“The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.”~Proverbs 31:11
There is a unique flower called, "Beautiful Truth". It was discovered in South Korea by Song Kihun (the grower) who named this rare beauty after his beloved daughter. Although extremely delicate in appearance, with its cream colored, ¼” strap-like petals, it is a very hardy and well behaved flower...unlike others of its species. This is one of the distinct qualities that make this exceptionally beautiful flower so treasured by its gardeners. The petals look like delicate ribs that wrap around the "heart" of the flower where the sweet nectar is. This precious flower reminds me of Proverbs 31:11.
I was so intrigued by this flower that I began looking up its history, how it grows, where it grows, and if it'll grow in my garden. To my joy, I found it is much like a biblically submissive woman: beautifully delicate in appearance, yet is very strong and hardy, and well behaved; all of which, blesses her Gardener, the LORD Almighty.
I don't know if you garden, but prior to my illness, I used to garden all the time and absolutely loved it! I've learned some of my greatest lessons from the Lord while I was gardening and have had some of the most humbling, awe-inspiring and sweet quiet times with my Creator that I will treasure for the rest of my life. One of the lessons God taught me while gardening was that the gardener knows all his/her plants the best! The gardener knows which plants he/she planted, which ones are weeds (but just look like plants to passer-byers), which plants need much water, little water, more sun and so on. And the gardener also knows exactly when each plant needs to be pruned.
I remember when I first pruned one of my plants; I thought I did something wrong because a white milky substance began to flow out of it. I was afraid and began to pray and asked God to help me "fix" my mistake. This is when I learned I hadn't made a mistake, but that the plant was "bleeding" and it was okay, because it would heal. I pruned and pruned until my plant looked nearly dead...but I, the gardener knew it wasn't. It was ugly, had no shape, and well, looked like it should be pulled up because it looked so useless...but I knew better. I even had a couple of people offer to pull it out for me because they thought it was dead. But I would never let them. Rather I protected my currently unattractive and misshapen plant. I didn't think it looked as ugly as other people did. I actually thought it looked quite beautiful because I could see what it was going to be when it matured. I could see large, emerald green leaves that danced around the abundant and exquisitely fragrant flowers. I envisioned the multitude of radiant and vibrant blooms that would fill the bouquet so that those who passed by just couldn’t help but stop and take in the essence of its invigorating fragrance and be enchanted by its gorgeous blooms. I imagine people standing there thinking, "It looks like an ordinary flower, but there's just something about it...the soothing, sweet aroma; the extraordinary vibrant hue of its petals—what is it? I can't put my finger on it, but I can't help but be attracted to its subtle, yet extravagant beauty." It's during these times I catch someone lingering around my garden, enjoying its beauty. This is when I run outside with my flower clippers and offer to cut some for them to take home. When they talk to me about my garden, and why they were attracted to it, I share with them that it's all for Christ. I tell them that I want everyone who walks by my house to sense the inexplicable serenity and joy that comes from knowing Christ. I consider my garden as a "bait" to catch some "fish" so I can share the Gospel. I've met many friends this way and have been exceedingly grateful for the garden God has generously allowed me to work and enjoy.
So what does all this have to do with Proverbs 31 verse 11? Well, as I looked upon this unique flower, I thought of why a husband's heart would have such trust in his wife that he would have no lack of gain. And it's all wonderfully wrapped in this flower. A biblically submissive wife is like this Beautiful Truth flower.
Let me explain.
Modesty Begins In The Heart
A biblically submissive wife is delicate in appearance, but is very hardy and strong. She grows without being overbearing and she doesn’t compete with the other flowers in the garden, that is, she doesn’t compete or compare herself with other women (2 Cor 10:12); rather, much like the Beautiful Truth flower, she leans and stretches always towards the Son, where she finds life and strength to grow as He wills. She is fully aware that her Father God is compassionate, sovereign and trustworthy and uses all things for her good, whether trials or pleasures; to daily conform her into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-29).
Self-control and Discipline
She is well behaved, practices self-control (1 Tim 2:9, Titus 2:3-5) and is shaped by her Gardener and grows in the fashion He chooses. She doesn't mind being pruned, though it is painful and causes her to "bleed". She knows and trusts her Gardener is pruning and shaping (disciplining) her so that she might be strengthened so that she can yield the fruit of righteousness (Heb 12:11). The pruning actually makes her stronger (Heb 12:11). She doesn't mind looking "ugly" (being in humiliating circumstances) from time to time because her full trust is in her Gardener— not in herself or others, as she views herself through His eyes (Gal 1:10, 2:20).
