Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Proverbs 31:11-12,23 Our character as wives....trustworthy

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, 
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

We're diving in today, and the first image of the ideal wife is a character trait called "trustworthy." We'll look at verses 11, 12, and 23 for this one . . .
In the ancient world, even in Judaism, things were very different from today. Women were not always looked upon as God had planned for them to be looked upon, nor were they treated as He had planned for them to be treated. Often they were perceived to be second-class citizens.
Very often men built up close and strong friendships with other men; their wives were distanced from them, and often treated as servants. Some men didn't even maintain intimate relationships with their wives -- instead they kept them as serving staff, and had concubines for intimacy.
As a result, sometimes there was not an intimate relationship, the kind that leads to a feeling of trust. Instead of devotion, love, and trust, there was a feeling of "I had better lock things up when I go on my business trip next week."

So, the first thing in this passage is that this husband doesn't have to lock anything up when he is not right there, handy to supervise. He can trust his wife, because she won't do anything to harm his personal gain. He has a calm that comes when he thinks that she will never violate anything, never do anything that brings harm. He can completely trust in her; she will never threaten what he has gained for the support of the family.
This passage is talking about the complete trust that is built on their intimate relationship and her integrity, wisdom, and discretion -- in the use of his assets and in the care of his interests.
You see, his comfort is her concern, and his burdens are hers to relieve. He can be at peace when he is absent from the homeplace, because he knows that all he has is safe with her. Why? Because she cares for him, and he knows it. Way down deep, he knows. He knows that she would never do anything that would cause him sorrow, or pain, or suffering or stress. He is not worried, because she is absolutely trustworthy.
Now, that is a great foundation for a marriage!

So, Lemuel's mom says that with the help of this ideal wife, he will have no lack of gain. He's never going to come back home, and have to make back waht she loses. He will never have to cheat, or falsify an account, or steal, to gain a little more, to cover a loss, or to get back something that she wasted carelessly.
I found it interesting that the meaning of gain in ancient times was that of spoils from war . . . booty. It almost sounds like the wife is a warrior bringing home booty from her victories -- that she goes out and fights if she has to, to bring back what her family needs. She uses what her husband provides, to make certain her family has what they need.
It sounds to me, coupled with other verses in the chapter, that she is in charge of the domestic matters. She's in charge of not just using, but also for accounting for the resources in the home. The husband is free to give himself fully to his work, because he knows she will be a wise steward of all of the household accounts. She will manage the resources that the husband earns and provides, and help him to profit.

He has enough because she is devoted to the care of his earnings because she loves him, because she cares about him, because she seeks his good. And that's what comes in verse 12; we will look at the next verse tomorrow: "She does him good and not evil all the days of her life."

1 comment:

Belinda said...

Having so little resources all our married life, I learned pretty early on that we must watch what we spend carefully. When I was working, I always gave my tithe first, then gave a portion to my husband for household bills, and then gave myself a small allowance to spend as I wished. It worked really well.

When I stopped working, it was harder because he manages the checkbook as he has for years. Not that he ever doubted me, but he just likes to know exactly what we have at any given time. (Likes to be in charge. Ha) So, at times I have overspent a smidgen on personal items. Nothing major, but we've had discussions on this several times and finally decided that in August, when he retires, we will map out a strict budget and adhere to it. (We both make too many little trips to Walmart for this or that.)

My husband has a lot on his shoulders with having to help his parents with so much. They are both failing in health and need him more than ever. I'm so glad that he feels comfortable leaving me to do for them. It eases his mind so much to know I don't begrudge him their time and needs, and that I'm fine when he's not around. :)

This is a good post Jacque!!!