A Husband’s Perspective – Proverbs 31:23

GUEST POST: By Jeff Hughes

Hello, blog community. I am Jeff, the ‘husband’ of the Quiet Quill. So I guess that makes me Mr. Quill or Mr. Quiet? I’m not sure. But, I hope it’s not Mr. Blogspot because I don’t know what that is. Denise is out of town this weekend, so I am writing here in her absence.

As a result, this blog post will either be titled: “Proverbs 31:23” or “Hijacked! – How to change your blog-password”.

“Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.” – Proverbs 31:23

Several years ago, when our children were still very young, I received a “disturbing” message at work on my office voice-mail. I remember it well because it was the middle of the day, the call was clearly dialed from my home, and it was forty-five straight seconds of our two small screaming children completely “losing-it” into the receiver.

Musically there was crescendo and dissonance and plenty of staccato, as the crying would seem to slow down and fade and then build steam to forte for the repeat and the bridge and the chorus. It was pretty incredible . . . mostly because I didn’t hear them take a breath for the entire message and partly because Denise didn’t say anything on that message.

As you may know, the disturbing part for a husband with a stay-at-home-wife is that this call can only be summed up with the two word phrase “uh-oh”.

Sure, we can laugh about this now, (and when I say “we” I mean “me” and when I say “laugh” I mean “laugh” as in nervously-twitching-while-watching-her-eyes-kind-of-laugh), but this was a moment of real clarity for us.

It helped me to understand that her ‘job’ is demanding, thankless, joyful, tearful, stifling, freeing, up and down, over and under just as much of a job as my own job. And it is because of her dedication and hard work for the benefit of our family that I can be dedicated and hard working for the benefit of our family, as well.

Now I know that traditional husband-and-wife roles are not very cut and dry in our culture. Denise says that women have far more opportunities for education and career than ever before, while husbands are commended for their at-home involvement. Still, a husband and a wife have found a ‘good thing’ (Prov. 18:22) if they have found a symbiotic relationship where she promotes his success and he promotes hers, irrespective of the personal cost.

Going a little bit deeper, a husband who is “seated” at the gate is one who is not only a citizen of that city, but is also one charged with making judgments in legal and civil matters on behalf of the citizenry. It is a trusted position arrived by way of key moments with the people of the community. Becoming an elder is certainly not a short-haul activity, hence the name “elder”. This standing takes time and begins with many communal judgments about how well this man has managed his own home.

A Proverbs 31 wife helps to make his name known to the citizens, and she is a credit to him in his work. Her words have caused the people to know her husband as a good man. Her actions have caused the people to respect her husband’s judgments. Ultimately, her household has caused the people to trust her husband.

Similarly, he is able to work hard, knowing that she is so very capable in matters to which he cannot simultaneously attend. I am reminded of the verse in Ecclesiastes 4:9.

“Two are better than one
because they have a good return for their labor.”

On a wholly personal note, I am a very fortunate man. As you can tell, Denise is super-smart with a heart of gold. She is wise. She studies hard. She is humorous, but self-deprecating. She is serious, but softhearted. She tends to her family so well. We have found a great treasure here and in our marriage, we thoroughly enjoy promoting the other person.

For instance, she is continually finding ways to make our home comforting and pleasing and peaceful for the entire family. It is our private sanctuary, when necessary, from the world. Likewise, I enjoy trying to make our family smile all the time. We have found a good return for that labor.

Finally, as a Christian person, I see one other application, which could be made. Really, it is more of a self-reflective non-discriminatory question: As I am part of the church, known as the Bride of Christ, how am I doing at promoting the One at the city gate, Jesus Christ?

Do my words promote His honor and my actions His glory?
Do I make His name great in the community so that others will trust Him as well?

In all honesty, I hope to be found a Proverbs 31:23 “wife”, in the most masculine-did-you-see-that-sporting-event kind of way.

Thanks for listening.

11 thoughts on “A Husband’s Perspective – Proverbs 31:23

  1. Jeff,
    Nice to “meet” you. Debbie used part of my compliment :), but I'll just repeat it. I've read D.J.'s blog for a while now and agree with you that she is studious, smart and wise. That comes out in her writing. You display similar qualities in this post.

    I remember getting calls like this when our kids were young and my wife was home with them. When the screaming in the background was sufficient to drown out what she was trying to tell me, I knew I needed to get home and help out! What a blessing a wife/mom is who serves her family so selflessly.

    I'm doing a series of blog posts now on marriage. Any chance D.J. would let this post serve “double duty” and allow me to use it on Family Founain in April or May?


  2. The kids were 3 months and 20 months old at the time. And both babies were crying so loud that if I had left a message (one with words), you wouldn't have been able to hear it anyway. I just wanted to share a little glimpse into my day. 🙂

    Apparently, that now-famous voice-mail has been forwarded around the company. So whenever someone has a complaint to make, they usually get that voice-mail sent to them (as a joke).

    Thanks for writing for me this weekend. I think you're awesome.

  3. Jeff – (or to Mr. Quill or Mr. Quiet – is that a Jekyll and Hyde thing ???) The post above sounds just like you, and the infamous “call” sounds just like Denise. 🙂 Glad to be home and love to you both – Mom

  4. Somehow, I'm not surprised that Denise would be married to such a caring and wise man. So glad she is able to get away to a conference while you keep things quiet on the home front.

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