23 Her husband is a well-known
and respected leader in the city. (Contemporary English Version)
Every great man has the support of a greater woman (in my opinion). She is his biggest fan. She is his biggest supporter; she takes care of what she needs to so he can be at his best, in his area of expertise. I believe that a woman of Proverbs 31 would not settle when it comes to the husband she choses. She would chose the man that best compliments her, and that she best compliments too; they would be a great match. This being said, we have learned about how much her husband respects her in Proverbs 31:11-12, so it only is left to reason that her community sees her in a similar light. If she is highly praised for who she is and what she does, it is fair to say that her true match would be seen in a similar way among his peers and the community they live in.
New York, New York, 1993, Rudy Giuliani is voted in to be the Mayor of one of the greatest cities in the world. He changed the face of the welfare system in that city, which changed people’s lives for the better. When he took office the welfare system was set up in such a way that the social workers were rewarded for getting people on to welfare, which kept these people on welfare, basically, due to the restrictions around receiving the cheques. Giuliani saw that as being backwards and not acceptable, so he changed the system. Now the social workers are rewarded for helping people find work, and the longer the people stay in the jobs the social workers(SW) will receive a small bonus. This changed how the SW thought about welfare, and the people it is there to serve. The other thing he did was make it mandatory that all who were on welfare are expected to “work” (volunteer) for the city a certain number of hours each week if they are to receive their cheque at all. By doing this the people who needed the most support to get back on their feet were actually getting it (forced to get it); they were learning skills that would help them get and keep jobs, versus sitting at home or hanging out on the streets doing nothing and collecting their welfare money any way. Change is never easy, as people are creatures of habit, but now, thanks to Giuliani they are creatures of a healthier habits, more self-serving habits.
Giuliani is a man who is very highly respected. I had the honour of hearing him speak this summer, while at a convention in Las Vegas. Not only did he do great things for New York, or did he handle the crisis of 9/11 as best as anyone could, but he is a mesmerizing speaker with a heart to better this world we live in. His wisdom, his stories, his presence, I can see him as an amazing example of the man this verse speaks of. I am not sure what his wife is like, but I am sure she is a great match for him, and his biggest supporter. I have no doubt of it.
I see this verse also as one of the descriptors of what kind of man a woman of nobel character should match herself with. Most people do not change much after they get married, or into a relationship for that matter. Therefore she should find herself a man who already exudes the aforementioned characteristics, and has good standing in his community. There is not one chapter in the bible, like Proverbs 31, that describes a man of nobel character. We have to define him through many verses and characters throughout the entirety of the bible. I think this is one of those verses.
What does this say about her character? She is matched with a man as nobel as herself and she is his biggest supporter. The rest of proverbs describes what that looks like in more detail.