Proverbs 31: Week 7 | 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.
  • Week Six focused on Proverbs 31:11.
In week seven, we are wrapping up Proverbs 31:11 and introducing Proverbs 31:23. What follows are our notes and thoughts about these verses. (Our personal thoughts are denoted by an *asterisk. Please do not read them as definitive answers; we are seekers too.)

A brick wall with a wooden gate in the background; Be uplifting written in the foreground with Proverbs 31:11 and 23 referenced.

*Application from the past, present, and hopes for the future.
*Who's Who? Examples and nonexamples of this verse in action.
*Connect to a YouTube video.
Verse Two Noting key words and phrases from Proverbs 31:23.
*Literal Meaning What the verse says in our own words before digging deeper.
What is Weird? Researching something we find unusual about the verse.
Being Known Considering what it means from various sources.


Of Proverbs 31:11 from the past, present, and hopes for the future.

  • Past: CONFUSION. I used to read this verse in complete agreement: "You know what, I am trustworthy! He should not want anything else. I am enough." But then I'd wonder, "Why isn't he content then?" And console myself thinking, "Well, that's just something he needs to work on."
  • Present: COMMITMENT. The only way for trust to be complete in a relationship is when we both entrust our hearts to God and know He is our perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3). What's more, I can admit now I'm not completely trustworthy. Neither are you. Only God is. The truth is, I don't always honor the Mr. Often, I push blame on him. I find myself thinking, "If only he would... then (*insert grand improvement that makes everyone's life miraculously better)." My current goal, one I've failed miserably in, is to choose to uplift my husband by rejecting negative thoughts and words regarding him.
  • Future Hopes: BLESSING. That we learn to share our spoils earned through warfare outward. That our relationship comes to serve as a conduit for God's continual blessing on others.

*Who's Who?

Examples and nonexamples of this verse in action.

  • God safely trusted in Jesus to carry out the work of death on the cross.
    • Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.
    • Moses to protect the law.
    • Solomon to build His temple.
  • Jesus trusts in His Bride to carry out His mission.
  • King Xerxes trusted Esther's honesty regarding the plot to end his life (uncovered by Mordecai).
  • Ruth trusted Naomi to look out for her after the death of her husband.
  • Peter trusted Jesus with his life when he walked on the water to Him.
  • YOU! You trust people every day when you:
    • Are honest with your emotions, shame, and wrongdoings.
    • Release responsibility to others without micromanaging.
    • Invite them to share in problem-solving with you.
    • Believe their intentions are for good.
    • Follow through with what they ask you to do.
    • Give second chances.


To "60 Years Lifting Her Husband", a YouTube video.
  • "The measure of love is to love without measure." ~ 50 sec
  • "The greatest gift you can give someone is the space to be his or herself without the threat of you leaving." ~ 55 sec
  • Because of a physical disability he was born with, a messenger was sent to find a bride for him (*They had never met.) ~ 2:40
    • She saw him and thought he was someone she could love, so she agreed.
    • She does all the work to earn money.
    • She carries him everywhere.
  • "I'll never give up on him no matter what." 
    • A tough time came, and she was advised to leave him. But she said, "If we survive, we survive together and if we die, we die together." ~ 4:35
    • If we have money, we share it and if we don't, we relax and have faith that our time will come when everything will be okay. ~5:40
  • He provides his presence and any assistance he can muster. ~ 6:40
  • A neighbor says she has a heart like that of Jesus Christ because she sacrificed her life for the husband. ~ 10:00
  • "Look up, not down. Look forward, not backward. Look out, not in and lend a hand."
* This story reminds us:
  1. Biblically of Ruth. "Where you go; I'll go."
  2. Personally, I can handle whatever is in front of me. Uplifting others is hard, committed, unrelenting work - and I can do it!
  3. Relationally, to commit, no matter what. Let them know you won't leave or stop loving them and that you are on their side.
  4. Spiritually, God commits to you so you can commit to others.

Verse Two

Noting key words and phrases from Proverbs 31:23.

  • Phrasing: Her husband / is known / in the gates /when he sitteth / among the elders / of the land.
  • Key Words: husband, known, gates, elders

*Literal Meaning

What the verse says in our own words before digging deeper.

Important people know and consult with her husband.


What is Weird?

Researching something we find unusual about the verse.

Why does this verse, in a poem about a wife, shift focus to the husband?

  • Initial thought: *Because of her efforts to uplift, he is known.
    • This theory was also mentioned in Beautiful in God's Eyes by Elizabeth George and "The Proverbs 31 Man" by Scott Hubbard at Desiring God.
    • "She summons her remarkable strength primarily to support her husband's calling." (Desiring God)
    • This verse appears at the center of the chiasm which is the center of the passage. (Desiring God) *Our lives should center on promoting God's calling.
    • "She makes the home strong and stable so that he can branch out and offer the family's fruit to the world." (Desiring God)
  • Additional thought (from Elizabeth George in Beautiful in God's Eyes): The husband and wife are a joint unit; it is difficult to talk about one without including the other. (*We are a joint unit with God; conversation surrounding God should include our life story and stories of our life should point to God.)

