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.
8 thoughts on “Does Your Husband Trust You?”
I always heard that the dishwasher, clothes washer, dryer, stove/oven, microwave, were the “modern slave girls.” Remember, Proverbs 31 didn’t have any of those things. She also had to make everything from scratch (which I do anyway). It was a different world. I am not misunderstanding your post, just thought the above was funny and a thought to ponder.
Ha! Good point. 🙂
Seeing as how I am a male, I may look at this verse in a different light. Current stereotypes indicate that the men are “big picture thinkers.” Actually, at least in my case, it is big picture combined with unpleasant experiences before becoming a Christian, that make me see this verse differently.
When I asked my wife to marry me, it just happened. Now I know I will be chided for being completely unromantic here, nevertheless I will go on. One night, I was on the phone with my lady friend (we lived 45 minutes away from each other, and had conflicting schedules. Basically, it worked out to a close proximity long distance relationship) before I was to go out to a show with my mother who was in town visiting. I called the wonderful Ms. K to check in and see how her day went. In the course of what was planned to be a quick ten minute call, seemingly out of nowhere, came the words “will you marry me?” A few seconds of silence, a word from Ms. K hoping to confirm that the words were serious, and then a few words giving me space to take it back. Can’t blame her for thinking it was not a serious thought, after all if YouTube has taught us anything, you are supposed to ask women to marry you on the JumboTron at sporting events.
Why did the words fall out of my mouth? Believe me when I tell you, I was just as surprised to hear them as she was. Literally, ten seconds before I said them, I had no idea I would say them. The words were a natural extension. Why?
In my innermost being, I trust her. I know where she is at on the inside in relation to how she views this thing called life. We are more than on the same page. I know where she wants to go in life, and in this day. We view all the major important things in similar fashion. I had bad experiences previously, and instead of blaming the others (married twice before), which I could easily do (as one cheated on me for years, divorcing when she found one with money, and the other moved 2,300 miles away abandoning me), I thought long and hard, “how did I get here, and what could I have done differently?”
A clue in helping me answer that question came from my exes themselves. Today, they are the same people as the day I met them. If they are so easy to see as the wrong people for me now, shouldn’t they have been the day I met them as well? I realized, at the very least, I needed to change me selection criteria. I needed to find someone I could marry (if I ever decided to again) who I would not have to hope would “change” or “come around on a few things.”
So the wonderful Ms. K, whom I met on a cruise ship, went through a lengthy interview, bless her soul. Of course, she did not know it was an interview, it was a series of conversations over the course of many nights on that cruise. A question as an aside, ladies, do your husbands like to do things the hard way? Well, I went from Las Vegas to Mexico to meet a woman from North Las Vegas. The hard way has it merits. Back to the point, I asked her many open ended questions. These questions dealt with every major topic I felt was important in life, and were asked without revealing my feelings on the issues. I have learned someone will tell you what they think you want to hear if they want something from you.
Bottom line, we are so very much in line, we are extensions of each other. Now we don’t complete tasks the same way, we’re not identical, but we want the same things. She may come from the north, and perhaps I the south, but we meet-up in the middle. I can’t live without her. I can take care of myself, I am very domesticated, but I can’t live without her. It’s her heart, it beats with mine. It’s not that I trust her, I know her. I know she has no desire that I would make me un-trusting of her. She’s not perfect, but I would say she is the good one in this deal, but she disagrees with me. It’s not the individual tasks I can trust her with (I am not disagreeing with J’s post, it’s great, but in my case it goes way beyond that) it’s that I trust her to be with me every step of the journey to our destination. And knowing her they way I do, there is no way she would go on a journey, and not pack my favorite snack. Wow, the thought of Mrs. K presenting bags of smoke house almonds and her homemade chex mix just brought a small tear to my eye. I love her so.
It’s funny that my husband and I met in Albuquerque, New Mexico, despite having grown up 2 1/2 hours away from each other in Texas. 🙂
The Hebrew word for value in this verse is pronounced wə·šā·lāl. There are two other occurrences in the Old Testament. I find it helpful to read other uses of the word to help gain perspective. Often times, as evidenced by the numerous English Bible translations available, the meaning of words are lost in translation, or diminished by the translators themselves (not suggesting anything duplicitous here).
The two other occurrences are 2 Samuel 3:22 and Daniel 11:24.
Going by those two verses, the Proverbs 31 wife is not just something nice of value, you kill to get it. No, guys, I am not advocating killings anyone, just a metaphor for hard work.
Don’t forget that she also extends her arms to the poor. Her good works are not confined to her home and family.
I asked for this reading for my mother’s funeral. Not only was she a wonderful keeper of a happy home, but also her children gathered to praise her. I hope your children do the same for you!
Indeed! Thank you.
Thanks for this post J. Proverbs 31 is my favourite passage, and I really need to refocus on it. So thank you for the reminder.
One other point, totally not related to the post. But this chapter is not only for the women. It is also for the church as a whole. As the bride of Christ we need to be living it.
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