The Proverbs Woman: A Wise Steward of Marriage and Motherhood

Posted by on Aug 24, 2011 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

I am actually sitting in Panera as I write today’s post.  Nearby, men are meeting (kind of like men at the city gate back in the day of Proverbs) and they are discussing work, hobbies, and occasionally their wives.  I don’t hear the details, but I do hear the phrase, “My wife…,” popping up often.  I am not sure what they are saying, and I know it’s not really any of my business.

I tell you this story to relay the message that husbands will and do speak of their wives when they are not around.  I just hope that what they say will be kind, a relaying of how we bless the home in which we dwell with them.

Looking at the Proverbs 31 woman, she is married.  Immediately, if you’re not married, you may just exit out of here, but please don’t.  There is something to be learned for your benefit down the road or as a benefit to a friend who is married but who may need your advice.  You just never know.

If you’re not married, does that mean you can’t learn from this married woman’s example?  Nope.  In the context of the passage, however, these ideals being taught are for the one who is seeking a wife of noble character as well as the woman who aspires to be such a wife to a man.  These wise characteristics of hers as a single gal are obvious enough to cause the man who is looking to choose a wife-in-the-making who will probably be a wife of noble character.

On another note, if you’re the mom of a daughter, are you setting for her the example of a virtuous woman?  Are you teaching her the things that would help her to become a wise wife?

If you’re the mom of a son, is the example you set one of a woman you would hope he would choose for a wife?  We can’t pick their spouses, but the way we are as wives may help or hinder what they believe is the norm to choose to seek in a wife.

Moving right along, I see things that convey she is a worthy wife, a married woman of virtuous character toward her husband.  Look with me at these verses and see it:
      11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
      And he will have no lack of gain.
      12  She does him good and not evil
      All the days of her life.
       28  Her children rise up and bless her;
      Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
       29   “Many daughters have done nobly,
      But you excel them all.”
New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Pr 31:11–12). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Her husband has confidence in her.  What does that look like today?  Her words when he is present as well as when he is away don’t belittle him or emasculate him.  He knows that by the way she treats him to his face, she is that way towards him behind his back.  (verse 11)

She is a blessing to him rather than a disturbance.  She supports and encourages him all her life.  (verse 12)  I believe she has a say in the marriage, but she doesn’t try to usurp his authority as the head of their house.  They can have intelligent discussions and differing opinions without her lording it over him.  That serves to be an encouragement to him.  They are not threatened by each other.

Because of how she is in the home, her husband says good things about her to others. (verses 28-29)

In a word, this woman has R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for her man.

Look at Ephesians 5:33 – “Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”
New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Eph 5:33). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

She regards him highly. That’s respect.  That leads to a happy marriage.  Hopefully, the husband is loving his wife as Christ loved the Church…but that’s not for today’s post.  By having noble character in the way she loves and respects her husband, she is being a wise steward of her part of the marriage.

The wise man has chosen wisely in securing this noble woman as his complement.

Although the Proverbs 31 does not have a lot to say about this woman as a mom, what it does say is something I think all mothers hope happens at some point and that is this, “Her children rise up and bless her.”  This means they honor her.  Want to know how you’re doing as a wife and mother?  Sometimes, you need only look at how your children respect you.  Sometimes, their lack of respect may be circumstantial or based on their temperament, so in the big picture of how they relate to you or respond to you, do they express honor to you and about you in a way that is appropriate for their age and stage of life?  How are you about your mom?  Do you honor her?  Nothing does a mother’s heart more good than to have children who admire her because she deserves it, not because they are forced to express it.  That’s not honor.  That’s manipulation and it’s not being a woman of noble character if our children have to conjure up a fake honor.


Encouragement:
If you are married, know that this example of the Proverbs woman is one that is not impossible.  She is capable of being a virtuous wife.  Are you?  Sure you are.  Take a look at how you show your husband respect.  Make a point of being sincere in expressing your care, love, and support of him.  How are your skills as a mother?  Seek to teach things to your children based on biblical principles that will have long-term benefits in their lives and in their memories of you as their mom, even when you are no longer around.

Opportunity for Response:
Scroll over “comments” under today’s post and click there to leave a response that I’ll post later.  Today’s response opportunity is this.  Ask your husband to give an example of what you do that lets him know you respect him, then come back and leave a comment.  If you are a mom, ask your husband what your strengths and weakness as a mom are.  Feel free to share some of those or share a prayer concern in either area.  If you prefer to not have a comment posted, but still want the prayer support, leave a comment expressing that you do not want it posted.  I’ll read it and pray for you without posting your comment.  Thanks!

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