Read Proverbs 31
I don’t admit this often, but I feel like I’d be a pretty good matchmaker. I don’t feel as though I’d excel because I’m great at spotting compatibility, but because I can see train wrecks. I can’t always tell which relationships will succeed, but I can usually tell you fairly quickly which ones are most likely to fail. Recently, a friend shared with me that she was interested in someone, allowing me to put my investigative skills to work. Immediately after this declaration, I hopped onto social media and began “vetting” this man to see if he was worthy and an appropriate choice for my friend. While looking through this guy’s social media, I began to like him more and more for her. He’s kind and humble and loves his family and is an all around nice guy.
Then I began reading Proverbs 31. Now, if you’ve been around the church for any length of time, you’ve heard of the Proverbs 31 woman. There are countless sermons on her, ministries named after her, and women striving to be just like her. But there’s so much more to this chapter. We’ve made this chapter all about this mysterious woman, who sounds absolutely amazing, but have forgotten about the incredible man she was married to! Instead of focusing on the revered woman in the story, I want to take a look at her husband. Today let’s discuss the Proverbs 31 Man.
A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
I am in awe of the man described in these few verses. Right off the bat, we learn that he trusts his wife. Then, because he trusts her, he has empowered her to make decisions and run the household, and he finds that his trust isn’t misplaced. I wish it were that simple. But it points to a cycle of reciprocity that we live in. Because the man trusted her with something and she was faithful with it, he could trust her with more. Because the woman received an entrustment and was empowered to do as she pleased with it, she could choose to steward it well. What a beautiful cycle of trust and respect between these two!
Not only is he trusting, but he’s also respectful, not just outside the walls of the home, when he’s at work, but also with his family. He respects God, his family, and his elders. What an amazing quality to have! So often our respect for others is a front, and over time our thoughts and our actions can betray that facade, revealing our true opinions. But, from what his wife was able to do, it’s clear that he genuinely respected her. She was entrepreneurial and he respected that. He gave her the space to pursue her business and craft while he did his job. He honored her ability to make money and her desire for more. He could humbly step aside and allow her to take the reins on some things.
This woman was described over and over again to King Lemuel by his mother. By adulthood he probably could recite it from memory because he had heard it so many times. His mother wanted him to find a good woman to be his wife, sure, but I believe she wanted him to be a good man, worthy of “Mrs. Right”. I imagine that his mother knew that if you want a partner who is trustworthy, you need to learn to trust people. If you want to be with someone who is respected, you need to learn to give respect. If you want to be with someone who follows God with all their heart, you need to also be fully yielded to God.
If you are married and your spouse isn’t being all you desire them to be, take a moment and ask yourself if you’re being all you desire to be. I’m not saying that they don’t have issues they need to work on, they’re human so they surely do, but you can’t control what they do or don’t do, you can only control yourself. If you want them to be more affectionate, ask if you’re being affectionate in the way they receive love. If you want them to be more honoring, then ask if you’re loving and respecting them well.
If you’re single and are looking for someone to share your life with, that’s great! But take a look at yourself. It’s cheesy, but it’s apt, so I’m going to say it: Are you the person you’re looking for is looking for? Are you compatible with this dream guy or gal you’ve imagined? Are you using your singleness to grow and become who God has called you to be or are you wasting away waiting?
No matter your age or current relationship status, I believe we can all become like the man and woman described in Proverbs 31. Let’s trust, respect, and love others to the best of our ability and watch the cycle of reciprocity begin!