Our previous post was about the uniqueness of marriage. YHVH instituted marriage as a special blessing to us. A husband and wife complete each other and can as a result of this, do what YHVH has purposed for them to do. This can really only materialize if we are one as YHVH created us to be. To be united like this is not achieved automatically, but through constant work on our relationship. Sin made this necessary.
Sin and modern secular society changed the role of men and women. This change, which was programmed into society by the media makes men out as losers and women as their saviors. Feminism fuels this even further. As a result of this, women don’t generally respect men or their role in marriage and tend to be controlling and critical. Rather than fulfilling the unique role YHVH has created a woman for, they prefer to compete with men in the business world. The new buzzword has become gender neutrality. What an abomination this must be in YHVH’s eyes. He didn’t create two gender neutral persons, but a man and a woman.
He created men and women with different roles. Women were created with different hormones, these hormones give them their female form, enable them to have babies and let them to be women. Women tend to be more emotional, while men are stronger, they are created to be protectors and visionaries. Each has a unique role, and in marriage they become complete. This is YHVH’s design.
The question is how are we as women to fulfill the roll YHVH planned for us from the beginning. It took us about 6000 years to be where we are today, far removed from the garden and the way YHVH created us to be. We need to search YHVH’s word and find His instructions for us and live accordingly.
The role of the wife in marriage
I love this quote by Matthew Henry:
The woman was formed out of man-not out of his head to rule over him; not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him; but out of his side to be his equal, from beneath his arm to be protected, and from near his heart to be loved.
YHVH made a suitable helper for Adam, an “ezer negdo” in Hebrew.
18 Then YHVH Elohim said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
The word translated as “helper“is “ezer” in Hebrew.
6469 I. עֵזֶר (ʿē·zěr): n.masc.; ≡ Str 5828; TWOT 1598a
1. LN 35.1–35.18 helper, assistant, i.e., one who assists and serves another with what is needed (Ge 2:18, 20; Ex 18:4; Dt 33:29; Eze 12:14; Hos 13:9+);
2. LN 35.1–35.18 help, assistance, i.e., acts of supplying what is needed to another (Dt 33:7, 26; Ps 20:3[EB 2]; 33:20; 70:6[EB 5]; 115:9, 10, 11; 121:1, 2; 124:8; 146:5; Isa 30:5; Da 11:34+);
3. LN 76 strength, formally, help, i.e., power to accomplish a task (Ps 89:20[EB 19]+), note: some change text to 5694 or 5694.5, note: for another interp, see next; 2
The word translated as “suitable” is from the Hebrew word “neged”
5584 נֶגֶד (ně·ḡěḏ): adv. [see also 5584.5]; ≡ Str 5048; TWOT 1289a
1. LN 83.33–83.41 before, in front of, straight ahead, i.e., pertaining to a spatial position anterior to another object, implying a public or open position, and so often being in the presence of another (2Ki 1:3);
2. LN 83.42–83.45 opposite, beyond, i.e., a spatial position in front of another object, but with a space between (Jos 3:16);
3. LN 83.23–83.32 nearby, i.e., pertaining to a spatial position which is in proximity to another object (Ge 21:15)
נֶגֶד (ně·ḡěḏ): n.[masc.] [served by 5584]; ≡ Str 5048; TWOT 1289a—LN 64 counterpart, i.e., that object which is corresponding or like another object (Ge 2:18, 20+)2
What does this mean?
God decided to make a helper suitable (lit., “a helper corresponding to him,” or “a corresponding helper”) for the man (v. 18). “Helper” is not a demeaning term; it is often used in Scripture to describe God Almighty (e.g., Pss. 33:20; 70:5; 115:9, where it is trans. “help” in the NIV). The description of her as “corresponding to him” means basically that what was said about him in Genesis 2:7 was also true of her. They both had the same nature. But what man lacked (his aloneness was not good) she supplied, and what she lacked he supplied. The culmination was one flesh (v. 24)—the complete unity of man and woman in marriage. Since Adam and Eve were a spiritual unity, living in integrity without sin, there was no need for instruction here on headship. 3
The woman was created to be a helper suitable for her man. The woman came out of man and has qualities he doesn’t possess, and so does the man. Each has a unique role, according to YHVH’s design. In marriage man and woman become one and together they have what is required to raise a family. YHVH instituted marriage and commanded them to be fruitful and multiply. The task does not stop after multiplying. Those children have to be raised in a godly way in order to fulfill YHVH’s purpose.
