Editor’s note: The following paraphrased and modified version of portions of Proverbs 31 was authored by Susan Forbes and Deborah Kindel at the request of Liz Springer for a session that Liz and Sarah Hemingway led at White Sulphur Springs.
Susan, an Air force wife, and Deborah, a Navy wife, brought their experiences to bear on the assignment. The result was a hit with the wives present, and is worthy of publication. Enjoy!
10. Who can find an excellent military wife? For her worth is far above rank or pay grade.
11. The heart of her military husband trusts in her, and he will have no fear of security breaches.
12. She enjoys the military lifestyle and does him good, enhancing his career at every duty station.
13. She finds curtains for their quarters, and remakes them to fit the windows of the quarters at all future bases.
14. She is like submarines: she takes advantage of commissary case sales and packs dozens of cans in small quarters; she freezes spaghetti sauce by the quart to prepare for any emergency, and always has chocolate-chip cookies and coffee on hand for family and visitors; she tempts her family with delicacies from foreign ports where they have been stationed, so that her children do not refuse escargot or kimchee when dining out.
15. She rises at 0-dark 30 to make breakfast for her husband before he goes on duty, and makes sure that her teenagers eat good breakfasts before stumbling onto the school bus. She packs their bag lunches, and draws discreet smiley faces or writes words of encouragement on the napkins.
16. She puts aside a sum every month from the household budget and invests it wisely, so that when her husband goes out on a six-month Mediterranean deployment, she and the kids can fly over during school vacation and follow him from port to port.
17. She carries babies on her hip, lugs bags of groceries from car to kitchen, pushes lawn mowers and wields snow shovels. She faithfully works out at the base gym (or Curves) so that she stays healthy and strong. She marvels at the biceps she develops, but fails not to do her morning devotions and read the newspaper.
18. When her husband is out on maneuvers, on patrol or on alert, she panics not. She calls a plumber for a leaking bathroom sink, and when he appears not, she takes a class at Home Depot on home plumbing. In the evenings, she studies French, sews her daughter an Aslan lion costume for Halloween, makes a papier-mâché piñata for the kindergarten class party, and e-mails her husband at sea or while he’s TDY/TAD to let him know that he is missed, but all is well.
19. She happily sews her husband’s new rank insignia on his uniform, and lets out his mess dress as necessary.
20. She delivers casseroles to the sick, baby-sits for other military wives who need a break from taking care of toddlers on their own, and volunteers at the base thrift shop.
21. When her husband receives orders to a base in the northeast, she orders squall jackets and boots for the whole family from the L.L. Bean catalog while still at the duty station in Hawaii.
22. She makes her gown for the dining-out or the Submarine Ball, and her handiwork and sense of style is admired by all.
23. Her husband is respected by his superior officers and his OERs or FITREPS are glowing.
24. She wraps 400 lumpias with other wives and sells them outside the Base Exchange, raising money for the boat/squadron recreation fund.
25. She leans on God for all her needs, and is confident that the Big Detailer in the sky has her family’s good at heart.
26. She modestly and humorously shares wisdom gained in years of service life, and never gossips. She provides a good example to younger wives by letting God’s love shine through her.
27. She looks well to the ways of her household. She packs up halfway boxes for her husband on patrol, sticking in photos, letters and his favorite Snickers bars. She runs her son to his baseball game and her daughter to her soccer game, and knits a scarf for a friend while sitting on the bleachers cheering them on. She teaches Sunday School, has the wardroom/squadron wives over for dinner, volunteers to tutor remedial reading at the middle school, plants daffodil bulbs without knowing for sure that she will be there in the spring to see them bloom, and hosts a birthday party at Chucky Cheese’s without losing her cool.
28. Her children rise up and bring her dandelion bouquets and Christmas ornaments made out of Popsicle sticks. Her husband also gives her his highest praise, saying:
29. “Many service wives endure long separations and frequent moves, but you have made it all seem easy and fun.”
30. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who relies on the Lord when her husband is serving his country keeps everything in its right order and shall be praised.
31. Give her the faithful love of your heart, and let her family and home be praised by all who know her.