"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Emerson

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More than Rubies...

"A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life."
Proverbs 31:10-12 (NIV)

Let's just jump right in to figuring out exactly who this Proverbs woman is. We are going to take the passages that reveal this lady to us piece by piece, so as to not miss a single drop of what advice God is giving us as godly gals.

The passages that describe her start out with a rhetorical question: A wife of noble character who can find? The first thing we are to notice is that she is few and far between. There ain't many like her. That word "noble" is translated as virtuous in the King James, coming from the hebrew word, "chayil" which means "strength, might, efficiency, wealth, army." The first thing that struck me is that this picture of the ideal Christian woman being a weak and timid woman standing in the background, is so far from the truth. We are strong, my fellow sisters. We have a strength that comes from the mightiest of mighties and cowering in fear or timidity is not how we were designed to be. Think warrior princess.

So, then we go on, this wife of noble character is worth far more than rubies. Something of extreme materialistic value at that time is said is to be far less valuable than this strong, virtuous wife. You can't put a price on her. Money can't buy a woman like this.

The author then takes a look at how her husband views her: with full confidence, lacking nothing of value. That is a tall order. How many of us can say our husbands are fully confident in every aspect of us? In our handling of finances? In our raising of our children? Do we inspire him to trust wholeheartedly in our God given ability or does he second guess whether or not we are taking care of things in a godly way?

Not only is he completely confident in this chica, she also brings him good, not harm, ALL the days of her life. Ok, this is the point where I start to lose it. That word good or towb in the Hebrew means "good, pleasant, agreeable, benefit, bounty." Um, how many times do we fall short of that one? How many times do our words and actions bring our husband difficulty rather than benefit? Consider some of these Proverbs on wives:

"A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones." Proverbs 12:4
"Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." Proverbs 21:9; 25:24
"A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day." Proverbs 19:13; Proverbs 27:15
"Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife." Proverbs 21:19

Decay on his bones? A constant drip? Move to the roof or desert? Seems pretty extreme don't you think? But, think about it. Think about the words we say to our husbands. Think about how well he responds to those constant (not so) "gentle" reminders (aka nagging) that we do. This is something I have been wholeheartedly convicted of because I do fall so short, but sometimes, my emotions can just overtake my mouth and pretty soon I am spewing some of the most vile responses to a completely bewildered male. A lot of times, I don't even know why I am saying what I am saying. But, these verses hit straight to my heart about what I am doing when I let emotions hijack my mouth. I am decaying my husband's bones, wearing him down. I think about his most recent training excursion on how to survive in a POW camp and all the talk about waterboarding on the news. A constant drip of water is used as a method of torture. Being quarrelsome with my husband is a sure fire way to torture him, with every drip, drip, drip. In fact, the Bible says you are better off isolating yourself on the roof or in a far away desert, than to live with a quarrelsome wife.

I don't know about you, but sometimes, I just want to pick a fight. I don't know why. But, sometimes, I just lie in wait until he gives me the perfect opportunity to "start something." And it seems with men, there are plenty opportunities whether it be just getting bent out of shape over a remark he said that he meant no harm by, or by focusing on the things he has forgotten to do rather than what he has. But, everytime I take those opportunities to pick a fight, I am being that drip, causing decay, and not being this wife of noble character who I aspire to be like.

This is my challenge this week: to bring my husband good. For me, I think I can start with a whole lot of prayer for God's strength, not being quarrelsome, giving him the benefit of the doubt, and continuing to work on keeping a tight rein on my tongue. What about you? How can you bring your husband good all your days?

Here's to being worth more than rubies...

Until next time,


Your Turn:
1.) How can you bring your husband good? In what ways do you already benefit him?
2.) What are some ways you cause "decay" or act like that constant drip? How can you change those things?

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