I’ve been reading through Proverbs 31, looking at each verse and asking “What does THIS verse say is a characteristic of a godly woman?” Today, I’m at verse 23.
Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. Proverbs 31:23
A godly woman contributes to the success of her husband.
In the days of Proverbs 31, cities had walls around them with gated entrances. Large rooms were built in the city walls. Important activities took place in “the gates.” It was a place where the prestigious members of the ruling judicial body, known as the “elders,” daily met to transact public business and make decisions on cases that were brought before them. (See Ruth 1:1-5, II Samuel 15;1-2, Esther 2:21-23)
The woman in Proverbs 31 was influential in her husband’s life, his thoughts, perspective, and actions. Her contribution played a role in his success.
My husband was fired!
I’ll never forget the day. It was a Tuesday, mid morning. My husband, forty years old, was at work, and I was home with the kids. The oldest four were doing their schoolwork. I was in the master bathroom, bathing our little girls, then two and four years old.
The door to the bathroom opened. I turned to look towards the door. There stood my husband, who seldom comes home during work hours.
“Were you fired?” I softly asked, puzzled. How I knew this is still a mystery to me to this day.
“Yes,” he gently said.
I got up and held him, hugging him for a long time. Somehow I knew my support was the most important thing at this pivotal moment in his life. Although many thoughts raced through my mind, I’m so grateful to have put them aside and simply affirmed him, “I love you. I’m proud of you. It’s all going to be okay.”
I dried off the girls, got them dressed, and quickly hole-punched some paper and stuck it in a 5 x 7 three-ring binder.
I called everyone to the dining room table for what was to be a very significant moment in our family’s journey…
- An opportunity to involve them in real life application of scripture to our thoughts and actions.
- An opportunity to further great communication between family members, openly and freely sharing our hearts with each other.
- An opportunity for our kids (especially our boys) to see first hand HOW to handle difficult situations in which they will find themselves one day.
I was aware that God was at work and that THIS was the situation He chose to draw us to Him, to grow us, to teach our family. I didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to apply His Word to real life. I knew this devastating news was really about God at work in ways that could deeply impact our family’s trust in God and our walk with Him.
Calmly. Matter-of-factly. Confidently. I shared what had happened. That Dad was unexpectedly fired today from his company of 19 years. That this was no surprise to God. He already knew the journey and the outcome, so we can simply trust. We had no need to worry.
I showed them the prayer journal I had just assembled. “We’re going to record our prayers here and confidently watch as God meets needs and even desires of our hearts. We can trust our God.”
We recorded our prayers that day and the days to follow.
I truly believe the Holy Spirit guided my thoughts, actions, and words that day.
He enabled me to be the one influencing my husband to be grounded on God, to trust and not worry, to not be angry but to recognize God’s sovereignty and to rest in Him. He empowered me to see this as an incredible real-life opportunity for the kids to learn how to handle upsets in life, for our boys to watch a man walk boldly through this, and for each of our kids to see first-hand scripture applied and lived out. How cool to have an opportunity to learn to not worry – if we simply trust Him.
A godly woman contributes to the success of her husband.
She influences him for good. She encourages him, cheers for him, gives solid advice to him, believes in him, prays for him, and plays a huge role in keeping him grounded on the Word. She looks for ways to lighten his load, invest into him, and support his goals and dreams. She is a helper and his number one fan.
Some specific ways you can influence the success of your husband:
- Pray: for him, with him, about the issues important to him, for his success
- Know his heart: the important issues he thinks about
- Concern: ask him about the things in his world
- Lighten his load: “What can I do to help you today?”
- Express: your belief in and admiration of him
- Encourage: ask about his goals/dreams and support him in reaching them
- Support: be his number one fan
- Keep him grounded on the word: have your input be biblical not emotional
- Delight in him. Find joy in just being with him.
How can you come alongside your husband to contribute to his success?
Rhonda doyoubuilduporteardown ellis
Rhonda…awesome article. George and I have been through this twice. We had our low days. Grew so much in the Lord. Look back now and see where God worked.
Hi Deborah, God is indeed faithful. Thank you for your testimony of His faithfulness and goodness.
Thank you for sharing!!!! Love the pic of you all jumping!!! So cute!!!!
Whew, you were calm under pressure. I’m sure it meant the world to John to come home to a wife who believed in him! Can’t wait to hear more of Proverbs 31. 🙂
Rhonda, This is such an encouraging article. It reveals one of those heart-stopping moments which happen to all of us; yet, it also reveals how we can act in love to support our husbands and/or other loved ones during life’s most trying moments–sons, daughters, parents, friends. God does always work things out, and your husband is an example of this. Thank you for being open and sharing. Currently, I sit in Wisconsin…much colder than Florida…after following the man of my dreams. I have no regrets, and God is everywhere! K
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. THIS!!!!!