A child is like a sponge, during their first 8 or 9 years all they do is absorb, they do not have the brain chemicals in question or reason yet. Do you understand now why the care of our children is so important? If during this very vulnerable time, they are traumatized, it will negatively affect them for the rest of their lives. Sometimes they may not even be aware of the trauma, but it has registered in their subconscious mind. If they are taught untruths, that too will stay with them, they will not question it and it will become a stumbling block to them. We as parents have an enormous responsibility when it comes to raising our children.
5 “And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
If we as parents allow teaching that will lead our children to sin, we are responsible. Raising our children is one of the most important tasks of all, secondary to this is to rule over what YHVH has entrusted to us.
Raising our children for YHVH’s kingdom is one facet of being an excellent wife. (I am not diminishing the role of the father, I am focusing on the role of the woman here, the father plays an equally important role in raising their children.)
Let us now look in more detail at the other facets.
The Proverbs 31 wife
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband. She is his pride and joy.
i4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.
What does it mean to be an excellent wife? In Proverbs 31:10-31 we find a detailed description of an excellent wife.
Just one important note: being an excellent wife is not about performance, we are not going to create a list of things we need to do to be able to reach this lofty goal. Being an excellent wife is about fulfilling our role, according to YHVH’s design. We are to first please YHVH and then excellence will flow from our relationship with Him. So, how are we then to look at the passage in Proverbs? I see it as a list of characteristics a wife will possess when she places YHVH first. We are to read it with expectation and be excited about what YHVH will do in our lives if we trust and follow Him in everything.
Proverbs 19:14 confirms what we have said here -a prudent wife is from YHVH.
14 House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from YHVH.
The word “prudent” was translated from the Hebrew word “sakal” and has a rich meaning.
8505 I. שָׂכַל (śā·ḵǎl): v.; ≡ Str 7919; TWOT 2263, 2264
1. (hif) have insight, get wisdom, gain understanding, be prudent, be skilled, i.e., have a capacity for understanding, implying this state is a result of proper teaching (Ge 3:6; Dt 32:29; 1Ch 28:19; 2Ch 30:22; Job 22:2; 34:35; Ps 2:10; 14:2; 36:4[EB 3]; 53:3[EB 2]; 64:10[EB 9]; 94:8; 106:7; 119:99; Pr 1:3; 10:5, 19; 14:35; 15:24; 17:2; 19:14; 21:16; Isa 41:20; 44:18; 52:13; Jer 3:15; 9:23[EB 24]; 23:5; 50:9; Da 1:4, 17; 9:22, 25; 11:33, 35; 12:3, 10; Am 5:13+), note: in some contexts there may be a focus of having understanding by practical, first person experience;
2. LN 68.22–68.33
(qal) succeed, prosper, i.e., accomplish an activity thoroughly and with success (1Sa 18:30+); (piel) see 6118;
(hif) prosper, be successful (Dt 29:8[EB 9]; Jos 1:7,8; 1Sa 18:5,14,15; 1Ki 2:3; 2Ki 18:7; Pr 17:8; Jer 10:21; 20:11+);
3. LN 30.39–30.52
(hif) give attention, have regard, act. with care, give heed to, i.e., give thought for a person or situation, implying a proper response (Ne 8:13; Job 34:27; Ps 41:2[EB 1]; 101:2; Pr 16:20; 21:12; Da 9:13+);
4. LN 33.224–33.250
(hif) instruct, teach, i.e., provide information and relate experiences to a student, for the purpose of gaining understanding and wisdom (Ne 9:20; Ps 32:8; Pr 16:23; 21:11+), note: some parse Jer 50:9 v.r. as 88972
A prudent wife has wisdom and understanding. She succeeds in what she does and prospers. She gives attention, have regard, act with care, give thought for a person or situation. She has a proper response ready. She is able to teach and instruct. These are all qualities bestowed on her by YHVH. Broken as we are, we would read this and strive to be like this, we tend to make everything about performance. Don’t do this, this is not the idea. If we as wives seek YHVH and live according to His ways, we will be prudent. I believe this is the reason the verse reads, a prudent wife is from YHVH.
