Or, more correctly, where is her husband?
v. 23“Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.”
Her husband is a respected man who stands with the men at the gates of the city. He is fulfilling the curse in Genesis, declaring man to work:
And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
On the other hand:
16 “To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
The nature of woman is to take over. We fight with our husbands over authority, or we bypass his authority all together and do things our way without consulting him. Back in the section of
“What Doesn’t She Do,” I said “ 2) She does not NOT manage her household, forcing her husband to take over. He is at the gates instead of at home. “
The husband in Proverbs 31 is at the gates of the city. He isn’t at home. He isn’t having to take over the duties of the home because his wife has given up. He isn’t picking up the pieces around the home because the wife refuses to take authority in the home. The husband is at the gates, or at work, where he was destined to be. The wife is at home, taking care of their household with strength and dignity.
There are two ways of leading: there is the Strategic and there is the Tactical.
The Strategic leader is the General of the army, the Elder, the husband. Jesus is a Strategic leader.
According to Forbes, “strategic thinking is grounded in a strong understanding of the complex relationship between the organization and its environment. It requires taking a broad view, involving the right people, with important information and perspectives, asking probing questions and facilitating conversations. Strategic thinkers then identify connections, patterns and key issues…
Strategic leaders act in ways that manage the tension between success in daily tasks and success in the long term. “
The Tactical Leader is the Woman and the Holy Spirit:
Tactical leadership is concerned with the here and now, with short-term decisions and risk management for immediate gains. At the tactical level, leaders must balance the needs of team members with the needs of the mission or situation. This often involves negotiating and cajoling followers to cooperate so as to achieve the aim. It also means creating an environment where they are willing to make sacrifices or contribute to the team because of a felt loyalty to the leader and other team members.
There is always a balance in good relationships. God, Jesus and the Spirit are the most perfectly balanced. To God is the glory, Jesus is Strategic and the Holy Spirit is with us daily for Tactical guidance.
Likewise, to God goes the glory, the Husband is the Strategic leader and the Woman is the day to day Tactical leader of the household.
This is where the husband is: he is serving God at work, where God told him to be.
The woman is taking care of the home, the clothes, the fields, the food, the children, and…her husband. “she does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”
And likewise, “Her husband also, and he praises her: Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”