Dear Mrs. Pearl,
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I want to say thank you for your magazine. I look forward to it.
I have a question. I am struggling to make God-honoring decisions while still being submissive to my husband. He wants to send our son and two daughters to public school. This scares me as I remember just how evil it is. And now he tells me he wants me to enroll in college and get a degree so I can have something meaningful in my life. This hurts me because as a pastor in training he should be encouraging women to be keepers at home. Why?
How can any of this be of God? How do I submit to my husband’s desires and still follow God?
Consider what your husband’s motivation might be. Let’s assume that he wants what is best for both you and the children. He wants you to grow and be productive, and he wants the children to be well educated. For instance, your husband might see that you are not doing any schooling with your three- and four-year-olds. He notices that your time is maxed out by housework and chores that have no long term value. Does he have reason to think you will be stressed or incapable if you try to do more? If this is the case, he may need to see you growing and the children learning before he can commit his children to homeschooling.
A committed homeschool mom starts playing homeschool when her child is not yet two years old. By the time the child is four years old he should know or be in the process of learning the colors. He should be learning to count to 20, sounding out words, and be learning strange and exciting science facts. The four-year-old should be able to look adults in the eye and discuss the wonderful new things he is learning. Daddy will look on in wonder and delight, both at how smart his child is and at how industrious his wife is. The husband appreciates his wife’s ability and has confidence that her enthusiasm will carry her through to success.
The same thing applies for going back to college. If a man is learning and growing and he sees that his wife is just coasting along, a loving husband will want to help motivate his wife so she can keep pace with him.
No man wants a wife that spends her days on the couch watching soap operas or reading romance novels. A wife who is a phone chatter, web-surfer, or text message gossiper is really a loser. These behaviors sap a man’s hopes and dreams.
A man knows that his smart, hard-working, industrious wife reflects well on him, and she brings a lot to the marriage. Regardless of what kind of man he is, a husband will find great satisfaction in the fact that his wife is self-motivated and hard-working.
God gave us a thorough description of how a virtuous woman spends her days. Check to see if you fit the profile. Contrary to what I (or others) might think, this chapter, devoted to describing a godly woman, doesn’t represent this super-lady as a prayer warrior or a teacher of great Biblical truths. The woman described in Proverbs 31:10–31 is a successful, hard-working and industrious businesswoman. She sews and weaves, then sells her wares. She travels long distances to find good deals. She buys land and plants orchards. She has a staff of workers which she trains well. In all this activity she still makes time to help the needy. This active businesswoman is resourceful and aggressive. In verse 23 her success brings her husband recognition. “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.” Verse 28 tells how her children respond to their mother: “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”
So what can a woman do if her husband wants her to send their children to public school and go to college? She can become a Proverbs 31 wife. She can study, learn, grow, and become successful. She can win his confidence in her as a teacher of his children. In all my 40 years of ministering to families, I have never seen a husband (no matter how stiff-necked and against homeschooling) who didn’t respond with thanksgiving when his wife became a Proverbs 31 woman.
A woman might complain that her husband is lazy, fleshly, and all manner of negative things. I can’t guarantee the wife of the lazy husband that he will change in response to her renewal. However, almost all men want what is best for their families, so a man will respond positively to his wife’s wishes if she proves to be an able partner in his designs for the family.
The question is this: Are you willing to rise to the challenge?