Let’s look in more detail at Proverbs 31. The word translated as “excellent,” is the Hebrew word “hayil”
2657 חַיִל (ḥǎ·yil): n.masc.; ≡ Str 2428, 381; TWOT 624a
1. LN 79.62–79.69 physical strength (2Sa 22:40; Ps 18:40[EB 39]; Ecc 10:10; Zec 4:6);
2. LN 57.25–57.35 wealth (Ge 34:29; Nu 31:9; Dt 8:17, 18; Job 20:18);
3. LN 75 ability, special ability or capability, qualified for a task (Ge 47:6; Ex 18:21, 25; 2Ki 2:16; 1Ch 26:6);
4. LN 55.7–55.13 troops, army (Ex 14:4, 9, 17, 28; 15:4; Nu 31:14);
5. LN 37.48–37.95 strong, political or military strength (Nu 24:18);
6. LN 88.1–88.11 noble character, strong character, worthy person (Ru 3:11; 1Ki 1:42; Pr 12:4; 31:10);
7. LN 15.150 large group, caravan, i.e., a non-military travel-merchant group (1Ki 10:2; 2Ch 9:1);
8. LN 23.46–23.60 vigor, strength, manhood, i.e., the male strength given in the sex act. (Pr 31:3); 2
This word “excellent” describes many different facets of greatness, not all only pertaining to women: physical strength, wealth, ability, military strength, strong character and vigor. Keep these in mind as we continue this study.
This passage in Proverbs is traditionally recited by the husband before kiddush at the Sabbath meal as praise to his wife. It is referred to as the Eshet chayil in Hebrew.
As I said before, this passage is not a standard to measure ourselves against. The purpose of the passage is to inspire, not to show us our inadequacy. It shows and praises the many facets of an excellent wife. I believe that we will more and more look like this as we surrender ourselves completely to YHVH. Proverbs 31:30 sums up what I said here:
30b a woman who fears YHVH, she shall be praised.
Let’s look at the many facets of an excellent wife and be inspired to devote ourselves wholeheartedly to YHVH.
An excellent wife does her husband good
10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.
31:11. The noble wife’s husband is mentioned three times (vv. 11, 23, 28) and is referred to as “him” in verse 12. His confidence in her is complete. He trusts her. Her careful household management enhances their family’s wealth. He lacks nothing of value by way of household goods.
31:12. This kind of woman is an asset, not a liability, to her husband. Good comes to him that can be directly attributed to her. She supports and encourages him. And she is faithful in helping him all … her life.4
Praying for your husband
He will have no lack of gain does in my opinion, not only refer to wealth, but can be interpreted wider. The husband gains much by having an excellent wife. She supports and encourages him, but most importantly, she prays for him. It is our duty as wives to pray for our husbands. We are to pray and proclaim scripture over them.
Satan will do anything to destroy our marriages by leading our husbands into temptation. Our husbands are out there in the world every day being bombarded by temptations via the media and ungodly people. They can benefit from our support in prayer.
When we looked at the meaning of the word excellent we saw that it can refer to military strength. This may seem unfitting to describe a woman, especially a wife, but it does pertain to us. We are to be prayer warriors, praying for our husbands, marriages, children, government and the area where we live. YHVH hears our prayers and our prayers can affect change. If you haven’t done this before, you can start by subscribing to a prayer challenge list. I have done that and found it to be very enriching. Here is a link to such a list http://www.prayingforhim.com/
An excellent wife is industrious
13 She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight. 14 She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar. 15 She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens. 16 She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
31:13. She is involved in weaving and sewing as indicated in verses 13, 19, 22, 24. She uses wool and flax, and linen (vv. 22, 24) made from flax. With eager hands is literally, “with the delight of her hands,” suggesting that she enjoys her work.
31:14. The noble wife also does shopping. She is like … merchant ships that brought unusual and fascinating merchandise from other places. She too brought interesting and unusual items home from her shopping.
31:15. Though she has household help she herself gets up early, before daybreak, to help prepare breakfast and food for other meals, and to delegate work (portions) to her servants.
