Christian women hear a lot about the Proverbs 31 woman.
In fact, I hear about her so often that I sometimes get really sick of hearing about the Proverbs 31 woman.
Why did God insist on including these 21 verses in His Word? If we were to read these things in a magazine article about a woman alive today, how would we react?
Would we be glad for her accomplishments and desire to emulate her, or would we nurse feelings of jealousy and guilt that we’re not living up to this ideal?
There have definitely been times when I’ve thought about this virtuous woman and wondered if I could ever make my good deeds look that good–is she even real? This is exactly why God included her description in Proverbs, though: to give women an example to emulate. The Bible is full of great examples for men, like Joseph, King David, and the apostle Paul. God knows we need someone to look up to as well.
The part of the description of the Proverbs 31 woman that strikes me is in verse 11: “The heart of her husband safely trusts her.” This sums up so much of our responsibilities to one another as married people. When we “safely trust” one another, we feel comfortable sharing all that is in our hearts. We know we can mess up because we will be forgiven and lovingly guided back onto the right path. We can live up to our highest potential because our fragile emotions are being safely guarded, not only by the Lord, but also by the one person He gave this responsibility to: our spouse.
In context, the entire thought goes like this: “The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.” ~Proverbs 31:11-12
If you and your spouse have communicated well, then you’ve each committed to roles and responsibilities. In our family, my husband is the financial provider and overseer of all that goes on with the home and family. I have been given the responsibility of caretaker of the home, finances, and children (when he’s not home). Though my role is huge as far as devoted time and energy are concerned, everything ultimately falls under his responsibility. If something “goes wrong,” it’s my husband who will answer to God for the poor management of his family and home.
That being the case, my husband needs to be able to safely trust that I will do my best to be a blessing. Every day I’m faced with the choice to do either what feels good or what is good. Sometimes I make the wrong choice. I’m so thankful that, in those times, I can safely trust my husband, and ultimately the Lord, to forgive me.
When I focus my heart on desiring to be a blessing, I realize that I do like that Proverbs 31 woman after all.