Monday, July 13, 2015

Marriage Monday: Her Husband is Known in the Gates

Welcome back to Marriage Monday!  I'm so glad you've joined me as we focus on strengthening and promoting godly marriages, both in our nation and in our own backyards.  {The need for this has never been greater!}

Today I am continuing my series for wives (and future wives) based on the ideal wife of Proverbs 31. It is both fun and challenging to look at this passage verse by verse and then examine our own lives and look for practical ways to apply these timeless principles. Please join me each Monday as we continue to examine the character and wisdom of this noble woman and learn how we can each become a Model P31! 

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 
~ Proverbs 31:23

Thus far, our study of Proverbs 31 has focused solely on the actions of the wife.  But, suddenly we are given a glimpse into the life of this woman's husband. This verse says he is known in the gates where he sits with the elders, or local leaders, of their community. He may have been an alderman or city councilman, or may have been a business leader, but he was certainly a man of influence.  

Why is this verse inserted into a passage that has been describing the character and accomplishments of a virtuous woman??  It's quite simply because the actions, attitudes, and character of a wife have a tremendous impact on the accomplishments of her husband! I've heard it said that when a man climbs the ladder of success, you'll find his wife holding the ladder!  :)

Although it is not popular in our culture at this present time, it is still biblical, worthy, and important for a wife to support her husband's dreams and goals and encourage his success! Men usually accomplish more when they have a good helpmeet by their sides, encouraging them and helping them!  And when a wife manages the home well, making sure there is always clean laundry to wear and nutritious food to eat, and lovingly cares for and trains the children, then her husband is free to focus on his career and/or ministry. This is God's design -- and it works!

I love the perspective of Elizabeth George in Beautiful in God's Eyes:

As I think about the husband and wife pictured in Proverbs 31, I think of them as a pair of bookends. Both of them are pillars in the community, both are known in the gates (verses 23 and 31), and both are committed to the good of others (verses 20 and 23). Although their spheres of influence are different, they both exhibit the same virtuous character as they live with the same purpose, that of serving others.

God designed a husband and wife to complement each other, not compete with one another or be copies of one another, in fulfilling the calling that He puts on their lives as a couple!  I love how we see this exemplary couple doing just that!

  • He contributes to the good of the community, while she serves as his helpmeet and also reaches out to the needy in the community.
  • He is successful in business and city management. She successfully manages their home and family, as well as some home businesses.
  • He is respected and esteemed in the community; she strengthens his reputation by her honorable conduct.
  • He has achieved some degree of worldly wealth and social status. She contributes to that success by her diligence, frugality, and enterprising spirit.
  • He exerts his influence on the life of the community as he makes decisions in the city gates; she influences the community from her home.
  • He is crowned with honor; she is his crown. (Proverbs 12:4)

Isn't that a beautiful picture??  God designed marriage as a cooperative endeavor and a couple that works together, complementing one another, is powerful indeed!! God never intended for a husband and wife to be two separate entities, pursuing two separate causes in two separate directions!  You are to become "one flesh" that is united in purpose, using your separate contributions and spheres of influence to accomplish the unique calling that God has for you as a couple and a family! (And if you're worried about being "fulfilled,"  there's nothing more fulfilling than accomplishing that which God has created you to do!)

Especially for Single P31s:

Your goal as a single young woman is to develop the talents and skills which the Lord has entrusted to you, not knowing how these may help you or your husband in the future!  Nothing is wasted with God!  As you get older, you can look back and see how He has been weaving together the different facets of your life, and how He takes different experiences and pulls them together to equip you for the job he has for you to do!  If marriage is in your future, He is also preparing you to be the perfect helpmeet for the husband He has for you!  (So, make sure you don't rush ahead -- wait patiently for the man of God's choosing!)  If marriage is not in your future, then God is equipping you and preparing you for that, as well! 

Whether talents or trials -- God has a purpose for them all!  He is preparing you for a future only He sees!  (Romans 8:28-29, 1 Corinthians 2:9)

Perhaps you are tempted to live in fear -- fear that you'll never get married and have a family, or fear that you'll live a lonely, unfulfilled existence.  However, both fear and faith require you to believe in something hasn't happened yet.  So, it's your choice whether you choose fear or faith!  I hope you'll choose to live in Faith!  :)

Project P31, Mission #13:

Time for a new assignment!  

Take time to honestly examine your life and see whether your character and actions are helping your husband succeed in his career or ministry  . . . or holding him back!  

Are you strengthening his influence and prestige in your community?  Or are you undermining it?  

Are you managing his home well, so he is freed up to focus on his calling?  Or does he have to worry about whether he will have clean clothes to wear?

Are you a crown to him . . . or more like a cancer eating away at him??  

Do you sulk, pout and complain when he is away from home working or ministering and make him feel guilty?  Or do you yield your rights to your husband's time to God?

Purpose to make any changes that you see need to occur, by God's grace! :)

Your Turn to Share:

I hope you'll take time to complete your mission for this week and share your thoughts here!  Please leave a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at if you wish to share a private testimony or a guest post.

If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!

Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!

marriage mondays

NOTE:  Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post.  Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name!  Thanks!


michelemorin said...

What an excellent consideration of this aspect of Proverbs 31. This is the prayer of my heart, that I, too, would be an asset to my husband. Blessings, and glad to have found your blog today at Cornerstone Confessions!

busymomof10 said...

Thank you Michele! :)

Beth said...

I host two "virtual" marriage prayer groups, Elizabeth, and this week we are focused on supporting and respecting our husband's in their leadership, especially their spiritual leadership. So this post really resonates with me and challenges me further to think of how I can complement and not compete with my hubby in life, marriage and ministry. Thankfully, my husband and I have almost identical ministry passions and work well together helping couples in our church. But even that can be a challenge since we are both strong leaders who like to be in charge! lol! Yes, I know which one of us should be the "Indian" and which one should be the "chief"! ha!

Thanks for the linkup too! I've not been linking as much on Monday's because of the busyness of my life this summer. It's good to be back at your place, my friend!

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