March 18, 2019
In the last installment, which I know was forever ago and I apologize, we discussed the idea of Lemuel’s mother’s plea to her son to stop wasting his life away on women and endeavours that are not pleasing to God. She implores him to find a woman of worth.
Starting in verse 10, she begins to describe the most highly regarded woman she can imagine: one whose worth exceeds rubies. I was reading a commentary that said that rubies are the second most valuable stone-right under diamonds. Imagine, if you will, a woman held in such high regard! How would she act? What are her goals? Who can tell her apart from any other woman?
Most of the articles that I have read have taken on the characteristics or traits such as faith, wisdom, etc for the Proverbs 31 woman. I read one article that discussed her in terms of the investments that she makes. I would like to draw on this article, and expand even more. It is a fascinating idea, and the more you look at her investments, the clearer you can see who this woman is, how she is different, and what her goals are. You are able to then see God shining through her by the works of her hands, the care she gives, and the wisdom she displays.
After considerable thought on the subject of the Proverbs 31 woman, I have come to the conclusion that it is not just a blueprint for how women should act. There is much more here! I believe that it is a guide to show us how we should invest in our relationships. God wants us to invest in people. He wants us to lead by example, not by the words of our mouths. How else can we convince an unbeliever that God is real?
Let’s look, this time, at the Proverbs 31 Woman in terms of her investment in her husband. All of her investing into this relationship boils down to one fundamental principle, in my opinion, which is respect. She respects him, therefore, she acts accordingly.I do think that this is a universal topic-that the same things that apply to women here, also can be applied to men and husbands. More importantly, this is a valid topic to discuss to show ourselves what we should strive to be in the eyes of God, not in the eyes of men.
“Her husband is full of confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
Proverbs 31: 11 & 12
“She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Beautiful, yes? Now, how many of us can say we treat our relationship with our spouse this way? If you think about it, husbands are to act this way towards their wife as well as wives towards their husbands. I can think of times that I have failed here. It is embarrassing to think of times where I have been less than gracious in my attitude towards my husband. Am I alone?
“However, each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Respect is a big deal, and in the relationship between husband and wife, the area of respecting one another is vital for a healthy, Godly relationship. How can we show respect for our spouse?
Showing respect to our husband is actually easier than one may think. I am a true believer that showing respect is the reflection of you, not the other person. What are some examples of ways to emulate the Proverbs 31 woman, and bring no harm to our spouses?
Being a Good Steward
With the example of the Proverbs 31 woman, she uses the resources entrusted to her by her husband, and she does not squander them. Her methods are meticulous, and she takes care to make good use of them. This is not only important to her husband, but also to God. We are called to be good stewards of the resources given to us by Him.
Refrain from Breaking Trust
The trust that we have with our spouse is sacred. I do believe that once that trust is lost, there is trouble ahead should we not seek to repair the wrong and seek forgiveness. God wants us to be faithful to our spouse, to maintain the relationship with that person just as we would with Christ. If we fail, we must ask forgiveness. We mustn’t let pride endanger our marriage. This is a tough lesson, but one that we must learn. If we love Christ, then pride should have no place in our lives-let alone our marriage.
Refrain From Harsh Words or Actions
This is so important. If you are constantly criticizing and nagging someone, they will not feel respected, let alone loved. The person you married, that you agreed to love and honor, is the first person who should see Christ through your words and actions. He should be able to say to others that you are a woman of God, and that you have nothing but kindness to share. If you struggle with taming your tongue, then that is between you and God, and needs to be dealt with in prayer and Bible study.
The small things matter, don’t they? I am a firm believer that they do. Something as simple as washing the clothes of another person is so much more powerful than we can imagine. Making your spouse a cup of tea or coffee, doing something for them that they would enjoy, and taking part in something that is their passion is a great way to show them love and respect. It is a great way to show that they matter to you, and also that you are making an investment in them because they matter to you.
I am not a believer of public displays of affection, but I do believe that it is ok to show the world that this person was chosen by God, for you, and that you love them. So, how can we do that while still being appropriate? Hold your spouse’s hand, sit near them in church, speak quietly to one another in public. There is no need to be inappropriate, but affection is something that needs to be a part of how we treat our spouse.
I have listened to non-believers speaking about withholding affection from their spouse until the get their way. I pray this isn’t something that you have done! Affection, in it’s own way, allows us to show respect for one another. We hug our children, we hug our grandparents, and we shake hands with others: all showing that we value them. Why would we do anything different with our spouses? Remembering that people often times need physical touch to feel loved is a good reminder to us. Show your husband and wife you love them with a simple hug. Sometimes, that is all that is needed.
Proverbs 31 is more than the ideal woman, it is a guide for us to follow and learn how to invest in one another. This week it was how to invest in our spouse, and next week we will discuss how the Proverbs 31 woman shows us how to invest in our community. Let me know what your thoughts are at email@example.com. I would love to hear from you!
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”