Proverbs 31: Week 6 | The Wolfe Notes

Our 2023 GROWTH for Today journey guides us through the description of the concluding poem of Proverbs. If you haven't joined yet, we'd love to have you. Each month, we're focusing on a different virtue found in Proverbs 31. For February, that virtue is UPLIFTING. Below summarizes where our journey has taken us so far.

  • Week One set the background for our study and defined valuable. 
  • Week Two began our examination of Proverbs 31:10. 
  • Week Three finished our interpretation of Proverbs 31:10 and introduced Proverbs 31:29.
  • Week Four delved into Proverbs 31:29 research and interpretations.
  • Week Five wrapped up valuable and introduced uplifting.
In week six, we are studying Proverbs 31:11. What follows are our notes and thoughts about this verse. (Our personal thoughts are denoted by an *asterisk. Please do not read them as definitive answers; we are seekers too.)

Proverbs 31:11 KJV quoted over a brick wall with a gate in the middle.

Contents:
About Husbands from various sources and scriptures.
About Spoil from various sources and scriptures.
Other Versions of Proverbs 31:11
Cross References of Proverbs 31:11
*Look at Roles to interpret what Proverbs 31:11 means for helpers and keepers.
*As Christ's Bride infer what this verse means. 
*Godly Wisdom: what Proverbs 31:11 tells us about God's character.

About Husbands

From various sources and scriptures.

  • Hebrew (from Bible Hub)
    • baal: (in order of use) man/men, owner, husband(s), leaders
    • In the case of Proverbs 31:11, husband. 
    • *Interestingly, a deity worshiped in the OT was often referred to as Baal.
  • Definition (from Merriam-Webster)
    • a male partner in marriage
    • the manager of another's property (*managing wives though they belong to God)
    • a frugal manager (*keeper of the garden, Genesis 2:15)
  • Article: "What is a husbandman in the Bible?" (from Got Questions)
    • farmer or worker of the soil
    • husbandry = agricultural term related to production of crops/livestock
    • to husband = to manage well
    • People in the Bible called Husbandman
      • Adam's name is derived from the Hebrew word for "husband man," adamah means "land" or "of the earth" 
      • Noah is called a husbandman when he plants a vineyard
      • Cain because he raised crops
      • Esau because he loved the outdoors
      • God, metaphorically, by Jesus. Jesus referred to Himself as the vine, us to the branches and God as the husbandman (John 15:1-2)
    • A good husband
      • works the earth
      • cultivates his plants
      • expects them to produce fruit in relation to the effort he's invested
    • We should be good husbandman with the resources entrusted to us.
  • In Scripture (from Open Bible)
    • Colossians 3:19 KJV: Husbands, love your wives and be not bitter against them.
    • I Peter 3:7 KJV: Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
    • Ephesians 5:28 NLT: In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.
    • Ephesians 5:29 AMPC: For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church.
    • I Corinthians 11:3 KJV: But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
  • *Conclusions
    • Applying to Proverbs 31:11: The heart of God trusts in Jesus, Jesus trusts in His Church, and husbands trust in their wives.
    • If a husband leads, why must he trust his wife?
      • A manager must trust his employees to run the business smoothly and work to increase the business' purpose
      • A husband must trust his wife to run the household smoothly and work to increase his life's purpose.
    • A husband is a leader, manager, entrusted with much. Responsible for much. Overwatched by Jesus and, ultimately, God.

About Spoil

From various sources and scriptures.

