This is one of a series of posts illustrating a beautiful portrait of humanity; of men and women who without even realizing it, strive to embody qualities Proverbs 31 embraces in all life areas– personally, with their family, professionally, spiritually, and in their love life too. Whether you’re a “Proverbs 31” man or a woman, you stand out from the rest; you’re a red rose among a field of yellow roses. You’re a man or woman of and for all ages, a role model of timeless strength and beauty, virtue and responsibility; a cherished life partner and a powerful entrepreneur too!
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her
So that he shall have no need of spoil.
A Trusting Heart
The first line, “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her” refers to a man and a woman being able to trust and confide in one another. In early times, “husband” referred to the male spouse of a marriage who protected and supported his wife and children by judiciously managing and conserving usage of resources while “wife” referred to the female spouse of a marriage who managed the household and nurtured her husband and children. This division of roles and responsibilities came about out of necessity as at one time a wife did not have any legal rights apart from her husband. Unable to provide for her own self, she had to submit to her husband due to lack of rights and denial of equal education. Today, the roles of husband and wife have changed in three major ways. First, marriage has transformed from an institution of dominant and submissive roles to one of equal companions or partners. This came about as a result of wives becoming legal entities with rights and the ability to own property. Second, women now have the right to an education equal to men. Further, as a result of this education, it became socially acceptable for women to work outside the home. Last, but not least, with the cost of living rising exponentially, both partners share responsibilities with both often working outside of the home out of necessity.
Trust is not only a fundamental requirement of a strong marriage, but of any relationship – including relationship with our friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, pastor, and with God. Sadly, many men and women of today have doubts about one another for a variety of reasons and this doubt manifests itself as mistrust. Once mistrust sets in on both parts, much is hidden rather than openly shared. So what causes doubt? Expectations. Often we fail to recognize our partner’s heart as we have expectations about what is needed or what the outcome should be. Due to our expectations of what they should say or do, we are often blinded when they actually give us what we desire most – their hearts. So what do we do to ensure our partner’s heart trusts us? In three words… Appreciation, Attention, and Affection.
- Appreciation We must begin to learn, understand, and appreciate their heart. How can our partner’s heart “safely trust” in us if we do not even recognize when they are sharing it? Often times women project feelings a certain way and expect their partner’s hearts to work the same way. For example, if our partner does not come across as mushy all the time, or does not say “I love you” all the time, then they may think their partner is not sharing their heart, or at the very least are shallow or holding back. Keep in mind actions often speak louder than words. While they may not say, “I love you” all the time, they may be showing us in little ways. For example, my former husband was not very expressive about his feelings, yet early in our relationship he spent all night one Christmas Eve many years ago “building a teddy bear” that played the love theme, “Somewhere My Love” from the movie, “Dr. Zhivago.”
- Attention Our society and culture continue to feed us lies about how relationships should be. These worldly expectations are not only self-centered, but unrealistic too. Many times our partner becomes discouraged when we do not pay attention to them, or feel as though nothing they do is ever good enough, or we wish them to be someone they’re not. It is not at all uncommon for both men and women to have fantasy-driven standards of what their partner should be. Often times, what we see on television or in movies, or read in novels shape these fantasies. Allowing our hearts and minds to entertain such fantasies only leads to discontentment in our relationships, or worse. To ensure our partner trusts our heart, we need to learn how our partner’s heart works. We must recognize their vulnerability – rough edges and all – taking care never to compare them to anyone else. When we let go of our expectations; when we allow ourselves to be “in the moment” with them without distraction, it is then we truly listen. And when we are truly attentive and really listen, it is then we hear and feel their heart.
- Affection By nature, God created both men and women to desire affection and intimacy with the one they love. In fact, the need for affection is very basic. While we are all capable of providing our partners with much warmth and affection; a sense of home and respite; a safe haven filled with comfort and enjoyment, none occurs by accident. All require focus and conscious effort on our part. Does your partner find you to be a warm, gentle, and peaceful place, or does he come home to find you preoccupied, self-focused, and uninviting? Affection builds trusts.
No Need to Spoil
The second line, “So that he shall have no need of spoil” refers to lack of need, or no need. A similar expression, “I shall not want,” is in Psalm 23: 1. In both instances, where there is an abundance of love and trust, nothing is lacking; there is no other need. If the Lord is truly our Shepherd, then we are not in need of anything because He fulfills all our needs. The same thing holds true with a partner we trust. If we have a godly partner, then nothing is lacking, there is no need to stray, or no other need as our partner is of tremendous benefit to us and our family. Neither man or woman is a liability as home and resources are well managed. With both partners being so industrious and productive, their efforts result in great gain and even profit.
Remember … touch a life today “The Little Way” by following the lead and need of others. Also, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community, knew…”, then be sure to visit White Light Communications at http://www.tothewhitelight.com.