Bernard O’reilly shares in his book from 1886 titled The Mirror of True Womanhood a story of a young wife who had a husband who was very prosperous in his business. They had six beautiful children and she was known for her kindness and cheerfulness. Her husband’s business, unfortunately, took a dramatic turn for the worse and he was nervous about telling his wife about it.
Many of his friends offered to give him money to support their lifestyle but when he told his wife about it, she told him it would be wiser to sell their home and all of their expensive furnishings and rent a small cottage rather than be in debt to others. He was pleased with her idea so this is what happened.
“But what was the astonishment of friends and relatives, when, after a few days of pity or wonderment, they called on the brave little woman in her new home, to find so fair, so bright, so beautiful! The carpets were plain, it is true, and the furniture was of the commons kind; but chairs and sofas and ottomans had been covered with a chintz so pretty that no one stopped to inquire what was beneath the covering…and the little mistress, with her sunny smile and merry laugh, and the warm hospitable welcome for every friend and acquaintance; and there, too, were the rosy children, as unconscious of any change of fortune.
The little ones saw no change around them, save that the light of their mother’s smile was even more sunny than ever, that she loaded their dear father with fonder caresses and called forth from his big heart louder bursts of joy and mirth, and that she had been busier than ever with her active hands and restless needle in transforming and beautifying the face of things in every room with the smallest possible expense.
And so the happy nestful increased, and the husband rose higher in public confidence and in his noble profession, while his wife bestowed her whole care on the lovely children, whom she educated herself in every branch of learning and in every accomplishment necessary or suitable to their position.
Limited as was their income, neither the husband nor the wife ever bestowed a thought on the expenditure consequent upon such an unbounded and uninterrupted hospitality. The little wife managed to have a bountiful table at all times, never an extravagant one; and thus she never once allowed her household expenses to go beyond her means. What made her table, her drawing-room, the whole atmosphere of her home so full of an undefinable charm, was the love, the innocence, the paradisaical purity and charity which parents and children shed around them.”
May we all aspire to be like this godly wife; for godliness with contentment is great gain.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:30, 31