The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. Proverbs 31:11
Let’s study Proverbs 31:11
Okay, before we start, I would like to settle one little matter. I know that like me, a lot of my readers are not married. It’s easy for us to skip over verses like this and feel that they do not apply to us, but I don’t think that this is true. For one thing, those of us who have our dads are under their authority, and can often relate verses like this to our relationships with them.
For another thing, we need to be prepared in case God does have marriage for us on down the road. We won’t suddenly be ready for it if it comes unless we have been faithfully practicing living out verses like this one. It is never too early to begin practicing. Something that I often think of is the fact that the way I act in the relationship I have with my dad is a good picture of the way I will act in the relationship I will have if I get married.
Now we are ready to start! Have you ever trusted someone and been let down? I would say that has happened to most of us in some way or another. Maybe we trusted someone to do something and they forgot. Or, it could be that we trusted someone with a secret, and they told someone else. There is any number of incidents that could have happened to you.
Notice that Proverbs 31:11 says that the husband of the virtuous woman trusts her. He places his confidence in her and trusts her to be reliable. But, that’s not all that it says. It says that he safely trusts her. In other words, when he trusts her, she does not let him down. She is just as reliable as he thinks that she is.
How can the virtuous woman be so trustworthy? I think there are some hints about it in the previous verse. In a post on Proverbs 31:10, we talked about how the Proverbs 31 woman is virtuous and valuable because she fears the Lord and seeks His wisdom. That my friends, is the foundation for the rest of this passage. If our starting place is not the Lord and His strength, then we won’t be able to consistently live out any of the rest of the passage.
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and HE shall bring it to pass. And HE shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
This verse tells us to trust the Lord with our doings and plans, and He will bring them to pass. Only when we learn to trust the Lord and allow Him to work in and through us will we become people who others can safely trust in.
What Does It Mean to Be a Proverbs 31 Wife?
The last half of Proverbs 31:11 can seem a little confusing at first. What does trusting in someone have to do with spoil, and for that matter, what does the verse mean when it says spoil?
In Bible times, it was common for one group of people to go to war with another group of people. Whichever group won would go into the cities of the defeated people to loot and take whatever they wanted. They might take the people’s clothing, gold, animals, food, and anything thing else they could use. This was their spoil or their reward for winning the battle.
This verse is pointing out the fact that the husband of a virtuous woman doesn’t have to go to war just to try to bring home spoil for his family. There are a couple of reasons why a man might need to go and fight for spoil. One would be to provide for the basic needs of his family. We see later on in this chapter how frugal the virtuous woman is.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27
Since the Proverbs 31 woman is thrifty and helps to see that her family is fed, clothed, and provided for, her husband is not forced to take from others to provide for the needs of his family. While it is the job of the husband to see that his family’s needs are met, it is just as much the job of the wife to take what her husband provides and use it wisely. There are many aspects to being a Proverbs 31 wife, but this is definitely an important one.
What does this being frugal and using money wisely look like practically? Well, there isn’t just one specific way that this will show up. There are so many ways to save money and be frugal. One thing I want to point out is that you can’t and don’t need to do them all. If you try to make everything from scratch, never buy anything without a coupon, always get cashback on your purchases, and always buy the very cheapest item you can find, you are going to become stressed and burned out.
Frugality needs to have a balance with practicality and quality. Remember, your time is just as important as your money. Don’t feel like you have to do every option available just because someone else is doing it. Find some ways that fit with your family’s needs to save money, and then implement them slowly, one at a time.
I really enjoy using the free cashback program Coupon Cabin that gives my family cashback on quite a few online purchases. It is a simple way to save money. While it may not seem like you get much back at a time, it can really start to add up over time. They also bring up relevant coupons that come in handy sometimes. Since I have benefited so much from them, I thought I would mention them as one practical option!
What Can We Learn From the Proverbs 31 Woman?
Another reason I can think of that a husband might have to go after spoil is if his wife was discontented and wanted more things. Discontentment is such an easy trap for us to fall into. I know that I struggle with it. It’s so easy to get distracted by window-shopping and find “just the thing you never knew existed but really need now that you know about it!” Internet shopping makes it that much worse. We can come across things we want without ever even stepping out the front door.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1 Timothy 6:6-8
When we see something that we want, we think of how much happiness it will bring us and how much we hope to gain by having it in our lives. The Bible tells us where true gain can be found when it says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” True contentment comes from our relationships with Jesus and looking to Him for our fulfillment.
Let me tell you one little secret I am learning. Not only do the things we buy not bring lasting contentment, but they also make our lives more complicated. They just become things we have to find homes for, and that can be challenging when you don’t have extra space!
Now, I’m not saying to never buy new things. I certainly do, and new things can be useful as well as fun. What I am saying is that we need to have a balance and learn to be content even when we can’t buy new things. As our verse showed, contentment will help to keep us from being burdens on our fathers and husbands by always expecting them to buy new things for us.
I’m so glad we had the opportunity to explore Proverbs 31:11 together. I’ve enjoyed spending time with you today!
1. The virtuous woman is trustworthy. For us to become trustworthy, we must first trust in the Lord and ask for HIS strength.
2. The virtuous woman is frugal. This doesn’t mean that we try to do every single thing that can make us frugal, but it does mean that we should find something that fits with our lives and do what we can to save money.
3. The virtuous woman is content. She doesn’t always have to be shopping and buying something new, but she looks to the Lord for her fulfillment.
Want to learn more about the Proverbs 31 woman with us? Join the blog, and I’ll notify you about the next post!
What would you suggest for anyone else who wants to improve in the areas of contentment and frugality? A friend of mine commented and suggested that readers start copying something(s) from the post that stood out to them. Would you want to copy a line or two that spoke to your heart today?
Until next time, let’s keep seeking the Lord and His strength!