Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
The very first thing God calls us to in Proverbs 31 is to be trustworthy. God gives basic instruction to be a wife who is trusted and does no harm. It seems simple enough, doesn’t it? Of course, none of us go into marriage thinking we will ever break our husband’s trust or do him any harm. We love that man of ours and we respect our marriage. But ladies, there’s more to this than meets the eye. I am just shy of two years into my own marriage, and I can tell you I have already failed at this “simple” task.
You see, the first time I read this verse I assumed all I had to do was remain faithful to my marriage and my husband. “Duh God, I would never cheat on this man you made for me!”. I assumed that’s all there was to it. Stay faithful and I’m in the clear. But trust comes with so much more than that. It is not just about staying faithful with our emotions or physically. It is about our husbands trusting us with their hearts, not to break them, not to hurt them. I have, unfortunately, broken the trust my husband has given me with his heart a time or two.
You see, my husband married me trusting I would care for his heart all the days of my life, and I made that promise to him. Within the first year of marriage I used the word “divorce”. I didn’t exactly threaten or ask for it, but I used the word. I told my husband something along the lines of “this is why couples get divorced” and it hurt him deeply. I did harm. I am not proud of this, and I deeply regret it. I used a word that I knew would break my husband’s heart and make him question my trustworthiness. The conversation with my husband after, that demanded apology, was not an easy one. The conversation I had with God, asking for His forgiveness, was even harder. It was full of heartache on both sides and a broken trust I would have to earn back. My husband needed to know my love was unconditional, that he could trust me that I would continue to stay and love him through his imperfect moments. I needed to show my husband I was committed to loving him that way, the way God calls me to as a wife, and not the way I had shown him that day.
Trust is more than not cheating on your husband. Trust is the security that as a wife, you are committed to caring for your husband’s heart. We can do a lot of harm if we aren’t careful. Words are hurtful. Actions are hurtful. Or sometimes lack of action. I’ve been guilty of this too. I have been so exhausted and mentally drained from work, that I have come home, vented to my husband about my day, forgotten to ask him about his, and gone to bed without so much as five minutes of quality time. My husband needs to trust that I will prioritize him and put him first above everything in my life (except Jesus), my work included. It is far too easy to break that trust when I come home flustered and rush off to bed. Our quality time suffers when I choose this. I do harm when I am the reason for quality time suffering.
Why am I telling you some of my failures? Because you need to know you are not the only one who is still figuring out how to be a fully trustworthy wife. Because you need to know that you are a wife who is responsible for earning that trust and doing no harm, in every way. Because you need to know the traps of the enemy that can cause us as wives to become less than trustworthy with our husband’s hearts. If we don’t know where our failures are, or where the potential to fail is, we cannot possibly succeed. I’ve learned a lot from my failures as a wife in my newlywed season. I would love for a fellow wife to not have to learn the same hard lessons firsthand if I can help it. Or maybe you have learned the same hard lessons, and I want you to know there’s grace for that, forgiveness, and a way out of making the same mistakes again. A way to be trustworthy and do no harm.
We all have moments of weakness, moments of frustration, and moments of imperfection. This is called human nature. This is called living in a world where satan is very real. If we are to remain trustworthy, we need to know how to combat satan and not allow him to sneak into our minds or hearts and direct us toward harm.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”. Genesis 3:1.
Do you remember the very first couple where a wife broke trust and did harm to her marriage? Yes, Adam and Eve, that’s right. Do you remember what caused Eve to break the trust of her husband, betray him, and cause harm? Satan. Satan got in and persuaded Eve to eat from where God had instructed her not to. What’s worse, she persuaded her husband to. Adam trusted Eve. He trusted her to do no harm and he listened to her when she told him to eat the forbidden fruit. Did that enrich the life of Adam? Unfortunately, no, it did quite the opposite.
“To Adam He said, “because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ Cursed is the ground because of you; though painful toil you will food from it all the days of your life’.” Genesis 3:17
Ladies, we do not want to allow an enemy whose only intention is to steal, kill, and destroy into our marriage. (John 10:10). This will surely cause harm and break trust. Part of being trustworthy is being aware of this enemy and being strong enough to stand against him. Can your husband trust you not to lead him away from God’s direction? Can your husband trust you not to let satan into your marriage, where only Jesus belongs? Are you prepared to fight the temptation or questions satan has for you? We’ve already learned this lesson from God’s Word in Genesis. But let’s not forget that even though Eve led her husband away from the direction of God, even though she failed, God showed her and her husband kindness. In their nakedness, even after their mistakes, he clothed them. He provided. (Genesis 3:21). God will, and always has, shown us the same kindness. God will continue to lead us if we stay in His Word and seek His guidance.
“During that time the devil came and said to him, “if you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”. Matthew 4:3-4.
Jesus fought against the temptation of the enemy as well. Thankfully, He gives us one very clear way to do the same. “It is written”. “Scripture says“. Jesus knew what God’s Word said and used it to fight off the enemy. Jesus kept God’s Word front and center. If only Eve would have done the same, so much trouble could have been avoided for her and Adam. It is written in scripture exactly who a wife of noble character is, and who she is not. When the enemy is asking you why you can’t just come home and vent and be selfish after a long day of work, after all, you worked hard and deserve it, knowing that scripture says a wife of noble character works hard into the night and when the work day is done, she still tends to her home is important. (Proverbs 31:18). When the enemy is telling you that your husband made a mistake and he doesn’t deserve your love, knowing that scripture says your love must be unconditional, patient, and persevere redirects your next step. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23.
How do we redirect our next steps? How do we ensure we act or speak in a way that honors God and our husband, and does no harm? The fruit of the Spirit is a pretty good indication of what’s right and wrong. When the enemy comes to tear down our marriage or lead us astray, we can easily recognize him by the fruit he wants to produce within us. We know the enemy works against the Lord, but cannot be successful in our marriage if we make sure our fruit comes from the Holy Spirit within us instead.
Love, agape, when truly unconditional, can conquer all things. (1 Corinthians 13:7). Joy, especially in trials, produces perseverance. (James 1:2-3). Patience in place of anger or aggravation is one of the greatest ways to show grace. (2 Corinthians 8:7). Kindness to our husband daily, not just when we are in a good mood, is a simple but necessary act. Yes, even when we think he doesn’t deserve it. (1 Chronicles 19:2). Goodness overcomes evil. (Romans 12:21). Faithfulness keeps God at the center, where He belongs and also protects us from temptation. (1 Corinthians 10:13). Gentleness is not just a quality, but a choice in our actions and words. Gentleness is a tone that we should strive to possess. (Proverbs 15:1). Self-control is the practice of all the above mentioned, even when we are tempted to act otherwise.
After really thinking about being a wife who her husband can trust, it’s really not that simple is it? There’s a lot of intention that goes into making sure our husbands’ hearts are safe with us. There’s a real enemy to fight against, who wants to do harm to our marriage. Harm can come as easily as allowing a bad day to determine how we act when we come home. Harm can come as easily as letting the enemy fill our heads and tempt us to produce bad fruit. Harm can come as easily as forgetting what is written, what scripture says. We are called to be a wife who enriches the life of our husband through being worthy of trust and doing no harm. If we ensure that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are produced within our marriage, we greatly enrich our husband’s life. We become a wife of noble character.