absolutely.

Without a doubt, I know that to be considered wife material, I must first be fully aware of who I am and what God has set out before me to be. As a woman, that is to be virtuous in all ways and in all things. It’s not a picture of submission but of untold strength and grace.

Day 1-Explaining the Meaning

So what is #WifeMaterial?

That’s probably what many of you are asking that have ventured over to my site. Or maybe you’re a regular reader and wonder what the heck I am talking about now. Check out the intro page to see why I’ll be blogging on this topic all month long.

The whole hashtag started out as a simple joke on my Instagram account when I would capture what I had made in the kitchen or crafted. Yeah I do both, winner winner make ’em a chicken dinner. Then I started really wondering what that was. What was wife material? Who decided it? What did we, as single women, desire to obtain to be wife material?

So very broad thoughts, yet very specific right? Very personal and individualized, yet applicable to so many. It meant alot of excavating my own self as I began to explore the topic, with other women who were single, engaged and married. It also meant really delving into the fray with my guy friends willing to share-both single and married.

While I am still exploring questions with willing friends, I also knew I needed to dive in and share this topic.

So here we are. 31 Days of #WifeMaterial and added content for the forthcoming book of the same name. Some times you’ll see written posts from me, other times I will share resources, pose some questions, add some fun crafts, recipes, quick fixes, and hopefully inspirations that have impacted me. Maybe you’ll even hear from a guy friend or two.

I’d love to hear your feedback, sometimes we’ll get serious other times we’ll joke around at the preposterous nature of #WifeMaterial. I want to encourage you that my goal here is to open the conversation about what we are going through as singles, engageds, and marrieds alike.

Pull up a comfy seat, a mug of your favorite beverage, and let’s talk about #WifeMaterial.