31:16. The wife’s considering and buying a field have caused some to question the validity of this poem because women, it is argued, were not permitted to do that in those days. However, in this wealthy household she apparently had money to invest. Then out of her earnings from various investments (cf. “trading,” v. 18, and “sells,” v. 24) she plants a vineyard. She has a business mind and she works hard.4
An excellent wife is diligent and devotes herself to her work with delight. Everything she does is done with a focus on doing it well.
I like the Bible Knowledge Commentary’s commentary on verse 14. “She brings interesting and unusual items home from her shopping.” Most of us see shopping as a weakness, but we can develop that too into something excellent, benefitting our household.
17 She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong. 18 She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle.
31:17. She works energetically (lit., “girds her loins with strength”) and with vigor (cf. “works” in v. 13). She has a healthy attitude toward work.
31:18. Her wise business dealings are again referred to (cf. “earnings,” v. 16, and “sells,” v. 24). The fact that her lamp does not go out speaks of her planning ahead. The five virgins whose lamps did not go out were praised for their foresight (Matt. 25:4). The extinguishing of one’s lamp pictured calamity (Job 18:6; Prov. 13:9; 20:20; 24:20).
31:19. Verses 13, 19, 22, 24 refer to her weaving and sewing. She makes cloth by spinning wool or flax (v. 13) on a distaff, using a spindle.4
Verse 27 again mentions how the excellent wife looks after her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
31:27. She is involved in management (she watches over … affairs of her household). Yet she is also directly involved in various activities as a housewife. She is not idle (cf. vv. 13, 17).4
An excellent wife is selfless
20 She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
31:20. The noble wife is also selfless and generous. She sells some things for profit but she also gives to the poor and the needy (see comments on these words in 30:14; cf. 31:9; also note 11:25; 21:26). Possibly 31:20 refers to her giving cloth she has made (v. 19) to the poor who have none.
31:21. Cold weather does not cause this woman to panic for her household (cf. v. 25b); she is prepared for it. She has clothed them in scarlet, that is, she has provided expensive garments. She spares no cost in protecting her family from the cold.4
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband
The husband of an excellent wife esteems and honors her. She does not put him to shame, but makes him proud to be her husband.
22 She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
She is the crown of her husband.
i4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.
12:4. A wife of noble character (cf. 31:10; Ruth 3:11) is like a crown on her husband’s head, that is, her strength of character (ḥayil is lit., “strength”) makes her husband proud and honored. She adds dignity to him. Conversely a disgraceful wife (one who is not noble or strong morally) decays his bones (cf. comments on Prov. 3:8); her shame gives him inner pain.5
Her husband is pleased with her because of her character. She has strength of character, when she speaks, she does so with wisdom and kindness. She smiles at the future, in my opinion, means she has a positive outlook towards the future. This is based on faith in YHVH.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. 26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
An excellent wife is worthy of blessing and praise
28 Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 29 “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.”
31:28–29. Her children … call her blessed. She is positive and optimistic and enjoys her role in life. Her husband … praises her by telling others she is the greatest of the noble women (cf. v. 10).4
An excellent wife fears YHVH
As we said before, it is not about performance, but about putting YHVH first. None of us are perfect, we all have shortcomings, but we can take these shortcomings to YHVH and pray that He will make us into the women He purposed us to be. If we do, He will develop all these qualities in us. When we fear YHVH and keep His commandments, He will change our hearts to do His desire and when we do, we will become an excellent wife.
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears YHVH, she shall be praised. 31 Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.
31:30. Her secret is her godly character. She is physically charming and beautiful but those qualities may not last. But as a woman who fears the LORD, she is praised by her husband (v. 28) and others (v. 31). Appropriately here near the end of Proverbs, the book concludes the way it began, by referring to fearing the Lord (1:7).
31:31. The writer urged his readers to recognize and reward the faithful diligence and kindness of such a woman. She along with her husband (v. 23) should be honored publicly. Honoring a woman at the … gate was not normally done in Israel. But an unusual woman called for unusual recognition.4
The virtues of a noble wife are those that are extolled throughout the Book of Proverbs: hard work, wise investments, good use of time, planning ahead, care for others, respect for one’s spouse, ability to share godly values with others, wise counsel, and godly fear (worship, trust, service, obedience). As Proverbs has stated repeatedly, these are qualities that lead to honor, praise, success, personal dignity and worth, and enjoyment of life.4
All these virtues can be developed if we focus on YHVH, some may come easier for some than for others, but as we continue our journey with YHVH, we will become what YHVH planned for each of us to be.
