Friday, January 7, 2011

Thirty One Thursdays - His Heart Will Trust

New to Thirty One Thursdays?  Start by reading the Intro Week and The Value of Virtue.

Proverbs 31:11
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.

Verse 11 is represented by the Hebrew letter Bet.

Isn't it interesting that the first thing Lemuel's mother tells him to look for in a wife is someone he can TRUST?  She says, a good woman is a rare and valuable find... you will be able to trust her.

This is one of the most personally convicting verses for me in the whole poem about the Virtuous Woman.  We often think of trust in terms of - "Will she keep the things I told her in confidence?"  Or - "Will she run around on me?"  And based on this interpretation most of us could say with confidence, YES, his heart CAN and SHOULD trust in me.  I have often expected my husband to trust me based solely on these terms, not understanding why he still seemed to receive me with a tinge of skepticism.

But I was not as trustworthy as I thought I was.

Sure, I wasn't running around cheating or telling all my friends his personal problems, but I think verse 11 is speaking of something deeper than this.  For example - One night my husband and I were both in the kitchen, me at the computer and he getting ready to head upstairs for bed.  The counter was piled high with dishes.  He looked longingly up the stairs toward the bedroom where a restorative night's rest awaited, and I said, "Don't worry, I will do the dishes before I go to bed."  And ya know what, I meant it.  I really did.  And I was happy to relieve him of the weight of that stress and send him to bed care free.  But to my surprise, he turned toward the sink, without saying a word, and angrily started doing the dishes.  "I said I would do them!"  No response.  "Matt---what is your DEAL?  Just go to bed and I will do the dishes!"  He finally replied, "It's not a big deal," and kept working.  And I thought, well that's fine if he wants to be a stubborn baby after I've repeatedly offered to take care of it.  Stubbornness indeed.  But not on his part.

His heart didn't trust in me.  He expected to wake up the next morning to be greeted by a counter full of dishes.  He did not expect that what I said I would do, I would do; because in the past, I hadn't.  Perhaps trust in a marriage is MOST MONUMENTAL in the small things.  We believe we are owed the luxury of trust because we're not cheating wives... but trust is something more deeply rooted than that.  It thrives or dies every day, in every small decision we make, and every day we are teaching our spouse whether or not his heart can trust in his wife.  And one way or the other, he will learn.

I think this verse is really saying, "Your wife should be your solid.  Next to the Lord God Himself, she should be the one who is steady, who is stable, who's got your back no matter what.  You can depend on her." 

And when a guy has a girl like that to walk through life with, he will not lack anything.  The second part of the verse tells us that he will have no lack of gain.  These are the same Hebrew words as those used in Psalm 23:1: "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want."  Whenever I read Psalm 23, I am overcome by a deep feeling of rest, because of God's faithfulness in my life.  This is how our husbands should feel when they think of us, their wives.  Trust brings rest.  It brings a peaceful confidence.  When my husband trusts me, he can rest in the fact that my habits will not be one more stress in his life.  I can be the person he wants to come home to after a day of all the other stresses. 

But if I spend the day watching TV, or shopping, or dreaming without putting anything to action, I am adding stress to my husband's life, because now he also has to worry about making up for the losses that I have cost our family in my idleness or over-indulgence.  And this is where trust will break down... over the small things.  It's all those things that we think sit so close to the surface that actually run the deepest.  (I should say here that, of course, either spouse can be guilty of these habits, but I'm just talking to the gals right now.) 

I am resolving to be a woman my husband can DEPEND ON.  There are enough burdens in this life as it is; a spouse should be a relief from them, not an addition to them.  Let's not assume that we are owed trust in our marriages.  Let's instead check ourselves to ensure we are making decisions everyday that teach each other about our trustworthiness.

THIS WEEK'S ACTION STEP:  Identify one (and only one) habit in your life that you believe is hindering your husband's heart from trusting in you.  Then take one (that's right, one) small step in changing that habit.  It's amazing what one small step away from one bad habit can accomplish!

"She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life."
Proverbs 31:12

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