Have you ever wondered about the Proverbs 31 woman? How did she get to be so admired? As I look at wives all around me, I find that how the husband treats them makes a big difference. I’ve seen many Proverbs 31 wives belittled and unappreciated, and others flourish and grow. Her character is paramount, but her husband is also key in her success.
Upon reading through the Proverbs 31 passage again, I put the husband in mind, and these are some of the things I have extrapolated:
The Proverbs 31 husband has found a wife of great value. He married someone that he can place his full confidence in. He paid attention to his would-be wife before he married her, and found that she was someone who was kind, faithful, who loved others, and who worked on her own character and person-hood, and he admired that in her. Upon marrying her, the husband came to realize that this woman was worth more than rubies. And so he treats her as such.
He is not threatened in the least by the fact that this woman is ambitious, and works hard. He notices the amount of work she accomplishes and either provides extra help for her by hiring assistants, or gives her full permission to hire whatever she needs to accomplish her tasks.
He isn’t jealous of her ability to produce. In fact, he gives her room to grow in business. She can purchase a field, she can plant a vineyard, she can make a profit. She has learned to work hard for her family which is a character trait he admired in her from the beginning, and although he does not burden her with the task of providing financially for the needs of the whole family, he gives her room to grow and bless the family.
But it’s not just her family that benefits. The husband has also opened his home to the poor and needy. Knowing that he and his wife together make a great team, he is not selfish with his house or possessions, but lives with an open hand as God directs he and his wife to help meet the needs of others.
Between the two of them, they have been good stewards of their own family. Their children are prepared for winters as well as summers. They are constantly attending to the needs of their own household, and out of that, the needs of the world around them.
At the city gate, this man is well respected. He is not embarrassed of the fact that his wife is successful. He has no need to keep her secluded, or isolated, or dependent because she has proven by her character that she is a blessing to her husband, family, and neighbors. He doesn’t feel threatened as a man, and is not known to belittle his wife among his peers.
He speaks highly of her wisdom and character. Even the local merchants know of her integrity of work and skill, and they praise her for her value, and that does not threaten him.
She remained a Proverbs 31 wife because that was her character, but along the way she was given many opportunities to change her character. She could have become vain, over-bearing, selfish, proud, greedy, negative, idle, a gossip, bitter, or invisible. But she chose over and over to love her husband, to serve her family, to bless her community, and she succeeded, also, because she had a Proverbs 31 husband who did not squelch her passions, limit her resources, become jealous of her successes, or belittle her efforts. Instead, he made room for her successes and helped to resource her efforts.
She is a woman who fears the Lord above all. That is the most important trait her husband saw in her. Because of this, he ensured that their household would be one that would fear the Lord, and would serve Him first. He did not allow spiritual passivity in his own life or the lives of his family.
He realized that how he treated his wife would determine their families success. He also realized that his children would repeat his behavior, and he was responsible to “set the bar” as to how his wife should be treated. Consequently, her children rose up to call her “Blessed”. They did this because their father set the example.
He decided early on to let her be praised at the city gates, and he would be her head cheer leader.
Thank God for Proverbs 31 husbands! I happen to have one, and am so blessed because of him.