her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." Proverbs 31: 28-31
I couldn't sleep last night, and I almost got up in the middle of the night to come down here and do some blogging. I just had so many things on my mind (not to mention a large cup of chai loaded with caffeine), and I really need to learn when I should stay in bed and when I should get up and do something. These verses just kept rolling across my brain last night- almost like a marquee- simply scrolling, reminding me... I think they were reminding me how lucky and how blessed I truly am. I think I was learning a lesson.
Earlier in the evening while our friends were here, and we were enjoying their company, I overheard a conversation my husband was having about me. :-) It was sweet, as he was busy talking about me and how he really admired my...relationship with God maybe? And it was sweet, but I can't say that I enjoyed hearing him say that. It was almost, (but not quite) embarrassing to me. I don't know, I guess that was just my personality kind of taking over, because I am not fond of attention- and I'm especially not fond of praise, I just always think that someone else deserves the praise for things that I do or accomplish. But then as I lay in bed last night these verses came to mind in Proverbs 31. Probably one of the single best studies I've done personally was the Proverbs 31 study, and as these verses kept rolling through my head, I had that feeling. That feeling of "oh...that's what this verse is saying" and I just had this feeling like I need to learn to accept the praise that is so freely given.
"Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, he praises her: many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." That's exactly what Proverbs 31 says- it says her husband will call her blessed and will praise her. And then I thought of other women, other wives... we were talking last night about parents who abuse their children, and men who beat their wives, and how we just don't' understand the mind that thinks that way. How someone can not love a child, how they can look at the mother of their children and not be filled with adoration. I was also thinking about how recognition comes to us women from other sources. Sometimes a friend will compliment us on something, sometimes we'll do something notable and we'll be in the newspaper. Frequently within church bodies there are awards and recognition for service, but if there was one person who I should be most honored to receive a compliment from, it was the one person that I was being embarrassed about. In a marriage, in our Christian walk that we take together, who better to sing praises to me than my husband. If there is one person who should be holding me up, one person who should compliment me and hold me to a higher standard- it should be my husband. The one person who knows me better than anyone else should be the same one from whom I accept praise and compliments.
I mean, look at the praise this man is giving to his virtuous wife! "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." That is high praise indeed, and I need to take my lessons from scripture here. Sometimes it is mentioned that we need to be careful about how we praise someone or give compliments, but right here in the Bible these verses are telling me two things. First, to the husband of a virtuous wife, these verses tell me that he is a blessed man to have this woman for his wife and he needs to recognize that. He needs to build his wife up with praise and honor, because if he doesn't, who will. It's part of his role in life as a husband to praise his wife where praise is due. And secondly, to the virtuous wife, these verses are telling me to accept the praise. They are telling me that I am a blessed woman indeed to hear these words of praise coming from my husband. It tells me that I have earned his praise, indeed, and that as a virtuous wife, I need to be gracious and accept the praise that comes from his mouth.
I will say that while I tend to write this blog with a focus for women, it also has me wondering more about Proverbs 31. When I did the study for the second time and blogged about it, it was from a woman's perspective. I wonder what it would be like from a man's perspective. I wonder if I shouldn't look at the chapter again from the eyes of the husband, and see what The Wife Of Noble Character tells us about the husband. Maybe I'll look into that another day- keep half an eye out for that. In the meantime, I will remember the words of King Lemuel's mother. I will do my best to remember to accept the praise from my husband. It should be an encouragement to me, it should tell me that I'm on the right track, and I will let it do just that. I will let it encourage me to keep moving forward, and I will do my best to try and live up the praise that is so freely given.