"Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land."
Back in the time this chapter is talking about, the city gate was the place to conduct business and the place where trials were held and judgment was handed out. When it says that her husband sat with the elders, it doesn’t just mean that he sat there all day with a group of bored old men who were just trying to pass the time. These were the men who administered justice and her husband was one of them. From this we can learn that this was a man who had his house in order. Men in those days who were in positions of authority, had to have a reputation of keeping their own affairs under control. You didn’t see men in leadership whose wife or children were ill spoken of. His reputation was based on the conduct of his family as well as his own. His position of authority is at least partially dependant on his wife caring for his home. Because she keeps his house in order and manages it well, he is free to focus on judging the land and sitting with the elders, without fear of what is going on at home. He can trust her not to do things that would call either his or her integrity into question. This is another way his heart safely trusts her.
One last thing I want to note on this point. When we are talking about her husband sitting in the gates, no mention is made of her renown or that she was sitting next to him the whole time. The scripture does not say she is known in the gates. She doesn’t have a ministry of her own; she’s not a co-pastor or anything like that. It is her husband who is known. Her position is one of support, behind the scenes. She doesn’t need to be in front of the crowd to have her worth recognized and appreciated.
Besides, his children being well spoken of, there are more ways that the world can see just how well we take care of our husbands. When your husband left the house today, was he well dressed for his job? Did he have the clothing he needed clean and folded neatly? As women, we spend plenty of time thinking about what we are wearing and how to make our outfits neat and attractive. But how much time do we spend making sure our husbands shirts are ironed properly, are dry-cleaned when needed, or that his buttons are sewed on and his shoes are clean and polished? Our husbands are our public face in a way. It should be important to us how they look. I’m not suggesting that we all be vain about our husbands’ appearance and try to find ways to make him look like some kind of male model. I’m talking about making them presentable. Now I realize that some of you ladies have husbands who work in construction, or auto mechanics, or a delivery job, and they don’t have to meet the same dress standards as someone who works in a law office or a bank, but we can all make an effort to help our husbands be neatly dressed and look well-cared for.
Another way to help your husband look and be his best for his work day would be sending him off with a good breakfast. Now, again, I know there are some of you whose husbands work night shift, or graveyards, or that after being up all night with your newborn, you just don’t have the energy to make a big breakfast. As the saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way. If your husband works night shift, make sure he has a nice dinner that he can take with him or heat up at home before he goes to work. If you have a new baby, or sick children, make him extra of what you make the children for breakfast and set it aside for him to warm up the next morning. Find a way that works for you and your husband. If you don’t know what he would like, ask him for some suggestions. One of my husband’s favorite breakfasts is a peanut butter sandwich. I just make it up the night before and leave it on the stairs for him to grab on his way out the door. It doesn’t have to anything fancy. Just a little something to help him on his way. And as we all know, there is nothing that puts a smile on a man’s face quicker than a full stomach!
Prov. 12:4, “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband, but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness to his bones.” May we be a crown to our husbands each and every day!