I am sharing this article from a FaceBook post. I really like it and hope you do too. This is shared with permission.
"My husband had the jeweler engrave 'Proverbs 31:10-31' on my ring. Because that's how he sees me... as the Proverbs 31 woman. ..Right?
But I was thinking one day about that... and I realized that the Proverbs 31 woman does not exist in a vacuum... she has a husband. A Proverbs 31 husband.
What does that look like?
Well, first a disclaimer...I'm not a historian. I don't know what the lives of Jewish women were like when Proverbs was written. I know that Israel was probably one of the most forward-thinking nations when it comes to women at the time, but I'm pretty sure that the man was still the ultimate authority in his house and could make any rules he wanted.
The man supports his wife - she is going out, buying supplies, running a house-- and he permits it. She has everything she needs to do what she does well. I would also venture that he gave her freedom to try (and even fail at) new things-- considering the scope of what the text says she is capable of, I'm guessing she was an experimenter.
Given that the text says that her husband trusts her. Yes, she has earned that trust, no doubt, but he gave her the opportunity to earn it. I'm sure we all have had someone who simply refused to trust us, without ever giving us a chance to prove ourselves trustworthy.
It also says that her husband praises her, and calls her blessed. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that he probably spoils her rotten, too. It say her clothing is silk and purple-- we know she is a financially savvy woman. I'm thinking she may not have bought that silk and purple for herself. He is not a man who takes her talent, skill, and dedication for granted.
Her husband is well-respected, honored member of society (it's convoluted, kind of, but that's what it means when it says 'he is known in the gates'. He is not a free-loader.
Not is he intimidated by her-- the chapter ends with 'let her own works praise her in the gate'-- in his arena, his place of business, he doesn't take credit for what she does or try to outshine her. He si willing to let her be who she is and be recognized for it.
And that is my husband to a T.
How'd i get so lucky?"
That is the end of the quote. It is true that Israel was one of the few nations where women were treated as equals. But it is also true that though God intended it that way for the Jewish people it was not always experienced that way. In the Apostle Paul's letter to Ephesus, chapter 5:21 to the end of the chapter he supports and encourages this concept of equality. Mutual submission is found in verse 21. The following verses define how that submission plays out. Verse 25 says the man is to sacrifice his very life to make her great (not himself) and she is to submit to that by letting him make her great. By not being her own final resource or some other man or woman being her final resource. It becomes a circle of giving and receiving between the husband and the wife. The 2 become 1, or as Genesis 2:24 says, "a man shall leave his father and his mother , and shall cleave (unite with like a hand and a skin tight glove) unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."