Hey Guys (If there are any guys out there reading this...),
Proverbs 31 is not just written for the ladies, you know. It's important to remember that this particular proverb was given from a loving queen mother to her son, King Solomon. Yes, she was instructing him on the virtues that comprise a priceless woman, but she was also speaking between the lines a little. She had a special point of view and a unique audience with the king of Israel. She was reverently implying that her king was to be the sort of man worthy of standing beside the Virtuous Woman. She was leading her son to the conclusion that, in order to attract the attention of this woman who was continuously seeking the Lord, he too must be looking upward.
"A virtuous woman, who can find?... Will it be you, Solomon?"
In verse 23, she plainly states that the husband of the Virtuous Woman will be a respected leader.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
In the context of the Jewish nation, the gates were where courts were held, judgment was executed, and important decisions were made. Elders were respected leaders who worked together to maintain harmony through God's law in Israel.
So even though he isn't getting as much screen time as the Virtuous Woman, God has spoken through Solomon's mother to give truths about the Virtuous Man as well!
The Virtuous Man is known in the gates. Those who really matter know this guy's names.
The Virtuous Man is known when he sits with the elders. They know his name for the right reasons.
In order to have this reverence and position, he holds the things of God as a high standard. He is a gatekeeper both in his vocation and in his home.
A gatekeeper allows in what is needful and refuses to let in what is harmful, praying for discernment to separate the good from the evil.
A gatekeeper protects the things he loves from the unknown in times of darkness, utilizing sound judgment that is based on absolute truths.
The Virtuous Man is also accountable to other men who have a relationship with God.
My husband does not have the ability, or the desire, to spend five hours talking over coffee about every aspect of life like I do with my girlfriends. What's spiritually renewing to me oftentimes makes him want to throw up. But somehow he and his guy friends find ways to edify each other through fishing, going to the gun range, or biking 80 mile trails. Weird, I know. But somewhere between all the manliness, my husband gains insight from a Godly friend, or gives wisdom to a growing Christian. Christian counsel is so important to everyone, especially to the spiritual leader of the home.
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. - Proverbs 27.17
Here is what our Lord has to say about good counsel, spoken through King David, Solomon's father...
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. - Psalm 1.1-3
If we desire God to permeate every corner of our lives, why do we take advice that is contrary to God's Word? Why do we desire to look like the world who doesn't have God's peace? Why do we seek a higher position and more respect from those who do not respect our Father?
David's delight was in "the law of the Lord". As Christians, we now have grace through faith in Jesus Christ. That should be our delight. We can't help but delight in the freedom we find in Christ!
He meditates on God's Word constantly. There is no separation between job and church, family and personal life. Our lives are most cohesive when we allow the Lord into every compartment.
When we live like this, we will succeed. If God is for us, who can be against us?
Even Solomon in all of his wisdom sought advice from his Godly mother. We all need someone to go to for our spiritual questions. But ultimately we need a personal relationship with Jesus in order to bring forth fruit and prosper.