Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
Verse 23 of Proverbs 31 discusses the impact of a virtuous wife. She is not simply known as her husband's wife: he is also respected as her husband!
For years this verse puzzled me. I could not figure out how me being a wife of worth could gain respect from others for my husband. Then one day, Jason shed light on it for me... and we weren't even discussing this verse. We were discussing a friend. This friend was struggling with his construction business. A business that had been thriving, but now he couldn't seem to stay on top of projects. He was losing respect among those working for him, and among those he was working for. (During this same time frame, this man and his wife were having difficulties at home. Divorce had been mentioned more than once.) I asked Jason why he thought this man was having such trouble with work. Here is the profound statement he made....
"When a man can't trust his wife to maintain his household, his attention is divided. He can't focus on his job, for worrying about his home."
Wow! All at once verse 23 clicked for me!!! When a husband has confidence in his wife to maintain his home and children, he can focus on providing for his family. When his focus is on his job, he will excel at it.... Thus he will gain the respect of those that he works with and for. I never realized that by me doing what God designed me to do, being my husband's helpmeet, I was impacting the reputation of my husband.
Some time after this revelation, I found a note tucked into one of my Bibles. It was a note written by Jason to me after some argument... I have no idea about what, but probably something trivial that I blew out of proportion... I am working on that. I am going to share that note now, I think that it explains this concept better than I ever could. (It is sweet ladies, so get ready to say awww!)
I love you very much my Dear. I don't like it at all when we are in opposition with each other. When I feel that all is right between us, then I feel I can conquer the world... You are my biggest supporter & encourager. If not for you, I would not be able to do my duties as a husband, father & provider. Thank you for your support.
I don't often tell you how proud I am of you, but the truth is, I'm very proud of you. You are one of the most selfless women I know. You are not a "high maintenance," "Must-go-shopping," "You keep the kids" kind of woman. I think you are a great teacher, educator, and encourager for our kids. I'm gad that we are a team, and you complement my "OCD" behavior very well. If not for you, I don't know that I would have pulled through this last year (2008) with a zeal for life and a warrior mentality that I have today. Thank you for your support, encouragement, love & prayers.
Please continue to pray for me as I battle demons inside my own head, as I'm concerned about finances, as I'm concerned about the direction I'm taking us in ... I know God has worked a true miracle in our lives in 2009 and he used your as a strong support for me. Thank you! Without your love for me, I feel terrible... I want us to work as a team, as a unit with a common goal. I love you so much, and I know I don't communicate it very well, very often, but I am proud of you; I'm glad, honored to have you as my wife & partner!
I love you,
In order for our husbands to have respect elsewhere, we must respect our husband at home. Are we setting our husbands up to "conquer the world" and giving him a "warrior mentality" ? Or do we belittle him and make him feel useless?
As you reflect on verse 23, ask yourself these questions...
How do I treat my husband?
Does my husband trust me to maintain his household?
Do I pray for my husband daily? (Does he know?)
What impact do you have on your husband? Is he respected among his peers because he excels at his work? Or is he distracted because he can't fully trust you to hold up your end of the marriage partnership?