We can look at the life of Ruth as an example of an excellent wife.
Ruth, an excellent wife
11 “Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.
One thing that stands out in the book of Ruth is the fact that she chose to follow YHVH. She left everything that was familiar to her behind and went with her widowed mother-in-law to a land unknown to her. A land where she may suffer scorn due to her being from Moab. However, she was excepted based on her virtue and became a great example of excellence. YHVH chose her to be part of the lineage the Messiah would be born into.
She humbled herself and was exalted by YHVH.
One more thing about an excellent wife is her respect of her husband.
An excellent wife respects her husband
Scripture teaches that we are to submit to our husbands. We as modern woman don’t like the word submit, we do not want to submit to a man. Submission is not about being a slave or not having our own opinions. Submitting is about showing him respect. Submission is something you give from the heart, it cannot be forced upon you.
YHVH made the husband the head of the household. We are to respect him in this role. Paul explains this in his epistle to the Ephesians:
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to YHVH. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Messiah also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Messiah, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Messiah also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
This means in YHVH’s theocracy, the husband is responsible to YHVH for his household – his wife and children. He is the spiritual leader in the home or should be. The love a husband is to have for his wife is compared to Messiah Y’shua’s love for the assembly of believers. Y’shua loved, served and taught the people, He gave His life for them. A husbands is to love his wife the same way and a wife is to submit to her husband the way the assembly submitted to Y’shua.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary explains it as follows:
5:22–24. Wives are to submit to their husbands. (The verb “submit,” absent in Gr. in v. 22, is borrowed from v. 21.) As to the Lord does not mean that a wife is to submit to her husband in the same way she submits to the Lord, but rather that her submission to her husband is her service rendered “to the Lord” (cf. Col. 3:18). The reason for this submission is that the husband is the head of the wife (cf. 1 Cor. 11:3), and this is compared to Christ’s headship over the church (Eph. 5:23; cf. 4:15; Col. 1:18). As Christ is the Savior of the church, His body, so a husband should be the protector of his wife, who is “one flesh” with him (Gen. 2:24). As the church is in submission to Christ, so also a wife should be to her husband. It would be foolish to think of the church being head over Christ. But submission does not mean inferiority. It means that she recognizes that her husband is the head of the home and responds to him accordingly without usurping his authority to herself.
5:25. After speaking of a wife’s submission to her husband (vv. 22–24), Paul then stated the measure of the husband’s love for his wife (vv. 25–32). Husbands are commanded, Love your wives (cf. v. 33) just as Christ loved the church. The word “love” (agapaō) means seeking the highest good for another person (cf. 2:4). This is an unselfish love as seen in Christ’s sacrificial death in which He gave Himself up for the church (cf. 5:2; John 10:11, 15, 17–18; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 5:25; Heb. 9:14). A wife’s submission in no way hints that a husband may lord it over his spouse, as a despot commanding a slave. The “submit-love” relationship is a beautiful mixture of harmonious partnership in marriage.6
Our submission to our husbands is our service to YHVH.
18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in YHVH.
There is another purpose to this submission.
1 Peter 3:1–2
1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
3:1–4. The participle translated be submissive (hypotassomenai, lit., “being under authority”) carries the force of a command (cf. 2:18). This command is for wives to submit to their own husbands (cf. Eph. 5:22; Col. 3:18). The command does not require women to be subordinate to men in general but to their husbands as a function of order within the home. A wife is to accept her place in the family under the leadership of her husband whom God has placed as head in the home. Wives are to be submissive even if their husbands are unbelievers, so those men might be saved by the behavior of their wives. The powerful purity of a godly woman’s life can soften even the stoniest male heart without a word (cf. Titus 2:5).7
Two things stand out in this passage, the submission of a woman is to her own husband, not to men in general and the wife is to submit even if her husband is an unbeliever. I believe this only to be true if he doesn’t require her to break YHVH’s commandments. YHVH is our greatest authority.
There are two good examples of women who did not respect their husband in the Tanakh. Michal, the wife of David criticized him for dancing before YHVH when the ark was brought back. She ended up childless. YHVH judged her for her disrespect. Queen Vasti was another example. The king summoned her, wanting to show off his wife’s beauty and she refused to go. He was furious and she lost her position as his queen. There is a lesson for us in these two examples.
