The Proverbs 31 Project: Her husband has full confidence in her…

Proverbs 31 Project

Our first guest post comes from Priest’s Wife. She is an American married to a man from the old country who was ordained a Byzantine Catholic priest. They homeschool their 4 kids, & She teaches college English part-time.

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. (NIV)

The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no need of spoils. (D-R)

Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. (The Message)

In Proverbs 31, when the writer asks “Who can find a virtuous woman- her price is beyond rubies”- the first attribute of this virtuous woman is in verse 11. She is trustworthy. There is no reason for her husband to doubt her virtue and trustworthiness in anything. This trustworthiness is the beginning of the extraordinary ‘Proverbs 31’ woman, a woman we believers strive to be while we wonder if she ever truly existed.

St John Chrysostom (347-407 AD) preached and wrote on the sacrament of marriage and especially wished to inspire his parishioners to retain a Christian dignity within marriage even while the flashy pagan customs still prevailed. He wanted the married couple to trust that the Lord had brought them together. The couple doesn’t need to marry for money or fame; they should be married to live a life of virtue together. A woman who could be trusted with the household, the servants, the children and the heart of her husband would be someone worth far more than rubies in St John’s eyes. He would preach a lot about the peace that exists in a good marriage, and the trustworthiness of the man and wife being paramount. If you can cause to trust your wife, there is no ‘drama,’ so there is peace.

“Scripture does not say, ??They shall be one flesh.?? But they shall be joined together ??into one flesh,?? namely the child. But suppose there is no child; do they then remain two and not one? No: their intercourse effects the joining of their bodies, and they are made one, just as when perfume is mixed with ointment. Why are you blushing? Leave that to the heretics and pagans, with their impure and immodest customs. For this reason I want marriage to be thoroughly purified, to bring it back again to its proper nobility. You should not be ashamed of these things. If you are ashamed, then you condemn God who made marriage. So I shall tell you how marriage is a mystery of the Church!”

St John Chrysostom, in his sermons on love and marriage, can seem a bit old-fashioned. He is a celibate bishop from over 1,500 years ago. He certainly insisted on traditional roles with the man working outside the home with the woman taking the lead in domestic concerns. But in his earnestness, it is clear that the saint knows that a trustworthy wife (and a trustworthy husband as well. A husband is not trusting of his virtuous wife if he himself is doing untrustworthy things) is the basis for all the good things that come from a stable marriage.

“The love of husband and wife is the force that welds society together. Men will take up arms and even sacrifice their lives for the sake of this love. St. Paul would not speak so earnestly about this subject without serious reason; why else would he say, ??Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord??? Because when harmony prevails, the children are raised well, the household is kept in order, and neighbors, friends, and relatives praise the result. Great benefits, both of families and states, are thus produced. When it is otherwise, however, everything is thrown into confusion and turned upside-down.” ??Homily on Ephesians 5:22-23

To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.
– George Macdonald