Character

Are You a Virtual Wife?

GirlRobotThis past week I discovered the joys of “Link-Up Parties” and “Blog Hops”. What fun I had surfing through all the insightful posts all over the blog world. I learned a lot of great things, saw some pretty cool recipes that I intend to try, and I was challenged by not only the blogging standards, but the lessons that were taught by many of my fellow Blog-Hoppers. It re-energized my ambitions to write and to continue to share the things I am learning and living every day on my journey as a wife.

There was one thing though that piqued something buried deep in the long forgotten corridors of my brain. An incident and its memory abandoned in the eternal past of my teenage years. I allowed my mind to meander back to that ever-so-bizarre incident and jog a few of the lessons I learned then to the forefront of my mind.

 

It all started with a “friending” of some sort on social media with a woman I had never met. Friend requests were never something I took lightly, and I was cautious about the people I allowed in my online world. My general rules of thumb were:

  1. Do I know this person in real life?
  2. Do I know them enough that I should keep in touch with them?

This woman did not fit either category, but we had something very important in common. Before I accepted her friend request, we exchanged messages concerning some events and I quickly learned that she was an avid fan and supporter of something I championed and poured my life out for daily.

I liked her. I thought she would make a great friend.

woman-knittingThe more we conversed the more I thought she was a great role model. She had a bundle of children and she always had all these tips about life and keeping things together. In my mind, she was a Proverbs 31 victor. Her posts always reflected a diligent wife, housekeeper and mother.

I looked up to her because she was something I aimed to be one day. As a young lady hoping to be a godly wife one day, I inwardly rejoiced every time I acquired a new “woman of God” to look up to.

Then one day things changed. Out of nowhere this lady went absolutely ballistic on me. She accused me of a number of things, called my superiors and complained about me, ripped me to shreds publicly, and then… completely turned her back on the thing she claimed was so dear to her. I was shocked and totally blind-sided.

 

I was grateful that my superiors were able to ascertain that I did nothing wrong, but it became quickly evident that this lady was not the person she portrayed to the world. She clearly usurped her husband’s authority and defied her pastor. There were people that knew her in real life, that explained to me, “this is not someone you want to form an alliance with” and delicately explained why. As I explained my awe and that this person seemed to be a godly, upright woman… straight out of Proverbs 31, they explained that this woman was anything but that. If you were to walk into her house on any given day, you would find a filthy unkempt home with children running around like wild animals with no discipline or guardianship, no profitability and this so-called Proverbs 31 woman would be at her computer portraying herself as a model wife and mother.

I was so disturbed and distraught by this. The conversation closed with the statement that, “people’s true likeness doesn’t really transfer over a computer.”

From that point on in my life, I have observed that so many times, it is those women online portraying themselves to be conquerors of wifely perfection, who… when you walk into their home, you find an entirely different story.

While I was perusing blogs this week, I discovered a LOT of great blogs with women who were keeping it real. I found several I will keep reading in the future.

There were some though that I noticed painting that image of perfection and I couldn’t help but wonder about how the “internet likeness” matched up with their true likeness.

“Look at my perfect house.”

“Look at my perfect family.”

“Look at how well I manage meals and chores and duties.”

“Look how bright my children are and see all the things I have taught them.”

“Look at all my beautiful, incredible crafts that never take away time from what I should really be doing.”

I call them “virtual wives”.  They may be a model wife online… but what if you came to their house? Would they meet you on the door step outside?  Do they keep their blinds closed at all times so you can’t see the mess inside? Does their husband feel as loved, respected and appreciated in real life as she seems to portray on the web? Do all those crafts and projects make her extra-industrious, or is she neglecting everything else that should have come first?

cooking-wifeMy journey through blog world this week reinforced my ambitions within my own blog; not to paint a picture of something I am not… EVER. Read through my posts. You will see confessions of dishes piling up, mis-prioritizing time, laundry backed up to Hong Kong, supper flops, and a struggle through attempts of all manner of wifely duties. As I learn, I write about what I am learning… some tips I’ve discovered, a recipe that has become a golden nugget, times where self rises up and makes me forget my purpose and role, and…. many moments where I am too weak to press on but God strengthens me.

One day, I hope to have a daughter, or maybe if that never happens, a young girl who needs a mother figure. What I don’t want her to learn is the need to achieve unattainable perfection that will breed frustration and confusion. I don’t want my little girl to grow up masking herself under a cloak of lies because the only way she can live out “Proverbs 31” is in a virtual world. I don’t want to raise a daughter to feel like she is failing miserably because she cannot attain something that no one is really attaining.

I want my little girl to understand that being a wife is a learning process. It’s a journey of self-sacrifice, and imperfection. It’s a world where you are always growing and discovering, and finding ways to improve. I want to raise a little girl to be a good wife…  a real wife…

So… don’t be surprised if you never see immaculate photographs of my latest outdoor projects, or step by step series of my flawless steak salad (it doesn’t exist). I may never have a “clutter-free” world or a solution for every missing ingredient, or… décor that blows your mind. There may always be a handful (or tower) of dishes in my sink. I’m working on that…

I plan to keep things real and honest because I want my daughter(s) to be real and honest.