In Titus, we read again about this submission and a few other qualities are added like not being gossips or enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, to be sensible and workers at home.
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of Elohim will not be dishonored.
Love and respect
The crux of our marriage relationship is for us women to respect our husbands and for them to love us.
33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
It is like a cycle, if you respect your husband, he would want to love you and if a husband loves his wife, she would want to respect him. I have often seen how a disrespectful or critical comment caused my husband to do or say something I perceived as loveless. This love and respect truly are critical in marriage. The only way the crazy cycle of disrespect and lack of love will stop, is if one of the two change their approach. We as women must see to it that we respect our husbands, it will stop the crazy cycle.
Men were created by YHVH with a greater need to be respected and women with a greater need for love. This does not mean that women can be disrespected and men don’t need love. All people need love and respect, but YHVH created men and women with certain differences in needs and this is one of them.
A few disrespectful things we can do is to discuss the shortcomings of our husbands with our friends or in public. Or we can make a joke about it. We can also criticize them in front of other people or in front of our children. We can belittle them. We can question his authority in front of our children. We can watch tv shows that make men out as losers. The media has taught a culture of disrespect towards men to break down their authority, because that is what disrespect does. An excellent wife builds her husband up, not break him down in any way.
1 Peter 4:8
8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
An excellent wife does not withhold herself from her husband
1 Corinthians 7:3–5
3 The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
When we get married, we become one, physically, emotionally and spiritually. This oneness is expressed in intimacy on these three levels. When we become one through marriage, we belong to each other. There is something very interesting in the Hebrew if you were to look at the words for foreskin, womb and breasts. It confirms what Paul said here. When you look at the morphology of the word “orla” which is Hebew for foreskin, it is feminine and when you look at womb, “rechem” in Hebrew, the morphology is male. The same with the word for breasts, it is also male in morphology. We were made for each other and it is even expressed by the Hebrew language.
We are neither to withhold ourselves on other levels from each other. We are not to allow walls to be built between us. These walls are typically built as a result of brokenness or past hurts, by bitterness as a way of emotional self preservation. However, this does not belong in marriage. Oneness as YHVH designed it is hindered by emotional walls. We are to ask YHVH to show us these walls and break it down with His help.
No woman when she gets married thinks, I want to be a mediocre wife, I will do the bare minimum and see if I can get away with it. No, when we get married to the man we love, we aim to please him in all we do. We want to be an excellent wife. Society’s definition of an excellent wife is often different to how YHVH defines an excellent wife. In society, the focus is on self, what you as a person can do for yourself and achieve in life. It will provide a list of achievements to define and excellent wife. If you do this, you will be seen as an excellent wife. The focus is on me and it is performance driven. According to YHVH’s way, the focus is on Him first, then on our husband, children and household. Many other facets are added on after this. A woman can for example have a career or a business as long as she doesn’t neglect her relationship with YHVH and her family. That is how I see it.
YHVH created men and women different for a reason. Together, in marriage we complete one another. We have different needs and are created to fulfill each others needs. Men have, for example, a greater need for respect and women for love. Together this forms a cycle which brings peace and harmony to our relationship.
Our focus in marriage is to be on YHVH first, then He will enable us to be an excellent wife.
This is a huge topic and actually warrants the writing of a book, but as I said in the opening paragraph of our previous article, we don’t need another book on the subject of marriage, we need to focus on our relationship with YHVH and He will guide us through His word to be what He purposed us to be in our marriages, but also in our lives in general.
5 Trust in YHVH with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
1. All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD and Y’shua for Jesus
2. Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
3. Ross, A. P. (1985). Genesis. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 31). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
4. Walvoord, J. F., & Zuck, R. B., Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 972). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
5. Buzzell, S. S. (1985). Proverbs. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 930). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
6. Hoehner, H. W. (1985). Ephesians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 640–641). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
7. Raymer, R. M. (1985). 1 Peter. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 848). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Tags: excellent wife, feminism, gender neutrality, husband, idle, industrious, keep commandments, love, marriage, one, oneness, performance, proverbs 31, prudent, respect, Ruth, Scripture, selfless, trust, Yhvh
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