Continuing on my study on this passage, I got kind of excited because I see a lot of connections with things that we are exhorted and admonished to do, even in the New Testament. As a wife, I know that our example is still Christ, but I often feel like that gets lost a lot of times when people consider good wives. It all starts with Christ, and it all ends in Christ.
So looking at the next two verses:
“The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” – Proverbs 31:11-12
I’ll be honest, I personally think that these verses are pretty self-explanatory. The excellent wife has an honest and sincere character about her that her husband always trusts her. She can be taken at her word. She is not randomly sneaky, conniving, or manipulative. Thus, her husband is completely at peace with her and trusts her to “handle the business.”
Furthermore, the excellent wife manages her husband’s affairs well. When he brings something into the home (take for instance money), she isn’t always overspending or being frivolous with things, making sure that there is still plenty left. The excellent wife isn’t reckless either, and she should never cause her husband to have to risk his life or resort to shady dealings to keep things within the home. In fact, the excellent wife is most concerned about doing good for her husband. She actually wants to improve his overall welfare, their family and home every day.
Now, the connection that I saw with this passage is in the story of Hosea. I’m not sure how many people have read the book of Hosea, but it is a fantastic metaphor of the wife of God (the children of Israel). So basically, God tells the prophet Hosea to go get an adulteress wife and marry her, symbolizing His relationship with the children of Israel. Now Hosea obeys God, and his wife has children. Later she leaves him for somebody else and ends up on the auction block. And God instructs Hosea to go after her, and he does having to now purchase her. He also tells her to not to leave him anymore or be unfaithful to their marriage, and he promises the same towards her. (Hosea 1 & 3)
Obviously, Hosea could not trust his wife Gomer, and in fact, she was costing him more by running off to other men. Likewise, God used this relationship to symbolize the unfaithfulness of the children of Israel. However, we have the awesome promise of the New Covenant which God spoke of in Ezekiel 36:22-38. In verses 26-27 it says:
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”
Now, this new heart and the gift of the Spirit was given to all of the children of God through Jesus Christ. As His child, God will cause us to obey His Word, to live out this life in the way that pleases and glorifies Him most. It is because of this covenant we have with God, that the words of this Proverbs passage can be performed.
Whether you are actually a wife or just a child of God, it’s impossible to live this out every day….causing your husband to have “no lack of gain” or doing him good and not harm your entire life. Trust me, it’s impossible, and I find myself falling short too. Yet, with God, nothing is impossible. As His children, His Spirit in us can cause us to walk out this word in truth. As wives, God can change us and change our character. God can give us grace and wisdom to know how to manage things within our homes, even things that directly affect our husbands. God can also give you a heart that does desire your husband’s good, as well as your marriage, family and home, every day of your life. I’m not saying that you would never have an off day, but God is powerful enough to complete that work.
On the other hand, as children of God, the Bride of Christ, God has done this work so that He can trust us. Christ came so that we could be worthy of Him because on our own, we were of vile character and utterly worthless and untrustworthy. Because of the work of Christ, we are cleansed, given a new heart and mind. We are also given the Spirit as a guide and as a teacher to help us along the way, and we have an abundance of grace to be obedient in all things, even the seemingly impossible, like doing him good, and not harm, all the days of your life.
So whether you are thinking about your physical marriage or your spiritual marriage, it is the work of Christ that has transformed us and continues to transform us to be trustworthy to our husband, to be wise with his affairs, to not harm him, but to do him good every day of life. And if we do get tired, we have this assurance:
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:7-9
And all of this was a great encouragement to me, and I pray that it is an encouragement to you as well.