Recently so much is being said about the Traditional Housewife (Tradwife) aesthetic. There are several articles explaining why this role is important for raising children and why it is not. Some Christian friends I know, enjoy this way of life. While the feminist people I’m familiar with, believe that the era of traditional housewives and stay-at-home moms was suffocating and meant to suppress the idea of a what a woman could accomplish and become. Lately, this debate has developed into intense discussions. And I look forward to reading the comments from both sides of this coin.
A tradwife is described below:
A tradwife (a neologism for traditional wife or traditional housewife), in recent western culture, typically denotes a woman who believes in traditional sex roles and a traditional marriage. Many tradwives believe that a woman does not lose rights by choosing to take a traditional role in marriage. Some may choose to leave their careers to focus instead on family and meeting their family’s needs.
When I first came across this description, I immediately thought of the Proverbs 31 Woman. I considered her many virtues and orderly gifts. I first met this wonderful person when I was about three years old. I became more familiar with her as I grew older. She has always fascinated me. I used to think- Wow! Does she ever get tired? But as I grew to learn more about her, I knew I wanted to instill in myself some of her intelligent characteristics.
The Bible tells us wonderful things about this remarkable woman. Here are a few:
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels. (Proverbs 31 v. 10)
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. (Proverbs 31 v.16)
She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy. (Proverbs 31 v. 20)
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come. (Proverbs 31 v. 25)
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31 v. 26)
All so lovely to think about. However, my investigative nature yearned to know what God tells us here.
Below is my growing position:
Proverbs 31 vv.10-31 is a beautiful poem and guide, describing grace and valor (eschett chayill-Hebrew for Woman of Valor). It describes Lady Wisdom in all her glory. In addition, it exalts the characteristics of a wife, specifically a wife’s wisdom in practical and spiritual perspectives. A wife who consistently displays acts of charity and reasonable wisdom. Everything she does derives from wisdom. The story of the Proverbs 31 woman is meant to show us what wisdom looks like as a verb.
Another aspect of this beautiful poem is that it shares a little bit about who Ruth is. In verse ten of Proverbs 31, we see the words excellent wife. In Ruth 3 v. 11, Ruth is the only woman in the entire Bible, called an excellent wife. Earlier in the Book of Proverbs an excellent wife is also mentioned (12 v. 4).
The poem is acrostic in nature. I’ve discussed this word in one of my previous blogs. This simply means when describing the Proverbs 31-woman, King Solomon wrote the first of each word to depict a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in sequence. This is a symbol of completeness. And the characteristics of Lady Wisdom seamlessly describe the grace of ordinary days.
It is likewise my stance that the words describing the Proverbs 31 woman are not meant to be oppressive. It’s not about trying to keep up with our Christian sister who appears to accomplish much, each day. Instead, this poem displays not what is completed daily, but more so, it highlights how well things get done. Again, this poem is simply about wisdom and not meant to put pressure on everyday household responsibilities.
Like the tradwife, who enjoys being a stay-at-home wife and mother, managing her household takes wisdom, tenacity, and grace. When thoughts are focused on how much and not how well, then the sins of comparison and competition can creep in. Let’s not allow this chaos into our spaces. Let’s remember that quality over quantity wins every time.
On Proverbs 31 vv. 10-31, Dr. R.C. Sproul wrote: “Though folly may be tempting, only wisdom leads to a truly beautiful and blessed life that is praised by God and others and results in eternal fruitfulness and joy.”
In forthcoming weeks, I’ll build on this topic as I write more about spiritual everyday gifts. What has been developing within has offered me so much insight. Lord willing, I am excited to share as soon as I’m able.
Growing together, inside, and out,
Tradwife meaning. Retrieved from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tradwife
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.