The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. (Proverbs 31:11)
I’ve been thinking on this verse all day. I’m having a hard time figuring out what “safely trusting” a wife has to do with needing spoil. The two don’t seem to have anything in common. I looked up in the dictionary “trust” (which was pretty straight forward- to have confidence in; also denotes reliability), and “spoil” (the booty or pillage of war or attack).
Taken separately, trust is an easy one. A virtue (or positive character trait) of a good woman is to be reliable. Trustworthy. Can my husband trust me with his heart, that I won’t trample it, break it, or otherwise mishandle it? If I were truly a Proverbs 31 woman, the answer would be a resounding “Yes!” Unfortunately, that’s not the case. I’d like to think that I’m reliable, and trustworthy, and sometimes I am, but not enough. A Proverbs 31 woman handles her husband’s heart with care, and I rarely remember this.
Or can he trust me with his whole being, about personal and private things? Do I go telling my girlfriends things about my husband they have no business knowing, and could cause him any degree of embarrassment? (Happily, I can answer “no” to this one)
As for the “spoil” part of this verse… In days of old, spoil was the booty plundered when one group attacked another group, through out-and-out war or a pillage-and-burn type of thing. It could include pretty much anything considered valuable– livestock, gold, people (as slaves, concubines, etc)– and there are lots of references to it in the Old Testament, especially the Israelites fighting the locals for a piece of the Promised Land. Unless specifically forbidden by the Lord, the Israelites would take what they wanted after they defeated the enemy (and sometimes, with dire results, even if they were forbidden). So, the question is, what would make a man have no need of these riches? And how can that be applied to modern living? I’m willing to take suggestions, because I just don’t see a connection.
So to recap: a Proverbs 31 woman is someone her husband can trust. She’s someone who is reliable. She isn’t a blabbermouth. A Proverbs 32 woman would be more likely to put her husband down, and to act in a way that her husband (and probably others) learns quickly not to trust her. Maybe even to hold back a part of his heart.
Who should we most desire to be like?