  • Hebrew (from Bible Hub)
    • shalal: (in order of use) spoil, booty, plunder
    • In the case of Proverbs 31:11, gain.
    • *In most contexts this word as a gain through danger.
  • Definition (from Merriam-Webster)
    • pillage, rob
    • to have an eager desire
    • something valuable or desirable gained through special effort or opportunism or in return of a favor
    • *Regarding Proverbs 31:11, the husband has no need to seek something more
  • Article: "The Spoils of Spiritual Warfare" (from World Challenge)
    • Spoils are only won in battle.
      • Once spoils are won, they should be dedicated to the Lord (*"No need for spoil" so dedicate any earned to God)
      • Our God is interested in much more than making us victors, He wants to give us spoils.
    • Examples of people dedicating spoils to God
      • Abraham (Genesis 14:20 TLB: Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the loot.)
      • David (I Chronicles 26:27 TLB: For these men dedicated their war loot to support the operating expenses of the Temple.)
    • Every battle we face ends with a resource God is stockpiling for us to build His church
      • The resources we gain are meant to bless others.
      • Our trials not only gain spiritual riches, but they also keep us strong, pure, under continual maintenance.
    • Greatest spoil of all was won at the cross
      • Victory over death
      • In this life given grace, mercy, peace, forgiveness, strength, and faith.
      • And we'll become part of God's household, managed by Christ, if we trust and rejoice in hope to the end Hebrews 3:6
    • Jesus supplied us with all we need, but we are responsible for tapping into that treasury to maintain his temple
      • We must cooperate for the temple to be maintained.
      • Starts during conflict through lessons learned - faith, virtues, experience, hope, courage, wisdom, love radiating outward.
    • Without trials, decay would come because we'd become passive and lukewarm (*also applies to marriage)
    • Maintenance work is needed: regular prayer, feeding on God's word, fellowshipping with His saints.
    • *Concluding thoughts: Marriage is a battle fought together. Yet, when we know we are right with God and encouraging each other in the Lord (I Samuel 30:6), we will emerge victorious. Then, we can rain down blessings and strengthen those around us as we dedicate our spoils to others.
  • In Scripture (from Bible Hub)
    • Exodus 15:9 KJV: The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.
      • *Satan attacks our marriages to divide us. But God is for us and will overcome. You can safely trust in Him and share the lessons learned to bless others.
    • Isaiah 53:12 VOICE: Because he exposed his very self - laid bare his soul to the vicious grasping of death - And was counted among the worst, I will count him among the best. I will allot this one, My servant, a share in all that is of any value, Because he took on himself the sin of many and acted on behalf of those who broke My law.
      • *Honorable husband, sacrificial, concerned with others, misunderstood, and deserving of, though not needing, spoils. Gets them anyway because God is just.
      • *This passage references Jesus (read more at Christianity.com)
    • Ezekiel 38:11 ERV: You will say, "I will go attack the country that has towns without walls. The people there live in peace and think they are safe. There are no walls around the cities to protect them. They don't have any locks on their gates - they don't even have gates!"
      • *Don't grow complacent; be on your guard.
  • *Conclusions:
    • Personally: Know your true enemy! Be on your guard. Do the right thing by following the guidance of the suffering servant. Utilize spoils earned from battles to strengthen your temple. Pray, study, fellowship.
    • Relationally: Know commitment is the devil's playground. Satan longs to spoil our marriages and plunder the spoils God bestows upon us by living faithfully to one another. Instead, commit to building one another up in God and maintaining each other's temple. When spoils come, pass them along.
    • Spiritually: Accept that you are a soldier in an ongoing war - a war that already knows victory. Dedicate every spoil of this war back to kingdom maintenance. Honor to the King!

Other Versions

Of Proverbs 31:11
  • KJV: The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
  • CEV: Her husband depends on her, and she never lets him down.
  • CJB: Her husband trusts her from his heart, and she will prove a great asset to him.
  • NABRE: Her husband trusts her judgment; he does not lack income.
  • NCB: Her husband entrusts his heart to her, for in her he has an unfailing blessing.
  • TLV: Her husband's heart trusts in her, and he lacks nothing valuable.
  • *A Word of Caution When reading these versions my instinctive interpretations were far from what I believe this scripture communicates. If your interpretations sound similar to what is bulleted below, please try to release yourself from these expectations. 
    • Wife: It's my job to make sure my husband is always satisfied. (Not true! No person will ever completely satisfy another; satisfaction only comes through Christ.)
    • Husband: With the right woman, I'll be content. (Also, not true! Contentment doesn't come from a person; it's only in Christ.)
  • *Wolfe Stew Versions: 
    • Personally: Use good judgment to be an unfailing blessing to others.
    • Relationally: Trust each other. When mistakes happen, discuss, forgive, and, when possible, return to trust. Consider the value that person adds to your life.
    • Spiritually: Trust Jesus completely. Give your heart to Him without reserve. He will never let you down. Watch as good things happen.

Cross References

Of Proverbs 31:11

  • Proverbs 12:4 MEV: A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband, but she who brings shame is as rottenness in his bones.
    • *It's your choice, in every interaction are you bringing life or death? Lifting up or tearing down? Blessing or curse?
    • *With a spouse, it multiplies because you're with this person constantly. You're either adding respect or destroying him from the inside out.
  • 2 Kings 4:8-37 Is the story of Elisha and the woman from Shunem. Because of her faithfulness (virtue), her son was restored to life (no need of spoil). 
  • I Peter 3:17 Is Peter's advice to husbands and wives. 
    • Some virtues here include:
      • Wives: subjection, chastity, fear (reverence), meekness, quiet spirit, bravery, resolute
      • Husbands: present, understanding (empathy), honoring, team-minded, 
    • Spoils mentioned include righteousness, faith, kingdom inheritance, and prayers heard.
    • *Helpers pave the path with faithful actions and keepers persist to journey together toward the Kingdom
    • *Interesting that both here and in Ephesians 5 (Paul as the author) wives are mentioned first.

