The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
Just a few decades ago, the fight against male chauvinism was a fierce one. Women fought for respect and equality, and while there were many noble intentions garnering intrinsic rights that I’m sure I take for granted today, there were also some sinister consequences. The biggest is abortion, but that’s a topic for another post. A very big consequence is the heartbreaking and marriage-killing pervasiveness of female chauvinism, or misandry.
Misandry is misogyny’s counterpart. While a misogynist could be found belittling, exploiting, ignoring, using, and/or abusing women, so behaves the misandrist toward men. And just as many men who would be accused of misogyny are married or have intimate relationships with women, many misandrists are married or intimate with men. Both would hotly deny the accusation that they hate the opposite sex, but their attitudes, actions, and words tell a different story. Misandry has become part of our culture, and many women — including Christian women — treat their husbands disrespectfully. It’s just so socially accepted and normal to belittle men that I think many wives don’t even realize it’s happening.
But look at how sweet Jewel the queen is described in the verse above! Lemuel trusts her implicitly, and has no lack of gain in any area of his life:
- Financially — She doesn’t say, “What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” She doesn’t make excuses. She doesn’t waste money. A man married to a woman like her doesn’t have to hold his breath every time the credit card statement comes in the mail. (And in fact, he sees every bill because she doesn’t hide it from him.) She watches her spending and questions every purchase in her mind. Instead of making excuses for compulsive purchases, she pauses and asks herself, “Do we need this? Do we have the money for this? Even if we have the money for this, could I spend this money in a more useful way, or could I find a better deal somewhere else?” Some people call this being cheap, but it’s actually being wise. You’re guarding your heart, your mind, your marriage, and your livelihood by thinking this way. More on this in another post.
- Spiritually — She doesn’t gripe, “He’s just not being a spiritual leader,” all the while stomping all over him and usurping his leadership. She is a spiritual encourager. She is an example to him by being a faithful follower of Christ, but she doesn’t lord it over him or use it to point out his failings. She is careful not to help him chase idols. Ladies, we have incredible spiritual influence over our husbands (just ask King Solomon), but we must be gentle, humble, and quick to notice our own shortcomings instead of focusing on our husbands’. A sweet spirit goes a long way, but a nagging spirit is counterproductive.
- Sexually — She doesn’t say, “Oh, he knows who I’m coming home to!” when someone looks sideways at her for wanting to gather together with girlfriends and watch some very attractive actors stripping, or to discuss the “plot and characterization” of the latest sado-masochist best-seller. She recognizes explicit movies and erotic literature for what they are: pornography. She is completely faithful to her husband, recognizing that excuses about how this “entertainment” is fake and how it has improved her sex life is tantamount to giving her husband $500 in ones to blow at a strip club, with the only stipulation being that he spend his climax on her when he gets home. Um, nope. That’s so degrading to women!! How horrible! Exactly. It goes both ways. Besides, it doesn’t feel good to anyone to know that your spouse is more aroused by someone else, and only interested in you one night because of that someone else, whether that someone is fictional or not. The Proverbs 31 Woman has eyes and a heart only for her husband, and he feels completely loved and accepted by her sexually. (Yes, our men need and deserve that security, too.) So hopefully, it goes without saying that this woman also doesn’t say, “I have a headache,” kind of ever.
- Emotionally — She doesn’t say, “Oh be a man!” with her words, her attitude, her expression, or her tone. Ever. He can share any thought, feeling, emotion, or insecurity, and know that his wife still respects him and loves him, and that she will never share his deepest confidences with anyone else. He doesn’t even have to ask her not to tell anyone; she just knows. This emotional trust ties in very closely with #5:
- Publicly — I’ll be talking more about this in a later post, but generally she doesn’t mock him, belittle him, give him attitude, or talk poorly about him in public. Her husband can trust that “playgroup” and “ladies’ night” are not simply code names for bashing sessions. (Sadly, too many of these gatherings are exactly that. My advice to you if that describes your group is to say no to your “friends” and to honor your husband by staying home instead!) When he makes a mistake, or needs help doing something, she doesn’t speak to him like he’s an idiot. She doesn’t roll her eyes. She doesn’t sigh, snap, speak harshly, or visibly simmer as she responds. She recognizes in him the man that she loves, and she helps him when he needs help, and that with patience, understanding, and kindness. (I mean, could you perfectly do everything he is good at, completely without his help?)
Where do you see yourself in the descriptions above? Remember, don’t just assume that you’re an excellent wife. Let the verse settle into your heart and ask God to help you see yourself and your marriage objectively. Are you as completely trustworthy as Jewel? Can your husband say that in all of the areas above, he has “no lack of gain”? I personally find this all very convicting; I don’t know about you. It’s too easy to let my politeness “fizzle” by the end of the day and snip and snap at the man who slays dragons for me every day. We all struggle with this to some extent, but let’s not let that be an excuse to tear down our men and our marriages, ladies! This is not “stress.” This is not “exhaustion.” This is not “frustration.” This is not justifiable in any way; this is sin, and it needs to be repented of and dealt with. Let’s let this verse settle into our hearts, searching out the truth and teaching us how to bless our husbands!
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My Son, if you cannot trust her when you’re dating, it will not get better after you marry her. You should have absolutely no reservations about her faithfulness, her trustworthiness, and her passion for honoring, loving, and encouraging you. If you do, do not marry her. Better to be single than in a marriage with a woman whom you can’t trust.
My Love, you deserve a Jewel of a wife. I am definitely not her, but I pray that as we grow in our marriage I will become more and more like her! Please forgive me for ways I have disrespected you or hurt you, and know that I am committed to becoming a Jewel as I press more into Jesus and allow Him to chip away my impurities.
My Lord, teach me integrity! Change my heart and rid me of selfishness. I know I fail You and my husband daily, but I know that You are bigger than my sin!
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