Last post, Lisa laid out for us why we are called to be helpmates. Our calling is a part of God’s good and perfect design for Biblical womanhood. But what exactly does it mean to be a helpmate to our husbands? Today we’ll work through that in scripture.
I was conflicted in choosing a passage because there are so many fitting ones on the topic of being an excellent wife. But for the sake of time, today we’ll just look at Proverbs 31:10-31. (I’ll save all the rest for other posts!)
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
This passage is an acrostic in the original language, Hebrew. Each new verse begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet, 22 verses and 22 letters. This signifies that the woman is excellent from beginning to end. That can be quite intimidating for us wives. All too often today, I see this passage mocked because of its lofty goals. I agree that the standards are high, but I think we should still chase after it with all our might, trusting in God’s grace when we fail.
How does this woman become the model that she is? She fears the Lord. Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (v.30). We fear the Lord because of His great opposition to sin, yet this fear should not drive us away from Him but toward Him. Why? Because we know that God’s mercy and blessing are offered to those who fear Him.
By fear of the Lord, the Proverbs 31 woman is able to do the following:
1.) Gain the trust of her husband.
2.) Be a strong, hard worker (spiritually, intellectually, physically).
3.) Provide for the poor & needy.
4.) Not worry about the future.
5.) Give practical wisdom.
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. (vv.11-12)
This is what it means to be a helpmate. We are to do our husbands good, not harm, by fearing the Lord & fleeing from sin. I challenge you to pray for this in your life. Beg God to make you more like this woman. Allow the fear of the Lord to transform you into the woman He would have you be.
Lisa will chime in on Monday with some practical tips on ‘How to be a helpmate to your husband’. Thanks for reading!