The Wife of King Lemuel: Trustworthy Jewels

An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
 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 31:10-12

After warning the king not to give his judgement to wine or his strength to women, his mother now turns to describing the kind of woman suited to the role of a royal wife.

A few observations:

1. She is rare.  The King’s mother is about to recite a long list of qualities that make up an excellent wife.  Not every woman fits the bill.  She is teaching her son to use discernment, to measure, and count costs, not follow his immediate passions.

2. She aids his strength and does not waste it.  He trusts in her.  Now that is a responsibility indeed.  We could tease out this trustworthiness into many areas of married life.   But since it’s most pertinent to me currently,  I’ll play out a little what it looks like to be trustworthy with our husbands’ work .

Our husbands work hard to provide money, but kids don’t eat money, they eat food.  Kids don’t wear money, they wear clothes.  It is our job to manifest his work into yummy food and clean clothes, into education and beauty, into feeding the poor and loving our neighbors.   Now put yourself in your husband’s work shoes.  He needs to trust you to convert that labor into quality fruit.   You will quickly steal his strength if he is spinning his wheels on frivolity and shoddiness.  But conversely, we can encourage their labors by being excellent in our own.

3. She is committed to being “for him.”  A few questions to ask myself:  How do I talk about my husband to other people (including his kids)?   Do I give constructive criticism for his sanctification in a respectful way?  Do I think of ways to bless him without making it a debt?

4. She is committed to being “for him.” Do not waste Ephesians 5 on debating your feminine rights.  Be humbled and encouraged that Christ is sanctifying you through your husband.  Because He died for you both, you now die for each other.  Your life is for him and his for you.   Pour yourself into your role excellently and see if it does not produce quality fruit for God’s glory.

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