Hello December, you came rather quickly this year.
This month we're stitching block two of my newest (free) block of the month, The Virtuous Wife, which will run for fourteen months. If you missed block one please go HERE
Block 2 - "The heart of her husband trusts in her. He will have no lack of gain." Proverbs 31:11
There's really quite a lot to ponder with verse 11, and at times it can be a tad confronting. Let's start with "The heart of her husband trusts in her..."
The Hebrew word for "heart" in this verse is 'leb' and refers not just to feelings, as one would normally imagine, but the intellect...where judgement is made on facts.
The Hebrew word for "trust" or "safely trusts' in this verse is 'batach' and means to be confident and sure. It is used all through the old testament when referring to man, and his trust in God.
So bringing both together, we grasp the weight of this husband's confidence and surety in his wife. Intellectually, he trusts her by the fruit borne of her character, as well as the emotions of his heart which clearly overflow with love.
His trust in her does not waver, he is confident always, just as he trusts God, just as we today put all our trust in God. Don't know about you, but comparing the husband's trust in his wife to the trust we put in God, really caused me to look with deeper perspective at my own role as a wife, examining my trustworthiness in light of God's trustworthiness. Those are big shoes to fill, yet the Bible is showing me that it's possible for us to be just as confidently trusted by our husbands.
This example of trust (in marriage and in God) also highlights the unique connection between husband and wife, the way we balance each other, how we must work at supporting each other's God given role without envy or pride, avoiding all manner of competitiveness, but humbly serving each other because we serve the Lord, and are called to follow His example.
The remainder of verse 11 reads - "He will have no lack of gain".
In Hebrew "no lack of" is 'chacer' and is the exact same word David used in Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want".
The Hebrew word for "gain" (or spoil in the KJV) is 'shalal' and describes the bounty taken from an adversary, or the booty as some would say, a profit of wealth.
This tells me his wife manages the household with financial wisdom, and is not wasteful in any way. Her diligence to managing their home means her husband has all he needs, and is not in want.
As we go further along in our study of the Proverbs 31 woman next year, evidence of why this wife is held in such high regard will become clear, and I pray for myself, and for all of you who have joined in with this block of the month and accompanying study, that we raise our own standards as wives, mothers, women, and daughters of God. The Christian life was never meant to be stagnant, nor are we called to tread water or become complacent, but we are to grow more and more like Christ, reflecting His character in every aspect of life. This is not something we can do all at once, it's a step by step, day by day, challenge by challenge, joy by joy, journey from becoming less of ourselves and more like Him.
On a personal note, I have spoken of this verse (and verse 12) a few times over the years because it's a call the Lord gave me a long time ago, a life calling, a wife calling, so here's part of my own testimony on marriage as the decades pass...
Many years ago Proverbs 31:11-12 stamped itself on my heart and mind, birthing a desire to fulfil that role in my day to day life as a wife and homemaker. With regularity this verse comes to mind as, I am sure, a prompt from the Holy Spirit to stop and consider whether I am indeed fulfilling that desire.
At times I rejoice because there’s a certainty in my soul of a good attitude and daily loving care being offered to my beloved man…but sometimes there is a check in my spirit to examine more closely the cracks which have begun to appear in my character.
I knew that living this out would not be easy because of my own humanity with its pride, selfishness and numerous other character failings, but also because my husband is not perfect and came into our marriage with his own strengths, weaknesses and rough edges. After all, marriage is often a series of balancing acts when two quite different individuals make a commitment to live ‘as one’ for life.
Marriage is a page by page story you write from the heart, moment by moment decisions and choices that will build the union stronger or tear it apart until only shreds remain. Over the past 31 years my husband and I have faced more valleys that mountaintops, faced crises which according to statistics tear apart more couples that draw them closer, but here we are, more committed, more loved, than ever before.
You see, many times over those years we've been pulling in opposite directions, not walking in our God given roles, seeking to be the one who was right and to have our own way. There are many tears, sorrows, losses and grief scattered along the highways and byways of this marriage, but I made a decision when Proverbs 31:11-12 stamped itself on my heart to always let him have the last word, make the big decisions, and to be held responsible before God for those choices and directions.
We stayed committed.
We chose to forgive.
We learned to listen to each other’s point of view and really hear what was being said.
I show him genuine respect and he loves me as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25-33), and always takes into consideration my thoughts before making a big decision.
When dissention threatened our peace of mind or our relationship we sought Jesus to show us a better way, and often it would be Proverbs 31:11-12 which the Lord would bring to mind again for me and I always took it to heart.
Honestly, the teaching in those two verses has led me through seasons of pruning, planting, blooming, and hibernation (especially when my views had been totally warped by selfishness) They have changed me for the better and will keep changing me as the years go by.
“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”
I love my man, and therefore I want his heart to safely trust me.
I want him to have no lack of gain.
I want to do him good and not evil all the days of my life.
So I take one day at a time and praise God for the opportunity to be that wife, knowing there are days I'll fail and days I'll soar. The most important thing is that I keep this close to my heart and do my utmost to live it out.
Marriage is the relationship above all else which needs the most work, the most love, the most compassion, the most forgiveness, the most humility - and for most of us it will be a relationship which will last for many decades until the Lord takes one of us home.
Now, it's not my place to stand over my man and critique his husbandliness, that's something he and God work on together, though there have been occasions when I wanted to point the finger in his direction (and did) to my disappointment, but God is watching me be a wife, so that's the role I try and keep firmly in mind when different views arise.
Taking our eyes off what we perceive to be our husband's weaknesses or failings and putting them firmly on what WE need to be, what WE need to change, how WE should respond, is God's way. (Matthew 7:3-5)
So have I given this marriage the time and prayer and care it needs?
I have to ask myself this on a regular basis and that's a good thing because only by honestly examining my role as a wife can I improve our marriage relationship so that it will last the distance; after all, Mr E is my best friend, lover and champion, and most definitely worth the effort.
I pray the Lord pours out a great blessing upon your marriage and widens your understanding within it that you may gain an increase of love, joy, respect and fellowship with Christ.
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Bless you heaps,
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