…doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil (no lack of gain). She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
A few months ago I had the opportunity to give the “charge” at a bridal shower for a precious young woman engaged to a dear family friend. I am always amazed when I am asked to do such things, and I often wonder what my husband thinks when I am asked. He always encourages me, so I hope that says something…
Anyway, one of the greatest lessons in marriage that I have learned has to do with an aspect of being a “Proverbs 31 Woman,” or “The Virtuous Wife.” I’m sure most of us churchgoers have heard many sermons and Bible lessons on this passage, so I’m not even going to attempt going through the whole chapter. I’m just going to share what I shared at the Shower, which is more of a personal testimony as a wife.
One commentary says of this passage, “The virtuous wife is very careful to recommend (commit) herself to her husband’s esteem and affection; to KNOW HIS MIND…” She makes it her CONSTANT business to do him good..” Another one says she (the virtuous wife) “seeks his interest, and promotes his honor and glory…”
Something I have learned (the hard way!) is that I can so easily tear down or build up my husband by my words and behavior. I have learned that Bill, and most men, excel under the praises of their wife When life begins tearing at Bill, whether through finances, difficult circumstances (such as we are in now), physical limitations, failures (real or perceived) – whatever life brings along -I know that just a few words of praise can lift Bill out of the pit of despair and give him the courage to try again!
Conversely, if Bill is on the edge of that pit, with one disparaging word I can send him headlong into it!
In our [almost] 30 years of marriage, I have been guilty of both. As the years have gone on, though, I hope I am praising far more than I am pulling him down! I have also learned through these years of being married that men need to be told more than a vague “I love you,’ or “You’re the most wonderful man in the world, ” although those things are nice to hear!
What attributes do I love and admire in Bill? He needs to hear that I think he is strong, he’s intelligent, creative, kind, compassionate, RIGHT! As a wife, I need to look for specific ways my husband is worthy of praise. And then, I need to praise him! Praise him to his face, and praise him to others.
Wonderful things begin to happen as a result of that praise. Bill feels more valuable, more secure; he works even harder to succeed because he begins to believe he can succeed! Another cool thing happens as a result of praising my hubby: I, myself, begin to see more and more just how praiseworthy Bill is! I see even more what a spectacular man I married!
Below is a repeat of part of my 2009 Valentine post, but it is even more true of my husband today than it was 2 years ago.
Now, here is my Valentine, who is for me the very definition of LOVE on earth:
I have been FULLY blessed!
God bless your day – and Happy Valentine’s Day!