"The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil."
It seems to me, that the essence of a successful and happy marriage hinges upon this verse.
It says so very much, in one small word.
A primitive root; properly to hide for refuge (but not so precipitately as H2620); figuratively to trust, be confident or sure: - be bold (confident, secure, sure), careless (one, woman), put confidence, (make to) hope, (put, make to) trust.
That first part of the definition really struck my heart.
Does my husband come to me as a place of refuge, when things are tough for him? Am I the kind of wife that endears her husband, or makes him reluctant to come to me as a place of refuge?
Does my whining, complaining, moaniness...
my inability to listen, critical spirit, my judgemental heart...
prevent him form coming to me as place of refuge?
Would he sooner immerse himself in empty pursuits, than come to me, snuggled up, to share his heart?
How else can I prove myself to be a trustworthy wife?
We shall shortly see, in the verse to come, the many ways in which a wife ought to be virtuous - in the many tasks of life that we ought to busying ourselves. Does our husband have confidence in our ability to willingly undertake these duties with delight? Does he trust that when he asks us to do something for him, that it will be done, or at least an attempt be made, without excuses?
So, in which areas should we be endeavouring to earn the trust of our husband?
How to do we behave towards our husband and family?
We ought to treat our husband with love and respect.
We ought to be patient with his imperfections.
We ought to speak of him with kindness and never let him down in what we say to others.
We ought to be discreet about what we talk about to others, regarding the affairs of our home - especially regarding intimate matters, or any disagreements we have.
We must be a mother who is loving, patient and gentle with our children - not behaving rashly.
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
"love...Doth not behave itself unseemly"
I Corinthians 13:5
"to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet,"
If we are committed to out marriage, we will not be tempted to go off and seek love and affection from any other men. We should be content with the husband that God has blessed us with, and our husband should be able to trust us not to go off to anyone else.
This aspect of our marriage is related to the issue of refuge that we have already considered.
SO ciritically, does he find ME as place of refuge to meet his intimate needs, in the God-given way that he was made?
Or, by my lack of interest in him, could I be pushing him away to find refuge elsewhere? Does he feel satisfied with my affection?
Our commitment to our husband, will ensure that we are the refuge that he seeks for physical satisfaction, and not anyone else.
"Charity never faileth"
As a mother, it our duty and responsibility to train our children in the ways of the Lord. We are, generally, with our children for more hours of the day than our husband. Does our husband trust us to train up our children in the ways of the Lord? To diligently teach them God's truths? To rebuke them and discipline them when they err? To be consistent in our admonition, and follow through with punishment?
It is one of the most solemn areas that our husband needs to be able to trust us with. If we are not diligently training our children, they will simply NOT be able to train themselves!
"And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
As a very quick aside, this is one verse that particularly spoke to us regarding home-schooling. If it is the parents's responsibility to train up their children in the ways of the Lord, how can this be done when the best part of their waking hours are spent under the care and tutelage of unbelieving school staff? When they are at home with us all day, we KNOW that we have at least tried to instill in them the truths of God's Word at every moment that is available to us, rather than having regrets about what they have been taught in school, and how they have been influenced by their peers and teachers around them. These children are such tender, and valuable plants that are growing up, and we need to do all we can to protect and train them up to have strong roots and healthy growth, in the spiritual realm.
Also, this may seem like an insane thing to mention, but we are commanded in Titus 2 to love our children.
Surely we don't have to be TOLD to do this?
However, love is not just an empty word. It's an action. It's a demonstration in our words and deeds that we love and care for them. It's making a decided effort to connect with them - to know them - to appreciate them - to value them...because God has given them to us.
As a mother, that starts right from the moment we know they are ours...from the womb. To accept them as a gift, despite how awful we can feel. When they are a new-born, crying for some unknown reason that we cannot seem to ease. When they are toddlers, attempting to get one over on us. When they are older and pushing boundaries. No matter what the stage, as their mother, we are required to love them, unconditionally.
