No Decrease in Increase

June 30, 2009 at 2:43 pm (Godly Living, Marriage, Meditations on Proverbs 31) (, , , , , , , )

virtue is valuable

Proverbs 31:11 “The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.”

The heart (inner man/mind/will) of her husband (lord) trusts (has confidence) in her.

This is a secure trust because she is reliable and he knows it. He can entrust the management of his home and money and children to her because he is confident in her ability to care for these things and see that in each area there is an increase. She not only maintains their home and possessions, she beautifies them, improves upon them. She not only refrains from spending money carelessly, she makes a good return on it by using it wisely and even investing it so that it increases. She not only cares for the basic needs of her children, but she trains them to be a blessing to their father. This woman is not a minimalist when it comes to her responsibilities. She is what we might call an over-achiever. What her husband entrusts to her she will not only be careful to preserve, but will also improve upon it!

This concept is expressed again in the second half of this verse: “And he will have no lack of gain.”

The Hebrew word for gain here refers to spoil, goods taken in victory. Basically, she makes him successful. He has no decrease in increase. Because of her careful management, he is not limited in growth potential, but is actually set free to succeed beyond his current sphere. He may have limitations on his time because of the work that he does, but his wife makes sure that she has no part in slowing him down. He is able to dedicate more time to God’s word because she has taken care of the physical, practical needs of their home. He has more time to invest in his children because he does not have to baby-sit his wife. He has more opportunities to serve and to lead because he can safely trust that his wife has taken care of what he has entrusted to her. He should even have more time and motivation to dote on his wife, deepening their relationship, because she is such a blessing to him. And more than just sparing him time and energy, this godly woman allows her husband to move forward in confidence because he is not at all worried about things at home—she creates a worry-free environment for him by managing her responsibilities well. He may have to deal with undependable people all day at work, but when he comes home he is at ease because of the faithful, fruitful labor of his wife. Being in her presence is a great comfort to him.

I think that this verse pretty well sums up the rest of the passage (aside from the statement at the end that she “fears the LORD”). We see the virtuous woman’s character and hard work and over-arching goal presented in this verse in very general terms. As we move on from here, we will see how this specifically works itself out in her day-to-day living.

It’s hard for me to let this sink in. This kind of idealism isn’t popular today—we don’t like to think about such a woman because her example reveals that we need to change! And what an example this woman is for us—what an example she is for me! May God prune me, taking away my selfishness so that I can serve and thrive like this godly woman. I must seek to be all that God has called me to be so that I can prop my husband up and help him to be all that God has called him to be! Oh, do I ever need help with this! May God grant us grace that we all would grow in our service to Him—from the inside out.

laurens-sig1

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