Being Known

Considering what it means from various sources.

  1. Hebrew from Bible Hub
    1. yada: to know
    2. Most common meanings (in order): know, known, knows, knew, make known
    3. In Proverbs 31:23 - be made known of person
  2. Definition from Merriam Webster
    1. generally recognized
    2. Synonyms: named, specified
  3. Podcast "Being Known" by Pepper Sweeney and Curt Thompson, MD. Episode one tells us being known is an interplay of:
    1. Interpersonal neurology
      1.  We are called to relate to others (even ones we don't like) and are being formed constantly by forces that interact with us: social media, family. What is forming you? ~6:20
      2. Our neural networks strengthen each time we successfully emerge from episodes of distress followed by times of flourishing. ~28:40
    2. Christian spiritual formation:
      1. The goal is to grow in the fruits of the spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) ~7:00
      2. Formed a man out of the earth, breathed breath and then man became a living being ~ 22:30
        1. Starts with mud, the material world, common, and relationally breathes His spirit. Starts with the body. ~22:45
        2. Reenacted when Jesus heals the blind man with mud (John 9:1-12). ~24:30
        3. *Reminds me of "Amen" by For King and Country
      3. Becoming sons and daughters of God, becoming bright light is really hard to do. ~26:20
    3. Telling our stories more truly:
      1. Factually ~11:30 & faithfully ~13:35
        1. Truth comes from the word troth.
        2. So, when I pledge someone my "troth," I am pledging them my faithfulness. ~14:10
        3. Truly, exposing the things that shame us that we try to bury and act like they don't exist. ~16:10
      2. To someone who: 
        1. Is present ~17:40
        2. Enables you to be known ~17:40
        3. Doesn't look at you with disgust but accepts you. ~21:10
        4. Helps you feel love. Which is important because we need to sense love, or we will work hard to pretend it's there when it's really not. ~24:50
        5. Is willing to do the work to weather the ruptures caused by betrayal. ~29:30
        6. Will be honest. ~30:30
        7. Will come to find you even in your suffering. ~30:55
      3. Results
        1. We'll find energy to create new things because of the energy freed by releasing the shame. ~16:50
        2. We get more confident in believing we are living in the middle of the gospel story - which is present and trying to transform my story. When we don't believe this, we get irritable, angry, hopeless. ~18:25
        3. We find people who help us remember God is coming for us. ~21:30
        4. We become more resilient relationally and neurobiologically. ~29:40
  4. Scripture from Daily Verses
    1. Isaiah 12:5 MEV - Sing to the Lord, for he has done excellent things; let this be known in all the earth. (PRAISE) 
    2. Luke 12:2 MEV - For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. (TRUTH)
    3. Romans 7:7 MEV - What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid! But I did not know sin, except through the law. I would not have known coveting if the law had not said, "You shall not covet." (UNDERSTANDING)
    4. John 17:26 MSG - I have made your very being known to them - Who you are and what you do - And continue to make it known, So that your love for me Might be in them Exactly as I am in them." (CONNECTION)
    5. Proverbs 1:23 KJV - "Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you." (RESPONSIVENESS)
  5. *Concluding thoughts:
    1. Being known takes two deeply committed people who are willing to be honest, responsive, understanding, and freely expressive of each other's virtues.
    2. Who are you known by? Do you create space in presence and state of mind to enable others to be known by you? Consider family, friends, strangers, coworkers, and God.

Final Thoughts

And that's a wrap, folks! What insight most excites you? Where are you struggling? 

I continue to be amazed at how well this poem reflects our relationship with God and am astounded that I have not previously crossed this interpretation. In most sources, the analyzation continues to focus on the wife and husband relationship, but the more I study it, the more I connect to it as a description of my relationship with "Wisdom," or God. That excites me. This relationship is one I was made for, and as in every relationship with God, the only work required on my part is acceptance.

As mentioned in these and previous notes, I struggle to remain uplifting despite the circumstance. I find it a challenge to continue rubber-banding my thoughts, words, and actions back to a place of positive, lovely thoughts instead of negative, harmful ones. 

But I love knowing that I am fully known by My Creator, and I get to spend the rest of my life getting to know Him more and more. If that doesn't excite you, check your pulse; you're dead (to borrow the words of my pastor). Keep praying for the Holy Spirit's guidance to show you what is true and for strength in uplifting others.

Growing with You,

Ready for Week 8?

Interested in more faith-related blogs?  Then you're looking for Faith Food.  At Faith Food, you'll find links to all our faith-related blogs and a short description of each.  


Popular posts from this blog

World Turtle Day | JOY for Today

Proverbs 31: Week 14 | The Wolfe Notes

October 2023 | Calendars