Does our husband trust us to do all of this?
Here's a biggie!
Does our husband trust us to care for money wisely??
There are endless websites and blogs available filled with money saving tips. You could spend all day reading them!!!
However, it comes down to this.
Do I spend money when I shouldn't?
Do I spend what I need to spend wisely? What I buy and when I buy it?
Our husband should be able to trust us to spend money, on a day to day basis, without us having to constantly check with him if it's ok! An evidence of our husband trusting us, is that we are able to spend money without phoning him for permission. If we can't do this, our husband is either a control freak, or he doesn't trust us!
It may mean you sitting down together, and setting a budget.
It may mean, like us, that certain money goes into an account that you use, and if it's gone, it's gone! But, don't go back asking for extra! *grin*
It may mean that you have to ask him to trust you in this area, and that you prove that you are able to manage money, if you have never been given the responsibility before.
But, as a Biblical woman, we ought to have responsibility for spending, and caring for our home, as we will see in verses further on.
I am NOT suggesting that you never consult your husband AT ALL. Some purchases are more than "every day" type things, and it would be wise to check with your husband first! I wouldn't go out and purchase a 3-piece suite, just because I knew we needed one, and I saw one for a good price!
However, my husband would be driven INSANE if I kept asking him for permission to spend every single penny! I know how much we have. I know what our family needs. I get it, and therefore relieve him from the constant pressure and responsibility of buying things that we need for every day. He has enough on his plate!
Are we wise money spenders?
Care of the home
This is an area that you first of all need to establish just what your husbands expectation are!
If you don't know what he wants, you simply cannot do it!
Some husbands want a spotless house, with nothing out of place ALL THE TIME. I know that my husband would LIKE this, just as I would. But, he has realised that it cannot always be achieved (hang on, it can NEVER be achieved...) all the time, with 7 children in the home!
However, I know that he likes the hall to be clear and tidy at all times, and for the lounge to be reasonable all the time and tidied by the time he gets home. We live in a manse, and in theory, someone could wish to visit at any time. If the lounge is kept as a toy-free and mess-free area, any odds and ends could be quickly cleared up if someone came unexpectedly. Because I have talked to him about this, I know what he expects. Does he trust me to do it?
Do you know what your husband expects of your home? You may be surprised - it could be more than you already do, or it may actually be less!
Maybe you don't keep up with the washing and your husband forever has to ask you to iron his shirts?
Maybe there is always clutter piled up on every horizontal surface?
Whatever it is, find out the desires of his heart in this issue, and make sure that he can trust you to do it!
What of the last phrase?
If our husband trusts us, he has no need of "spoil".
It's plunder. Going elsewhere to get something, usually by not so good means.
If our husband doesn't trust us with our conduct, he'll attempt to gain it by harsh words, withdrawal of responsibility or discontent. None of which are the ways in which this should come about.
If our husband doesn't trust us in our commitment to him, he will go elsewhere for it - whether to his mates for moral support, or to another woman for physical needs. Not good.
If our husband doesn't trust us with our children, our CHILDREN will GET spoiled...or ruined!
If our husband cannot trust us in money matters, he may feel he needs to borrow money unnecessarily, or be forced to spend less money on the things that matter, such as a new car or new furniture, because we have not managed our money well.
If he cannot trust us in matters of the home, he will eat out instead of at home, or not even want to spend time at home at all, because it's not a restful place to be!!
We can also think of it in the way we now think of something being "spoilt" - ruined! We will ruin our marriage if our husband cannot trust us!
Endless examples of "spoil" could be thought of, if we consider the consequences of our behaviour not being worthy of our husband's trust.
I really didn't expect to cover so much at once, but I felt it all needed to be dealt with under one topic!
A lot to think about...and my heart has been convicted, as so often it is, whilst I type!
I pray that our husbands will safely trust in us!