This is the verse where some of you probably wonder what you could learn from it. Some of you may even be thinking, “I don’t have a husband, so this verse isn’t applicable to me.” I think there’s more to it than first meets the eye. Even if you don’t have a husband, you probably have some man in your life who the Lord wants you to support and encourage whether it’s your dad, brother, or someone else. What does it mean that the Proverbs 31 woman’s husband is a leader, and what does that have to do with her? Let’s look further into Proverbs 31:23!
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
How a Woman Supports the Men in Her Life
We see from this verse that the Proverbs 31 woman’s husband has risen to a place of prominence as a ruler and is respected. Deuteronomy sheds more light on what it meant for her husband to be known in the gates.
Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.
While there were some things her husband had to do to reach that position, I believe that there were also some things the Proverbs 31 woman had to do, too. Her husband was a public figure, yet behind him, he had a faithful wife who helped to make his position possible. She had her own dreams and goals, as we have seen in other verses, but she also helped her husband with his. Let’s look at a few of the ways we as women can support the men in our lives, whether they be husbands, dads, or brothers.
1. Be Encouraging (Proverbs 31:23)
Our words are very powerful. We are going to have another verse in this study that deals with that, but here we will specifically talk about our words toward the men in our lives. Do you think that if the Proverbs 31 woman had talked negatively toward her husband and discouraged him in his dreams that he would have risen to the position that he attained? Possibly, but possibly not.
As women, we have a lot of power to build up the men in our lives, but we also have the power to tear and drag them down. Instead of nagging and complaining, we should focus on encouraging them in their good qualities and striving to encourage them in the Lord through our words.
2. Prepare Meals
This one may seem like it’s almost a given and hardly worth mentioning. But, I think it’s worth touching on! By helping to keep the men in our lives fed, we are helping to support them in their goals. Preparing meals can be a ministry. It can also be a sacrifice at times.
Sometimes it may mean getting out of bed to cook breakfast before they leave for work. Other times it may mean trying to keep a meal hot and your temper cool when they are kept late at work. You may sometimes get tired of endlessly trying to prepare something to fill their lunch box for work. Be not weary in well-doing! Keeping your men fed is a special ministry, not a mundane drudgery. When done to the Lord for His glory, no work is mundane drudgery!
3. Entertain Guests
Hosting people may also be a ministry of your family. While being ready to host is a reflection on the whole family, including the men, often it is the Proverbs 31 woman who spends hours preparing. This is another ministry! Not just to the guests, but it’s also a blessing to your husband to be able to host people and have a wife who serves.
4. Welcome Them Home (Proverbs 31:23)
This is a special touch that can be simple and meaningful. If you are able to, lay aside the things that you are working on and give the men your full attention when they come home from work. I don’t mean every minute they are home because of course you will have things that you need to do. But, if you can be present physically and mentally when they walk in the door, it will help show that you appreciate them and their work.
5. Speak Well of Them
We already discussed speaking encouraging words to your husband, dad, or brother. But, your words can affect them in other ways. How do you speak about them to other people? Do you focus on the positive things, or do you run them down and talk about the things that you don’t like about them?
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is as rottenness in his bones.
For the Proverbs 31 woman’s husband to reach the place he did, he probably had a good reputation. I’m not saying that you have to pretend like your husband is perfect. We all know that none of us is perfect. What I am saying is that your tongue has a lot of power. It can do a lot toward making or breaking a reputation. Use it wisely!
6. Serve Them Willingly
It’s all well and good to check off the things on the Proverbs 31 woman’s description as though they are a to-do list. But, where is your heart? Are you doing these things because they are your duty? We could do so many things that make us look like a Proverbs 31 woman and it still profit us nothing. What is even more important than our actions is our heart.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
1 Corinthians 13:1
Are you serving out of love for God and those you are serving? This is something the Lord has convicted me of recently. I want to learn to do things, not just to mark them off of a checklist or because they are “the thing to do” but out of a heart overflowing with the love of Jesus. Only God can give us true love!
7. Train Their Children
This point applies specifically to wives and mothers. Not only do you reflect on your husband by your words and actions, but your children do too. One way that you can build up your husband’s reputation is by helping him to train your children and teach them to be obedient and well-behaved. This is such an important issue that having obedient children is a Biblical qualification for a church bishop.
One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.
1 Timothy 3:4
8. Conduct Yourself Appropriately
How you live your life affects the reputation of your husband and father. There are many verses about how women should and shouldn’t live, including those in the Proverbs 31 passage. One of the struggles that we have to fight against is gossip. It’s so easy to give in to the temptation of sharing things about people with our friends when they really don’t need to be shared and should be kept private.
If you develop the habit of oversharing and gossiping, it will affect your reputation but not just yours. It may also affect your husband or father and keep other people from being able to confide in them. Our tongues are very powerful. Let’s give them to Jesus and let Him speak His words through us!
Oh, and I might also add that we have more than our tongues to think about. We need to give Him our fingertips. Oversharing and gossiping are even easier to do on your phone or computer. Let’s let Him speak His words through our mouths and our social media posts and texts!
- Serve the men in your life out of love, going out of the way to support them.
- Speak encouraging words to them and positive words about them.
- Conduct yourself in a manner that doesn’t harm their reputation.
Can you think of other ways we can support the men in our lives? What other thoughts do you have on Proverbs 31:23?
Until next time, be a blessing to the men God has placed in your lives!