Some girls dream of their perfect wedding at an early age—the dress, the engagement, walking down the aisle, and the honeymoon. But as they get older, reality and responsibility hover over their dreams. It’s not just the ring, the dress, and the ceremony. It’s more about being equally yoked with your mate, ensuring that he can lead you spiritually, and you being equipped to handle the role of a wife. You know? Like the Proverbs 31woman. She strives to make her husband’s life better and embodies wisdom. She serves her family and others well and is giving of her time, energy, and resources.
Sure, some may think words like “serve,” “please” and “submit” are archaic and do not belong in the 21st century. However, author Erickajoy Daniels has created a fun, inspiring, and practical tool for the modern-day Proverbs 31 woman. In her interactive book, “Taking Care of Business While My Husband is at the Gate,” she invites women to embark upon a journey of enlightenment and guidance from a biblical perspective to be the best they can be for themselves, their family, and their husband, especially husbands in prominent positions.
But it takes a certain type of woman to hold it down and keep home and business running like a well-oiled machine. And with God’s help, it can be done. An excerpt from Daniels’ book explains it very well:
If we consider the type of woman whose husband is at the gate, let’s make this assumption: That type of man did not marry a slacker. It’s safe to say that she is one who has several responsibilities herself. In fact, that’s what she is all about—taking care of business. But if we are honest, we know that business wears us out. It takes a toll on us physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s wear-and-tear for the journey. The blessing for us is that God has this tremendous warranty plan for us, as His special make and model, so that any repairs needed are covered, and He has a master technician to ensure they are done.
Knowing what it’s like to take on the responsibility of a Proverbs 31 woman, she also understands that in a healthy marriage, respecting your husband’s wishes should align with God’s will.
In a culture that continues to try to redefine “submission,”—which is only a negative word to those who do not understand its purpose—the role of a wife is necessary to spread positivity and help keep her family strong. Submission is respecting your husband’s point of view. It means sharing your opinion with him and not discrediting him in front of others. It also means trusting his decision as a leader, while feeling empowered to give your own viewpoint.
But let’s not get it twisted. A husband has roles too. His responsibility is to take the initiative in a marriage and lead with intention, wisdom, and care without micromanaging his wife’s thoughts and opinions. He is the protector, provider, and a safe zone.
Although society views men as powerful leaders, they still desire love, compassion, care, respect, and support from Wifey to push their limits and achieve goals. However, sometimes their desires are unknown, and that is where the wife steps in to fill the void, amongst other things. As Proverbs 12 states, “a wife who supports her husband is an excellent wife and an excellent wife is a crown to him.”
A woman of power in her own right, Daniels is a widely recognized community thought leader and activist as Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer and Senior VP for a major health care system. However, as the wife of a pastor, she understands she must take care of business while her man is at the gate. “Our calling to the ministry of marriage is a beautiful opportunity and responsibility when married to men in prominent positions (The Gates),” she says. “Whether church, business, or community circles, how we handle ourselves illuminating them, while not dimming our light, creates flourishing households that are lighthouses for God’s kingdom.”
So, then what is the gates? Gates in biblical Israel were often the place where leaders would meet to discuss affairs of state and settle legal matters. It was typically a vast building, with an outer and inner gate that provided a second layer of protection, with a space in between. The space sandwiched between the two gates is what the Bible calls “the gates.”
The aim is for the husband in that prominent position to be at the gate with freedom, knowing that all is well at home, spiritually, physically, financially, and emotionally. Daniels explains, “For him to rest assured there, and grow and impact others at the gate, we need to attend to some business back home.” A statement that could be misconstrued, she clarifies and defends her point:
I am in no regard suggesting we take over and lead things; that would be contradictory to God’s plan and order. But there are some things of the physical home, our dwelling place of a home, and the emotional “home” of our marriage and the “home” of our heart and character that we must take care of.
Daniels believes women share a mutual desire to see themselves, their marriages, and their calling grow. Throughout the book, she helps women walk through aspects of themselves and cheerfully stresses the need for them to focus and think of themselves first. However, she says “it’s not self-serving but self-focused, so we can serve better.”
She imparts practical examples and honest reflection, allowing the reader to explore their personal understanding of a woman’s role in marriage to a man who is a servant leader in his own right.
As a multi-dimensional woman, leadership is in her DNA. She created Gate Girls, yet another avenue to inspire and uplift women. Gate Girls is a growing power network and a safe place for women to gather and leave all negativity and inhibitions at the door. “I created Gate Girls because I truly believe that women are looking for safe places to have bold, transparent conversations. Judge-free zones, forgiving zones, and places to be vulnerable where they can gain or regain strength for better days.”
Daniels describes a Gate Girl as a “ridiculously skilled and phenomenal woman. And she may not even fully know it yet. She connects with others to increase her impact and influences their inspiration.” She says this community is for you if you’re starting off with some commitments and re-commitments, trying to eat healthier, changing careers, etc. “The goal is to ingest some good while we’re together. Our community serves up good words to consume.”
I sat down with Erickajoy to get more insight on her book and the Gate Girl community.
Q. Why is it important to share your book with women?
A. I feel the lessons I have gleaned, and the way others have shared with me of how I communicate, provide a practical and tactical way for self-development. I continue to get feedback that women are searching for transparency, authenticity, and a strong sense of community to grow, and I believe the book is a catalyst for that.
Q. What would you like women to take away after reading your book?
A. That they are not alone, that there is a reality to a model of a woman in the bible that is closer to their experience than they realize, and that self-development is a journey. Being connected to men of prominence and influence doesn’t negate ours but calls our attention to be at our highest standard.
Q. Why did you create Gate Girls?
A. I created Gate Girls because I truly believe that women are looking for safe places to have bold, transparent conversations. Judge-free zones, forgiving zones, and places to be vulnerable where they can gain or regain strength for better days.
Q. What is the goal for Gate Girls?
A. My heart’s desire is that it will create these communities and places we never imagined. We are developing a power network of women who are a force to be reckoned with. Even when it means overcoming ourselves.
Q. Where do you find a Gate Girl?
A. In a gated community, of course! (wink).
Daniels says that God gives us an amazing playbook for our lives and in relationships. “He offers guidance, models, and encouragement for how we live. Let’s map out a game plan that is biblically grounded, practical in nature, and a platform to yield good fruit in us, our relationships, our work, and our impact.”
Her goal is to share her book and knowledge with as many women as possible and continue to grow the Gate Girl community.
For a copy of her book, go to Amazon.com