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Proverbs 31:11 says,
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
On our honeymoon we rented a two-seater bicycle. She wanted to steer first so I took the camera and provided pedal power. It was a little funny trying to get our balance, and I had to get used to a handlebar that didn’t move. (If you’ve never ridden on the back of one, imagine being on a stationary bike at the gym but with the possibility of crashing and skinning your knee). But, after a half a mile or so, I was engrossed in picture-taking and pedaling without holding on. We were laughing and talking like … well, like newlyweds.
When we finally decided to head back, there was a slight problem. We had agreed to switch at this point and she had a hard time giving up control. After only a few seconds of pedaling from the back, she realized her handlebars were welded in place.
She yelled, “How did you do this?! This is freaking me out!”
“It’s a trust thing!” I called back to her as she tugged at the immobile bar.
“Takes a little getting used to, doesn’t it?” I said smugly.
“I don’t want to be back here long enough to get used to it!” she yelled.
We made it back okay. What started as a romantic bike ride had become a small intimate adventure. I had inadvertently awed her with my relaxed trust in her steering. And boy did I reap the benefits, scoring big points with my new wife. Not a bad idea on your honeymoon.
It was a little thing but it has served as a metaphor for us ever since. Over the years in the larger areas of our lives, she has proven herself more and more trustworthy (and I hope I have as well). I have certainly benefited from this. But I must admit as the stakes have risen higher than a skinned knee, I have not always been able to relax in my trust so quickly. This is the tricky part in the verse – trust from the heart. It’s not far off what we read in Proverbs 3:5,
Trust in the Lord with all of your heart…”
Of course the obvious difference is that He is perfect and we are not, but the source of trust is still my heart.
Begrudging my trust is largely my own issue. My wife certainly has an outstanding track record of trustworthiness – better than mine, I readily admit. It reminds me of the Spiderman comic books I read religiously as a kid. For some reason he was always seen with suspicion even after he saved the city over and over. What was wrong with those people anyway? Why couldn’t they just put a little faith in him? Was it his trustworthiness or their hard-heartedness?
However, notice the length of time referenced in the last verse. The perspective is looking back over a lifetime. All of us have grown up in a generation when most of our wants or needs are gratified quickly.
However, God built the seed principle into trusting our wives. You know that principle:
With time, something grand comes out of something small; with time, something unimaginable comes from something plain.
I know my wife responds to the confidence I place in her and I get the “no lack of gain” (Prov. 31:11) part of the verse. Nobody in his right mind makes an intentionally bad investment – risky, maybe, but bad, never. And the investment we make in our wives, however risky it might feel, deserves the time it requires to benefit us both.
Become a fan.
Brag about your wife in public. Make a big deal about her. Wear a button with her picture on it. Public recognition tells everyone what you think – especially your wife. Everyone needs a fan; become your wife’s biggest supporter. And don’t do it quietly.
Not only is it great for your wife and for your marriage, it’s great for you personally. You hear what you say aloud in a way that is different from just thinking it. Really. Speaking about your wife in a positive way in front of others will deepen a good habit of treating her well when you’re in private.
And not to be too shallow, but there’s another reason to speak highly of her in public – the image I project of my wife to others becomes a two-sided billboard with a portrait of her on the front and me on the back. Ever known a guy who finds only his wife’s failings suitable for discussion? While he’s complaining or making fun of her, you can’t help but think this guy must be a royal loser! He may be trying to get a laugh or worse, sympathy for his plight, but really he just looks weak and disloyal. Speaking negatively about your wife to others shouts that you are a poor leader in your marriage.
Now consider the opposite scenario. Imagine there’s a new guy at work who has done nothing but sing his wife’s praises for the six months he’s been there. Every time he gets the chance, he says how great she is, or how smart, or how talented. When you finally get to meet her, it’ll be like meeting a celebrity! Really, if you convince people your wife is Wonder Woman, can they really help but think you’re Superman?
The Proverbs 31 Husband recognizes his wife’s accomplishments and broadcasts his admiration to the world. No one wonders what he thinks – he freely shares his opinion.