An excellent wife … her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. Proverbs 31:10a, 23
There was a time when I wanted to be famous. I wanted to be known. I wanted to be popular.
I wanted to be a famous radio guy. I wanted to be a famous preacher guy. I even wanted to be a famous golfer for a very brief time.
Being famous is looked up to in our culture today. If someone is famous, they are listened to. People value their opinion. They are called upon to give their opinions on News shows. They are asked to speak at all kinds of different events.
If you have even a small amount of self-pride, you probably harbor at least a little desire to be this kind of person.
My excellent wife didn’t fall in love with me because I was famous. She didn’t marry me because I was going to be famous.
I think part of the reason she fell in love with me and married me was because she saw I had the potential to grow out of this immature desire to be famous.
I’ve gotten to the point in my faith-walk where my desire is to serve. I want to serve my wife and children. I want to serve the congregation that called me to be their pastor.
And I want to, above all, serve my God. I want to serve for the sake of those I serve and to God’s glory.
My excellent wife has helped tremendously in getting me to this point in my faith-walk. Her prayers, her support, her admonitions, and her love, have all been used by God to transform me into a man with a servant attitude.
And while I don’t want to be famous now – I just want to serve – I am known. I am sought out for my opinion or thoughts on certain subjects from time to time.
Proverbs 31:23 uses the phrase “known in the gates” and “sits among the elders of the land.”
In the ancient near east, this was the seat of responsibility. The “gates” are where those who are tasked to lead a town or a city would sit in assembly.
Those who “sit” there are “elders.” They have maturity of years and, most likely, experience. The writer of this section of Proverbs connects this maturity and experience to an excellent wife.
Her support and encouragement matures her husband and is part of what gives him the experience and wisdom needed to successfully lead.
I would never have been famous when I was younger as I didn’t have an excellent wife. I don’t want to be famous now, even though I have an excellent wife.
That’s because she has prayed that I would have a servant heart. My excellent wife’s prayers were answered.
I desire to serve. I desire to lead others to serve. I desire to teach others the ways – and love – of God. This all comes from God working through my excellent wife.
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