Wednesday, July 6, 2011

In Full Confidence - A Proverbs 31 Study

There is so much that can be said  (and already has been said) about this chapter of Proverbs. Women from all walks of life have their thoughts and opinions on it and still it can seem elusive, challenging, and even offensive to some. So I wanted to take a real close look at it for my self... and thought I'd take you with me.
My purpose in this series of blog posts is going to be to take a literal scriptural look at this passage by researching the original Hebrew text to deepen my understanding. And then extract principles that I can apply as a woman seeking to be more like this wife of noble character.
I have a lot of work to do, a lot of opinions and preconceived ideas to unravel. I am going to try to look at the scripture with fresh eyes and a heart wide open to the Holy Spirit. I hope you will too. I can't wait to discover what God wants to teach me in this. 

Our Text ( I always like to look at several versions)

Proverbs 31:10-12, NIV 
"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."

Proverbs 31:10-12, KJV
"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."

A Closer Look

Noble character or a virtuous woman - The word translated to noble character or Virtuous woman is "chayil" and it means strength, might, ability, efficiency, wealth, force, or army.
It honestly seems to mean A wife who has shown herself strong, displayed valor, and might as in being victorious in battle. This word is used 243 times in the bible and most typically is used when describing men of valor who have proven themselves worthy in war, the spoils of war, or can even mean the evidence of being victorious.

"The heart of her husband" - The word for the heart in the original Hebrew is "leb"  and it means the very inner man, his mind, will, heart, and understanding.

"She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."The word for brings him is "gamal" and it means to deal fully with, or recompense. And finally, the word good is "towb" and it means good, pleasant, agreeable, benefit, welfare, prosperity.


If I put all the ideas behind the original Hebrew text together, my initial picture of this woman dramatically changes. Many would automatically interpret virtuous as being meek, mild, and pure sexually. While those are all biblical characteristics, it is not part of the original words meaning at all. The actual words used are ones that describe her more as an overcoming warrior.

I get excited by this. You see, I believe women are called just as much as men to the spiritual battlefield. We are to fight against powers of darkness, to be over comers, to be bold and strong in the Lord. This woman has  stood in the test of battle, overcome, and now her character has the riches of the spoil. This evidence is what her husband sees and finds great worth in.

She is someone who has proven herself by her actions. Her husbands inner man is Secure about her character because she has shown herself trustworthy. And she continues to prove it by dedicating herself to bringing him only good all the days of her life. He is then satisfied and has no need to find riches elsewhere.

My question in this is How have I been proving to my husband that I am worthy of this trust?  What have I done today? Have I done what it takes to gain his "Full Confidence?"  Have I brought him good today and not harm?

If we proved our trustworthiness to our husbands daily, how would that change our relationship? Are we overspending? Secretly hiding purchases? Are we telling our girlfriends things about our husband that should be left untold? Does he feel he can trust us with his heart? Or will we discuss it with a friend?

Our Challenge this week is to find tangible ways we can prove ourselves trustworthy to our husbands, and to stop actions we know are eroding that trust.

Thank you so much for coming along side of me and diving into the first part of this great rich text. I so appreciate you!

P.S. If you love bible study like I do, check out a few of my favorites...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for bringing us along Kari. I accept the challenge. I think all of us want to be better wives and the Word is our teacher. We are living in a time when marriage is under attack. The enemy is trying his best divide families and He starts with the marriage. Thanks for the post. I am blessed to have a godly husband who is living out his role. We both continue to grow in grace. I am always seeking out ways to be better in my role, because I know it blesses him and glorifies our Lord. I am in no way perfect, but I want to be and God will show me the way.