*Look at Roles

Interpret what Proverbs 31:11 means for helpers and keepers.

Helper

  • Respect him by
    • Acting in ways that bring honor to the household (i.e. tidiness, peaceful atmosphere, provision, welcoming, reputation, etc.)
    • Speaking in uplifting ways regarding your husband.
    • Helping others see and understand his virtues
    • Focusing on the things you love about him. Refusing to hold a record of wrongs through forgiveness.
  • Submit to him by
    • Making choices that you know he would approve of and asking him when you are unsure. 
    • Following through with his guidance.
    • Staying faithful to him, committing to enjoying him as your lifelong partner, and letting him know that you do.

Keeper

  • Love her by
    • Trusting her with your emotions, your heart, knowing she will keep them safe and will work toward improving the condition of your heart.
    • Remaining content through forgiveness.
    • Letting her know how much you admire her efforts and the value she brings you.
  • Lead her by
    • Trusting her to act, speak, and think in your best interest.
    • Coming to her first with any problem. Seeking her counsel.
    • Softly guiding her back to right when she has strayed from Godliness.
    • Making decisions that are for the overall good of both of you and that keep you on the path to God.

 

*As Christ's Bride

Infer what this verse means. 

We, Christ's Bride, Should

  • Respect Him by
    • Acting in ways that bring honor to the Kingdom (i.e. love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control)
    • Praising Him continually. ("Ever Be" Song by Bethel)
    • Lifting His character up around others to help them see and understand His virtues.
    • Keeping your mind on His goodness and refusing to count the ways you think He's let you down through forgiveness. ("Why Forgive God" article by Christ Baldwin)
  • Submit to him by
    • Making choices that align with His will. If you're unsure ask and seek answers in His word. 
    • Going where He leads you. 
    • Staying faithful to Him. Enjoying His presence and letting Him know you do.

Because Christ

  • Loves us by
    • Openly sharing His emotions, problems with the world, and engaging us in discussion.
    • Forgiving us as far as the east is from the west. ("East to West" Song by Casting Crowns)
    • Constantly and freely expressing His endless love for us.
  • Leads us by
    • Entrusting us with His mission. As our pastor says, "There is no 'plan b.'"
    • Seeking our collaboration. ("Let us reason together..." Isaiah 1:18; "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you..." James 4:8; "You have not, because you ask not." James 4:2)
    • Guiding us back when we've overstepped. (Revelation 3:19)
    • Making decisions that are aligned with God's will.

Godly Wisdom

Consider what Proverbs 31:11 reveals about God's character.

God longs for us to be in a trusting relationship with Him where we lack nothing. He knows exactly what we need, and it is only found in Him.

Final Thoughts

That concludes our "Wolfe Notes" for week six. How is it going for you? I feel like I keep asking more questions than I am answering. Yet, I am finding more beauty and freedom in this passage than I ever found before. 

The phrase "no need of spoil" continues to draw me in. I never considered its many meanings. 1. He needs nothing else. 2. The wife is responsible for adding monetary gain to the household (suggested in Beautiful in God's Eyes by Elizabeth George). 3. Though we gain spoils through spiritual warfare, we're to use them to bless others (suggested by World Challenge). 4. Because of the trust in the relationship, he has no need to dangerously seek gain in physical, emotional, or spiritual ways that will lead to spoil - or decay as mentioned in Proverbs 12:4. Oh, and add in on top of these interpretations that "he" could represent a human husband, you as you marry yourself to "Lady Wisdom," or Jesus in marrying you. What is your interpretation of this phrase?

Another thing I wonder, are you connecting this verse to the uplifting virtue? Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking when I chose this word for this month. But then I keep telling myself it makes sense because if there is a firm foundation at home, a trustworthy relationship that stabilizes, it frees us to uplift others because you are firmly rooted in trustworthy love. What are your thoughts? How does uplifting fit with this verse? What other virtue works with this verse?

I am comforted knowing that in our loving Savior, we lack nothing! What a promise to lean on. I hope this confidence gives you strength to continue uplifting others.


Growing with You,

Ready for Week 7

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