I’ve been thinking of the passage “The heart of her husband trusts in her,” Proverbs 31:11 a. Why? Because I’ve been having moments of selfishness. Oh, I don’t want to be selfish, but I have had these moments lately. And as I ponder those moments, this verse keeps coming to my mind.
So I decided to spend some time meditating on the text and considering why it’s on my heart during these moments of selfishness.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
I need to go back and explain what have been prompting these selfish moments. You see, my family and I recently made a big move half way across the country due to my husband receiving a job promotion. With his promotion comes more responsibility and as such I’ve taken on more responsibility within the household.
There are moments when I think, ‘Oh, I wish he would…’ and you can just fill in the blank with various household chores. Then inevitably I’d fall into the trap of self-pity.
I’d ponder our changes, and think to myself, ‘Why are you feeling this way?’ I know my husband is working hard to provide for his family. I know he is doing what is necessary to meet our needs. I know that God has left me clear instructions as to what my role is within our home. Titus 2:3-5. So why do I keep going back time and again to these feelings about what he’s not doing, instead of being thankful for what he does do.
The answer is selfishness.
We live in a society that tells us we are equals in the home. We live in a society that tells us what we should expect from our husbands. We are blasted by media that puts these thoughts right in front of our eyes and we believe it, we buy in to the deception that demeans the very idea of a woman’s role as a keeper of the home.
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But, that is a lie. One that Satan, the father of lies, John 8:44, has propagated as a way to destroy marriage as God has ordained it to be. That being that man is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, Ephesians 5:23.
There can only be one head for the body to function correctly, and the same is true in marriage. It is not a two-way street. It is a one way street and unless the husband and wife are going the same direction, there will be a head-on collision. Which will destroy the marriage.
I’m not saying that a loving husband can’t help out his wife. He most certainly can. But, I am saying that I can’t expect him to take on the role that God as given to me, and maintain his own role as well. I am to work with him, for him, lovingly, as his bride. Just as the church is to serve Christ, willingly, lovingly as His bride.
So I’ve been wrestling with my heart over these feelings. These are the ones of discontent, versus, what I know to be true of God’s word. It’s been a wrestle because I desire to grow past the wants that are selfish and bring them into subjection to God’s will.
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That’s when this passage in Proverbs 31:11 kept coming to my mind. “The heart of her husband trusts in her,”
I wasn’t sure why. What does that passage have to do with the struggle between my selfish heart and finding contentment in God’s will for my role? I already know that my husband trusts me. Marriage isn’t new for us and we’ve grown into an abiding love over the years.
Yet, the words persisted in my heart. I prayed about them, I studied through Proverbs 31, Titus 2, Ephesians 5, and other passages pertaining to the role of a wife, trying to glean what it would teach me, specifically, about the part of the Proverbs 31 passage that I kept being reminded of.
Then, one evening my dear husband was sharing with me about his job. He was telling me all that is involved and the many proverbial balls in the air that he is juggling while being department head and having 4 supervisors reporting directly to him. He shared with me some of the details surrounding the budgets that he has to put into place to ensure each of those sub-departments run smoothly. He wasn’t telling me in a way that was complaining, rather, he was simply sharing with me the realities of his new job and how he is really enjoying the work that he is doing.
As he told me this I had a thought, ‘I’m happy for him.’ And, I truly am. But, right after that thought, the persistent verse popped into my mind. “The heart of her husband trusts in her,” Proverbs 31:11 a. Suddenly, it was coming into my vision of understanding.
He needs me! He wasn’t just simply turning more work over to me as a way of dumping on me. He needs me to be his helper. He needs me to ease his load by carrying the managing of the household responsibilities, while he serves as provider. Aha!
As he talked more scriptures were coming to my mind, the ones I had been pondering and studying out, trying to glean understanding.
- Titus 2:5 “...workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored“
- Ephesians 5:22 “ Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
- Proverbs 31:11 “The heart of her husband trusts in her,”
Suddenly, it all made sense. He needs to trust me to make sure the house is being kept, the homeschooling is being completed, the needs of our child are being met, the bills are getting paid, everyone has the things they need, meals are served appropriately and everyone is being fed.
And thus, God’s design for my role has come into fuller vision for me. It is for me to serve my husband, as his helper, because I love him, and he loves me. He is serving me, in many ways, but most specifically in this context, as the provider for our family.
But that verse, wasn’t complete. I didn’t understand before but I do now, Proverbs 31:11 b “…And he will have no lack of gain.” It’s not about his wealth, although it could be a slight reference to that as well, it’s about his needs being met. If I do my work well, then he will have clean clothes on his back, food for his table, gas for his car to get to and from work, a comfortable bed to rest upon at night… if I am managing the household well, managing the budget well, then I am fulfilling my role as his helper.
Reading through the rest of the Proverbs passage we see that her work is an answer to this verse, “The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.” It is the answer to her role as helper, it is the answer to her role as worker at home, it is the answer to the fact that her husband needs her.
It is my answer. My work isn’t about the mundane tasks, it’s about me loving my husband so much, that I will serve him as his helper to ensure that he has no lack of gain, and in so doing, his heart can safely trust in me.
by Renée Aleshire Brown
Renée Brown is wife of 24 years to her Beloved Michael and homeschooling mom to their one child, Jonathan. They recently moved from Ohio to the Kansas City area and are worshiping with the Oak Grove congregation. Renée and her friend Karen serve annually at Polishing the Pulpit as coordinators of the Bible Class Resource Center. She blogs regularly on her own blog, Great Peace Academy and serves on the editorial team at R16:16.