I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Proverbs 31, the chapter in which we read about the qualities of a “wife of noble character.” For years, I felt like a complete failure compared to this overachieving woman with her constant working, business savvy, and the getting up early / staying up late schedule she kept.
Until I realized this woman wasn’t doing all these things in a day! Moreover, she had servant girls. And for some crazy reason, when I ask my husband to get me a slew of servant girls, I just get confused stares. (Go figure.) Needless to say, I haven’t had influx of household staff to whom I could delegate certain tasks.
So basically, I don’t get everything done. Ever.
Yet I adore how Proverbs 31 lays out the deeper characteristics wives should aim for — industriousness, kindness, generosity, wisdom, mirth. That’s really what Proverbs 31 is about, and it’s a focus I wholeheartedly endorse.
I was thinking about this chapter yesterday as I walked through my living room and saw my husband’s shirts laid out to take to the dry cleaners. I don’t get everything done that I wish I could, but he trusts that laying out his shirts means I’ll take them to the dry cleaners and pick them up later. When he reaches for clean clothes, they’ll be there. When it’s time for dinner, I’ll have it ready, let him know I won’t be there, or secure food from a nearby restaurant. When our bank statements come in, I’ll reconcile them. When our kids need school supplies or new clothing, I’ll purchase them. By the way, this is not some do-my-laundry-woman! attitude from him. It’s a division of responsibilities we’ve worked out over the years and according to seasons. But he trusts that I’ll take care of these small things.
And then there are the bigger things. Like him knowing that I’m here for conversation, affection, and intimacy. Expecting that I’m on this life journey with him until the end. Supporting one another through thick and thin, better and worse, and all the challenges of a life long-lived.
It’s both the little and the big things that make him feel loved. Which is why when I came across the following verse, I wanted it to be my encouragement to wives this week. I’ll be memorizing it; maybe you will too. “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value” (Proverbs 31:11).
I think this verse could be a good guide for how we treat our husbands in marriage. Does your husband trust you? Do you have his full confidence? Does he lack anything of value?
Note: No, he may not have that singing bass he wants for your living room wall or the newest Apple gadget, but I doubt that’s what’s meant by “value.” Interpret accordingly.
Aim for being that wife of noble character this coming week — the one who approaches life with industriousness, kindness, generosity, wisdom, mirth. The wife a husband should and can trust, for the big things and the small.