What do you think of, when you hear the word "gate"? Do you imagine a vine-covered gate at the edge of a garden?
In this verse, we are talking about an entirely different type of gate!
We've mentioned before that the gate of the city was a place where courts of justice were kept, and causes heard and tried by the judges. The judges were the elders of the land; they were the older, mature, wiser men who would listen to the particulars of a case and render an impartial judgement to the (possibly) impassioned participants. The gate was a place where serious discussions of the day's issues and problems were held, and this is where we find the husband of the Proverbs 31 woman.
We talked in earlier verses about how this Spirit-filled woman handled things for the household, so that her husband could be all that he could be; she allowed him to fulfill his potential. I think that is what is noted here, too. He is known, and even has a certain amount of celebrity, not because of the beautiful garments that she makes for him, but instead because of his discernment. Because of the wisdom of his wife, he had no cares for his domestic affairs, but was at leisure to conduct business and public judgements, and to do so with a sterling reputation. By his careful leadership, the citizens of the region, and his wife, could go about their business each day, knowing that the community's affairs were in good hands.
Christ is the husband of the church in general, and of every individual believer. He loves us and is a kind, tender and sympathizing friend to His church and to His people. He cherishes us and provides for us. He is known by us -- we can trust Him for His leadership, for He has shown His mercy, grace, and love to us, time and time again. We can rely on His decisions and judgements to be wise and fair.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
8 He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path. Proverbs 2:6-9