Guest post: Pluckers!

My friend, Charity Woon, wrote some encouraging posts for women. I liked them so much that I asked her for permission to share them as guest posts with you. They’re based on this verse and go well with my series on Proverbs. Of course, we want to be builders, not “pluckers.” Enjoy!

Proverbs 14:1, Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Really… I don’t want to be a plucker….

But there are behaviors we women do that come so easily to us, and they damage our marriage relationship. For example:

Plucker Behavior #1: Competing with my husband

I’m not talking about a friendly game of Uno. I’m talking about the need to prove I am better than him at things: speaking, time management, leadership, planning, packing, driving….

Pride motivates our need to be recognized for our abilities. We belittle others and exalt our superiority. We point out their faults and weaknesses—areas we thrive in. But our home isn’t corporate America. We aren’t clawing to the top of the ladder. Competition between a husband and wife damages. We aren’t competing. We’re supposed to be helping each other. We are supposed to be lifting each other up. This world tears my husband down enough on its own without me joining the wrecking crew. I don’t need to point out his weaknesses—and certainly not publicly!

So what if I am a better planner or speaker or whatever? If I want to be a plucker, I will make sure he knows about it often. But if I am a builder, I will be his biggest cheerleader in his areas of strength as well as when he grows in his areas of weakness.

***

Some behaviors seem harmless, but they can weaken a marriage one small piece at a time.

Plucker Behavior #2: Dressing nicely for everyone except hubby

Isn’t it funny how, before marriage, we wanted to look our best every time we were going to see our sweetheart, but then after marriage we run around all day in pjs or sweatpants, no makeup, hair a disaster … until we need to go out somewhere? What message does that send? Do we now need to look nice for everyone except our husband?

One day I put this to the test. I had nowhere I needed to go, but I got up and got dressed nicely. It was nothing fancy, but it was nice enough that I would feel pretty while still being able to get things done in the house. I put on a little makeup and fixed my hair. Did my husband notice?

“What are you all dressed up for? You going somewhere?”

“Nope. Just wanted to look nice for you.”

It was already programmed in his mind that I only look nice when I go somewhere—not for him.

“You look nice.” Yes, he noticed, and it mattered.

I had sent him a new message, a new way of thinking. He is the one I need to look nice for, not the people at the grocery store. Getting dressed each day even if I am not going anywhere let’s him know I still want to capture his attention. He is worth a little extra effort.

So, for whom are we trying to look nice?

***

Plucker Behavior #3: Frivolous spending and discontentment

I remember one day my hubby came home from work. When we sat down to talk, he began thanking me.

“I just really appreciate that you aren’t high maintenance.”

Then, he began explaining how some guys at his workplace were talking amongst themselves about how their wives spent money frivolously, wanted expensive trinkets and luxuries for birthdays and Christmas, were often shopping for new clothes and spending lots of money on beauty parlor services, and would settle for nothing less than nice cars, nice houses, and more. The husbands complained about working so hard to make a paycheck only to have their wives blow it. One man turned to my hubby, expecting him to join in on the wife-bashing huddle.

“You know what I mean?” he asked.

“No. No, I don’t.” At that moment my husband realized how much he really treasured my tight-wad, penny-pincher nature.

“You are so content with what you have, and it felt good to tell them how virtuous you are.” Apparently the wife-bashing session stopped with his praise.

Honestly, it felt great to hear my hubby had bragged on me to his coworkers, but there was also a part of me that was grieved for those marriages. It’s never … never ever … justified for a husband to talk badly about his wife, but these wives didn’t realize how their materialism and discontentment were impacting their marriages.

Finances are one of the biggest issues in a marriage, and disagreements on money are a major contributor to divorce. If you want to be a builder instead of a plucker, give your hubby a reason to praise you in the area of finances instead of reason to complain.

Proverbs 31:28, Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Is your appetite whetted yet? Thank you, Charity, for allowing me to share your Plucker Behavior challenges with my friends. Readers, stay tuned. Look for more Pluckers guest posts in the future. Charity Woon has written several books, sold on Amazon.