The first statement that describes the virtuous woman in verse 11 is very interesting. “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.” It is interesting to note that the very first thing mentioned is that the woman is one who has completely won her husband’s trust and confidence. In every area of our lives and marriages and ministries, a husband needs to be able to trust his wife implicitly.
We tend to think of ‘trust’ being something that only implies to moral fidelity, and that certainly is part of it. Today, as never before, we are seeing a heartbreaking number of women who once lived for the Lord falling into immorality and wrecking their lives and their loved ones. We need to take special care to guard against the temptations that the devil is sure to present. We must guard our marriages morally both for ourselves, and in making it easier, by our involvement, for our husbands to avoid dangerous situations and ‘to abstain from all appearance of evil’.
But this confidence goes far beyond the area of morality. A godly wife ought to have earned the complete trust of her husband concerning every thing in their lives, He ought to be able to confide in his wife with no worry whatsoever that his confidence will be betrayed, even to a ‘best friend’. In fact there ought not to be a best friend that is closer to her than her husband.
There also should be no fear that his confidence will be misunderstood or ridiculed. When a man bares his heart and puts his hopes and dreams out for someone to look at, his sweetheart and companion ought to be able to show more sympathy and understanding and shared enthusiasm than anyone else in the world. He ought to be able to trust her in her relationships with others, both men and women, co that she always conducts herself properly and as a Christian. He has confidence in her responsibility and desire to be a good wife and mother and do what is best for the entire family, and for the Lord and His work. He should never have to wonder or worry about her actions or reactions in any situation.
It is interesting to notice that this verse might be referring to trust in financial matters. “He shall have no need of spoil.” In the Old Testament, spoil referred to the riches a soldier brought back which he had taken in battle, or what a thief plundered from the goods of others. In every instance I can find, whether it was obtained honestly or dishonestly, spoil was referring to money that wasn’t part of their normal earnings.
We talk about people ‘living above means’, and we mean people who don;t keep their spending in proportion to their earning, but have necessity of income beyond that just to keep up with the outgo.
It seems to me that this principle fits the statement made in this verse very well, and may be something akin to what the writer had in mind. Perhaps Solomon, in the wives he accumulated, had plenty of evidence to point to the feminine gender’s love for shopping!
It is certain, from his statement in Ecclesiastes, that he knew what womanhood could be at its worst. He may have seen the kind of woman who requires her husband to make her happy and earn her love and respect with the accumulation of material things, and cannot be content with his love unless it is expressed in very expensive ways.
‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ is a way of life that is quite common with the world, and all too often, saved people get caught up in the materialism and pride of life that the world promotes. “The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys,” they say. And, “Whoever dies with the most toys wins.”
But men aren’t the only ones guilty of a possession-accumulating philosophy. Women are particularly vulnerable to this trap of covetousness in the areas of clothing, cars and homes. It can easily show up in the family budget if not carefully avoided.
Someone said, “The art of contentment is found in enjoying what you have.” Whether or not this verse in Proverbs 31 is directly referring to the contentment principle, I’m sure that the Christ-like Woman that God has mind here is one who has in mind mind here is one who has learned to ‘be content with such things as she has’.
It is evident in the chapter that she is busy trying to ake things better for her family, and even doing business from her home to provide some income with the best interests of her husband and children in mind. But her priorities concerning money are vastly different than those of the self-centered, covetous, materialistic woman of the world. Often, a mismanagement of money, or love for money and possessions, will prompt a woman to pursue a full time career outside her home when she really wouldn’t need to do so. Her priority on materialism gobbles up most of her time and attention so that she wants to be, and that the Lord commands her to be.
But a Virtuous woman has a scriptural balance in her life, as we see stated in Matthew 6:33. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Because she has a wise and godly set of principles that govern her financial decisions, her husband can have complete trust and confidence in her husband can have complete trust and confidence in her in this as well as every other area.
Wife of Evangelist Dennis Corle