Devotion for the Week...
This week I am continuing to look at Proverbs 31:10 - 31. Go here to read the whole passage and here to read my first devotion looking at the famous 'noble wife.'
Have you ever noticed how much of Proverbs 31 is about the woman's relationship with her husband?
"A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life." (vv. 10-12)
If I could ask him, would your husband say you bring him good , not harm, all the days of your life? Would mine, if you could ask him? Not only on the days when we want something, or only on the days he remembers to compliment how we look, or only the days we are happy with the number on the scale, or even only on the days our hormonal balance is just right - all the days of our lives. That's a high goal, isn't it?
That doesn't mean we don't speak up when we disagree with him. Nor does it mean we keep quiet when our feelings are hurt. It does mean we remember to fight fair and to treat him with respect. It means we don't try to hurt him and we take the initiative and apologize when necessary. It means we keep our husband's best interests in mind at all times.
Before anyone gets upset, thinking wives are supposed to be doing all the work in maintaining this relationship, I should point out a verse in Ephesians directed at husbands. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her," (Ephesians 5:15). Loving as Christ loved the church is an unconditional, sacrificial love, guaranteed to be keeping the wife's best interests in mind at all times.
But let's get back to the 'noble wife.'
"Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land." (v. 23)
Do you realize that how you talk about your husband to others affects how they view him? Are you aware of the picture you paint of him to others? I have been around women who never have a positive word to say about their husbands, or who share stories that make him sound like a complete idiot. It's hard not to lose respect for the husband, even knowing that I am only hearing the wife's side of the story. Our words have the power to increase or decrease the respect others have for our husbands.
We shouldn't pretend our men are perfect or plaster on a smile and pretend a marriage is perfect if, in fact, it is struggling. I mean we must be aware of the casual remarks we sometimes make that could make others view him differently. Sometimes it can be tough to keep quiet, or we justify what we say since we're 'only joking around,' but we should always be aware of the effect of our words. I confess that just the other day I made a comment, 'just joking around,' that I should probably have kept to myself. Nothing serious, but it was a laugh with another woman at Paul's expense and it was unnecessary.
In our society the man is often portrayed as a buffoon while the woman is strong and smart. She is competent where he is incompetent. There's nothing wrong with a woman being strong, smart and competent. In fact, I think Proverbs 31 shows 'the noble wife' as just that. I think that's why "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her" (v. 28). But let's be careful not to portray our husbands as less than they are in order to make ourselves look stronger, smarter or more competent.