Monday, July 28, 2008

A Little Something To Chew On

So, yesterday I was reading my bible in preparation for this coming week and I decided that I was going to pick out a verse to focus on, memorize, and really chew on all week. I was going to start with my daily bible reading schedule (which I have NOT been following) and it had me starting in Ecclesiastes. As I turned the pages to get there, my eyes rested on this one verse and I felt God telling me "Hey! Here. Right Here. Kristen (God doesn't call me Unsinkable. I take Him more seriously this way.), this (this!) is what you need to be thinking on all week long."

Proverbs 31:11 (New American Standard)

"The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain."

I'm pretty sure I've read that only a billion times, as it's part of the famous Excellent Wife chapter of Proverbs, simultaneously the goal and the scourge of every woman. You want, so want, to be just like that but you are pretty sure you never will be if you keep spending the grocery money on Old Navy clearance sales.

Anyways, I read it and knew it was my verse this week, so I read it over a few times and started to try to take it apart. And whoa buddy, was there some stuff for me to think on.

"The heart of her husband trusts in her" - Aww. Isn't that sweet? He trusts her. Sounds like a good solid marriage, right? Built on trust. But then I read it again and it doesn't just say that he trusts her. It says that his heart trusts in her. That means that in his absolute core, he knows that she will do what she says she will do, when she says she will do it. He trusts her with everything, because she has proven herself trustworthy. There is no room for doubt when you declare that your heart trusts someone. She must have set a pattern of trustworthy behavior for him to feel this way, you know? I bet that she didn't tell him that she would get the dogs their medicine and then forget. I bet that he never came home to find that she didn't do the one thing he asked her to do (iron two shirts).

Matthew Henry's commentary says this (in case you needed something a little deeper):

She conducts herself so that he may repose an entire confidence in her. He trusts in her chastity, which she never gave him the least occasion to suspect or to entertain any jealousy of; she is not morose and reserved, but modest and grave, and has all the marks of virtue in her countenance and behaviour; her husband knows it, and therefore his heart doth safely trust in her; he is easy, and makes her so. He trusts in her conduct, that she will speak in all companies, and act in all affairs, with prudence and discretion, so as not to occasion him either damage or reproach. He trusts in her fidelity to his interests, and that she will never betray his counsels nor have any interest separate from that of his family. When he goes abroad, to attend the concerns of the public, he can confide in her to order all his affairs at home, as well as if he himself were there. She is a good wife that is fit to be trusted, and he is a good husband that will leave it to such a wife to manage for him.

I know, right? Does that not make you examine your heart just a little? Dude, it obviously did for me as I am currently blogging about this. Anyways, on to the second part.

"And he will have no lack of gain" - I'm sure that this has less to do with monetary gain (although I know that is a part of it) and more to do with exactly how you, as wife, affect your husband. Does your presence in his life make things things run smoother? Can you unequivocally say that you personally make his life better than if you weren't in it? And not by your basic presence, but by your actions and you attitudes. Are you causing him gain or loss?

Again, in the words of Matthew Henry:

She contributes so much to his content and satisfaction that he shall have no need of spoil; he needs not be griping and scraping abroad, as those must be whose wives are proud and wasteful at home. She manages his affairs so that he is always before-hand, has such plenty of his own that he is in no temptation to prey upon his neighbours. He thinks himself so happy in her that he envies not those who have most of the wealth of this world; he needs it not, he has enough, having such a wife. Happy the couple that have such a satisfaction as this in each other! (3.) She makes it her constant business to do him good, and is afraid of doing any thing, even through inadvertency, that may turn to his prejudice.

So, needless to say, I've been thinking on this a lot. It is very easy in our current culture to go about our daily lives asking "How does this affect me?", when what we really should be asking ourselves is "How can I help my husband more?". I'm not even going to be going into over extending ourselves, burnout, being a martyr, or learning how to say "No", because frankly I don't need to hear more about those things. I don't need to hear how I should be pampering myself, taking care of myself, and how I should be making more "me" time. I get that from every woman's magazine (Christian and non), every Ladies class and every television show I watch. What I need is a good kick in the pants telling me that God did not put me on this earth to sit back and take, he put me here to give. And in this season of my life, I can give to my husband, I can give to my children and I can give to my friends. There are a lot of ways that I can be selfless.

But before I do any of that, I need to start right at my point of greatest influence. Does David's heart trust in me? Am I bringing him nothing but gain?

What about you? Does your husband's heart trust in you? Are you bringing him nothing but gain?


becky said...

UK...that was seriously awesome. thank you for that. i'm gonna actually copy it and send it to my hubby today so that he can know i am thinking of him and how i can be a better wife to him. rock on sister.

The Garrett's said...

Thanks for sharing all of that. You brought up some good questions. Have you read "Beautiful in God's Eyes" by Elizabeth George? She goes into lots of detail about the Prov.31 woman. It's very convicting! But, it's good!

robinscharff said...

I love love love that verse. I have had it taped to my kitchen windowsill for a while. I like the way the NLT reads too:

Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.

Amy Lu said...

hey can you get Dave to do something like this for husbands so that I can forward it to him???? for that would be awesome.

Sarah said...

UK, I really needed to hear those words today. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Kristen said...

This is a great post. Lately, reading your blog, I feel like we've been pondering a lot of the same things. Thanks for the encouragement!