HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div

Proverbs 31:11

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.

Sadly, this cannot be said of most husbands today.  They cannot trust their wives (and often their wives cannot trust them).  Being able to fully trust your marriage partner is one of the fundamental foundations of a strong God-honoring marriage.  Martin Luther said of his wife, “The greatest gift of God is a pious amiable spouse, who fears God, loves his house, and with whom one can live in perfect confidence” [quoted in Proverbs, by Charles Bridges, p. 620].

The term “husband” is the common word for husband in the Old Testament. It also means “lord” or “owner.”  [It is also the word that is used of the false god “Baal.”]

There are two reasons why the heart of the husband can trust his virtuous wife.  The first reason is found in the second part of verse 11 (“so that he shall have no need of spoil”) and the second reason is found in verse 12 (“she shall do him good and not evil”).  See the discussion that follows.

So that he shall have no need of spoil

“No need” is the very same expression found in Psalm 23:1–“I shall not want.”  It means to be in need, to be lacking. Both here and in Psalm 23:1 it is used with the negative:  to not be in need, to not be lacking.  If the LORD is my Shepherd, then I shall not be in need because He will supply all my need.  If I have a godly wife, I shall not be in need of spoil.

The word “spoil” means “plunder, booty, spoil.”  It is often used of booty obtained following a battle as the victorious soldiers would take anything valuable from their defeated foes and thus would gain riches from battle. Here in Proverbs 31:11 the word carries the secondary meaning of “gain.” [It is certainly not suggesting that if his wife were not virtuous that he would need to go to battle, slay the enemy and take off their spoil!]  “He shall have no need of gain” because his wife is a tremendous benefit to the family, even financially.  She is not a financial liability (as the verses following will amply illustrate).  She manages the home so well and she is so industrious and productive that her efforts result in great gain and even profit.

Sadly today some wives are so slothful and careless that they cause the family to suffer great financial loss.  They go on shopping sprees or incur immense credit card debt or waste countless hours each week engaged in unproductive activities (television, etc.).  How can her husband safely trust her? After she has finished destroying the family budget, he has great need of gain considering all that she has lost!  Of course, the problem of wasteful spending and unproductive activities is not limited to women only.  Men are at fault as well.

Author: Godfrey Gregg