Behind Every Successful Woman...
- Thursday, June 03, 2004
Behind every successful man, the saying goes, there's a good woman. And that's often the case. But have you ever considered that behind almost every successful woman, there's a good man?
That is the message of Proverbs 31. Only the Lord Himself knows how many articles and sermons, books and seminars have extolled the virtues of the Wonder Woman described in this poetic passage. The only problem is that they have usually forgotten to mention the other main character-the Good Husband!
Was Proverbs 31 ever intended to be an idealistic standard for women to attain by themselves? Not at all. Instead, this passage of Scripture, like the rest of Proverbs, was written originally as a challenge to men.
It's all too easy for guys to read Proverbs 31:10-31 rather flippantly-"Wow, if only I had a wife like this!"-- without stopping to notice what these verses say about this woman's rather remarkable husband.
First, the Good Husband recognizes the true value of his wife as a person (31:10). He sees her as God's priceless, one of a kind masterpiece. He knows she's "worth far more than rubies."
The world says you are worth something only if you're beautiful, intelligent, or athletic. But that isn't God's measure of true value. Self worth isn't based on what I do, but who I am-a person created in the image of God.
Richard Strauss reminds us that when a woman is loved for who she is, she "will blossom into the most beautiful creature under God's heaven."
A man beautifies his wife by cherishing her for what she is. He doesn't let his wife lose her sense of specialness once the honeymoon is over. He continues to court her. With his words, touches, and actions a husband lets his wife know she is the most important person in his life.
The Good Husband believes in the potential of his wife (31:11). He doesn't put her in a box called "home" only to let her lie there dormant. Instead, he allows her to be productive and fulfilled both in and out of the home.
Frankly, the Good Husband of Proverbs 31 amazes me. How many husbands are willing to let their wives make real estate investments and start business ventures on their own (31:16)? How many husbands are willing to let their wives make contributions to charitable organizations as they see fit (31:20)?
Traditionally, the husband has been viewed in our society as solely responsible for the family income and budget. The wife has been left out of these matters. But the Good Husband challenges these cultural myths.
The biblical concept of submission has in it the idea of assuming a supportive role. Both men and women are called to "Submit to one another" (Ephesians 5:21). The Good Husband actively supports his wife as she seeks to reach her full potential as a person.
Anne Morrow once wrote: "Ideally, both members of a couple in love free each other to new and different worlds. I was no exception.... The man I was to marry believed in me and what I could do, and consequently I found I could do more than I ever realized." With her husband's encouragement, she became one of America's most popular authors.
One of the greatest forces for growth and change in our lives is someone who believes in us. The mark of marital maturity is the ability to help your spouse achieve and succeed. The Good Husband is mature enough to encourage and support his wife to reach her full potential.
He believes in her and provides an atmosphere in which she is free to succeed. He doesn't let his ego get in her way.
The Good Husband realizes the importance of listening to (and learning from) the wisdom of his wife (31:26). He is spared from many rash and foolish actions by respecting the
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