In fact, if you ever see me drop out of blog land for brief periods of time, I’m probably taking some time to focus on the real wife life… improving some areas where I slack, or attending to details I missed and should have noticed before.

Being a “virtual wife” is an easy trap to fall in to. Sometimes blogging gets extremely exciting for me and my mind runs wild with things I could write about… it’s really easy to devote more attention to portraying a model wife than being a model wife…

But…  my whole goal here is to become a better wife.

If the young ladies and wives and to-be-wives read my blog and learn something… I certainly hope it is never “how to be a virtual wife.” If anyone learns anything from me… I hope they learn how to be a real wife.

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9 Comments

  • happy momma

    Well said! I am so sorry that you met up with someone that was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I have been there, but maybe not to the extent you are describing. It is a crazy world out there. I am in the process of writing a book about my journey to becoming a thriving mom. There will be a whole chapter maybe even two about overcoming the comparison trap. I don’t know exactly how to approach the subject of comparing ourselves to others for this particular book, but this post has given me some inspirations. I think I feel an upcoming post on my blog though, it will be about how social media has hijacked so many of our lives. Thank you for reminding me that I need to keep it real! I just found you during my journeys through some of the blog hops as I link up my blogs.

    • Mrs. Pruett

      Thank you so much for your comment! I’m so glad you found some inspiration here. I followed your link to your blog and then your “other blog” and was so surprised! I have actually been to your page before. I read the posts about juggling too many things and also the one about little girls clothing. I must have stumbled upon you in the blog link-ups! I hope you will join our “Wifey Wednesday” blog link up. It starts at midnight. I would love to see some of your posts there!
      https://operationwife.com/wifey-wednesday-1

  • Lisa

    This was a refreshing read for me, thank you. I agree that it’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap. In fact, I had started doing it. Then the Lord brought John 21:22 to me as I was finishing my Bible study of John. For the first time, it really clicked home for me. I’m not called to have a perfect house or a perfect life. I’m not to compare myself to others. I just need to follow God, wherever He leads our family.

    Thanks so much for the encouragement!

  • Charity Frick

    This is a very convicting post, thank you for the reminder to be honest and true. We should definitely take everything online with a grain of salt! I think sometimes as wives and moms we fall into the trap of trying to have it all together at all times. The online world can be a way to pretend that it’s easy to accomplish. I have to admit I struggle with trying to be too perfect online. For me, life isn’t easy, my husband isn’t supportive and we don’t have godly family nearby or an established church. Please remember some people use pinterest as free therapy (lol), or edit out the messier parts of life for facebook just as a prop to keep going. Our Christian culture leans very heavily on wives to be pillars of support for husbands, godly role models for the children, and make home a haven of rest. Those goals are very difficult to accomplish without support. While there is no excusing the lady who hurt you, and it was wrong of her to turn against you, I felt sorry for her at the same time. I’ve known people like that, and i hope I’ve never been one! She probably didn’t intend to become a wolf in sheep’s clothing. She probably did try her hardest until the day she snapped under the pressure. We don’t know what other people are going through. Let’s all be encouragements to each other in a spirit of love, and please, in love, don’t forget that not every wife has the strong hubby or church family to pick up the slack when life gets messy. (even with those helps it can be very tough too!) Thank you so much for the reminder to keep it real!

  • momstheword

    I love that term you used, “virtual wife.” You know how God changes our hearts and then our actions and behaviors are changed by God renewing us from the inside out?

    Well, I knew someone who was trying to do the reverse. She wanted to “fit in” in her church, although she wasn’t a believer, and so she tried to make herself over from the outside in, but all she managed to do was make over her outside, and barely even that.

    It was really sad because she couldn’t keep it up and she herself had to have been miserable, not to mention making others miserable.

    I would rather be known and loved for my imperfections than admired for qualities that I don’t really have but people THINK I have. Now, I had best go clean up my kitchen. 😉 Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday and for your sweet comment on my facebook post! I appreciate you! 🙂

  • Laura Lane of Harvest Lane Cottage

    Girl you’ve said it well. You’re wise beyond your years. Don’t expect any perfection from me. My windows need to be washed, my laundry’s not done (with 3 kids at home I never finish), BUT I do have oatmeal raisin cookies cooling on my counter. ~smile~

    It’s a real trap. I’ve found myself comparing myself but then I wake up. I realize we’ve spent the last three years dedicated to tornado recovery in Joplin. Now, we’re starting a new restaurant. It won’t all be perfect. There’s just not enough energy in my body.

    Blessings,
    Laura

  • Janine

    Amen! I blog about real food, self sufficiency and using home made products and such. I read a lot of blogs on the same topics and Imagine to myself that they never let their kids eat a pop tart or have a gummy vitamin or a grape that was not organic. They soak all their grains…or skip them altogether and make every food for their family from scratch. The NEVER EVER go to a drive thru. Although I admire that, and am striving towards it, I can’t live up to that image. And I realize they probably can’t either. Rule of thumb for me is to never judge my life by someone elses. Things are never as they seem! This was great for me to read today. Thanks. (Visiting from Prov 31)
    Janine @ my lamp is full

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