She's more concerned with the growth that's happening in the secret places no one else but her Gardener can see. And this gives her peace, especially when the storms come and beat down on her, or during the droughts when the sun threatens to dry up all she has. Whether the torrential rains stamp out her dreams, or the heat of adversary saps her strength, her roots grow deeper and deeper into the soil, as she firmly embeds herself into her strong Foundation—the Lord Jesus Christ; for she knows, He alone is her Refuge (Prov 18:10).
Frugal and Content
She does not squander her family’s money or her time on selfish desires and momentary delights. Instead, she plans meals per her family’s budget and keeps abreast on sales and other necessary items that best suits her family’s needs. She doesn’t look upon others with envy, but is fully satisfied in the LORD (1 Tim 6:6-8). She is grateful and humbled that God has been mindful of her and provides for her every need and even graces her with plenty (Ruth 2:10).
Blesses Her Community
She makes her mark in this world and many take notice of her. Not because she is the most beautiful, not because she is the loudest, proudest or strongest. No, she is well esteemed because she allows her good conduct to prove her work done in the meekness of wisdom (James 3:13) with gentleness and a quiet spirit; faithfully doing good without fear of anyone or anything except God her Father (1 Peter 3:4 , 6). And yes, even other women take notice of her, for her peaceful joy and quiet confidence in Christ speaks louder than any words that could come from her own lips.
Her Husband’s Confidence
Though her husband may or may not strive to be a man who loves her as Christ loves the Church, her husband does not worry, because he knows her full trust and joy is in Jesus Christ, not her husband or any other person. Therefore he is free to know Christ (if he's not saved), and one day, will endeavor to love her as Christ commanded all husbands (Eph 5:25-31, 33, Col 3:19, 1 Peter 3:7). Her husband is well aware that he is her second love and Christ her first. She is firmly established in her Savior alone and therefore is not easily shaken by circumstances around her, for her hope is in the LORD, not in the comforts of this life (Psalm 16:8-9). No wonder the heart of a husband who's blessed with this kind of wife has full trust in her and has no lack of gain. He trusts her because he knows she will not gossip about him to others (1 Tim 5:13), his interests are hers, his desires come before hers, and his welfare is her joy (Eph 5:24, Philippians 2:3-4) and not because he’s so perfect, but because Jesus is.
Gracious Lord God in Heaven, hallowed be Your holy name! May all praise and glory be to You and You alone, because You alone are worthy Father! My sisters and I were once far off. Our hearts were darkened and we were vile, wretched souls before Your eyes. But in Your mercy, You looked upon us with compassion and You sacrificed Your one and only Son, that we may enter Your presence without shame and fear of condemnation. Because our hope is in You alone, You heard our cry for help and You saved our souls by washing us in the blood of Your holy Lamb, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Make us women who will not be tossed by the waves of society or any pretentious thought that sets itself up against You. But let us captivate every thought and make it obedient to Your Son. We commit to humble ourselves and submit to our husbands today to demonstrate the fullness of our trust in You. Receive our praise and grant our request O Lord, for You alone are our Provider and our First Love! May the name of Jesus Christ forever be praised, in whose name we come. Amen.
Biblical Perspective, Practically Applied:
- Memorize, mediate and study Psalm 16:8-9 by using a reference Bible and reading all the verses/passages that pertain to these two verses.
- After you’ve studied Psalm 16:8-9, in your journal, make a two column list labeled: What My Heart Is Set On. Title the first column: “Things of This World”” (e.g., kids, friends, husband, food, invitations, social status, etc.) and the second column, “Things of God” (prayer, Bible reading, Bible study, accountability, self-discipline, etc.). You must be honest or this exercise won’t benefit you. Don’t make your list based on the person you think you are or should be. Make your list based on who you really are…right now. Remember, Jesus said only the truth can set you free and will enable you to live in the freedom of faith that Christ died to give you.
- Re-read “The Wife and The Rib” and journal what the woman was made to “protect” in a man. Then write “Self-Discipline Challenge” and jot down one thing you’re resolved to work on this week (i.e., nagging, criticizing, belittling, speaking ill of him to your kids, etc.) so you can be that “rib” your husband desperately needs. And don’t forget to find a Scripture verse/passage to strengthen and sustain you through your self-discipline challenge.
- Read Psalm 103:8-14 and thank God for knowing we are merely dust and find peace and refreshment knowing that God doesn’t expect you to be perfect; He knows you can’t be. That’s why He sacrificed His one and only Son to be the propitiation for our sins (Heb 4:17).
Pray and ask God to help you to mortify your pride and cultivate humility so that you might become the beautiful and precious woman He created you to be. Then take a deep and comforting breath, and trust God who called you to Himself—knowing He is faithful to complete the good work He began in you, from the day of your salvation to the Day of Christ (2 Tim 2:13, Philippians 1:6).