Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 31:28
"Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her"
One of the crucial relational needs of a woman in a marriage and parenting role is for honor. She needs to sense that she is valued and that those around her will add to her value through praise and appreciation. Honor means to add value; to create the aura of increased value through praise, gratefulness, gifts, etc. The ability of this relational need to power women to incredible levels of energy and sacrifice is legendary.
When God includes this visualized picture of the blessed wife and mother, it is to make sure that husbands and children meet this relational need for honor. Do not see this as what she gets as a reward at the end of her life or on one day a year. Being blessed is the energy that this woman lives on and what allows her to keep doing the things that she gets blessed for.
This is the Hebrew word ashar which means to go straight, to go on, to advance, to bless. The word carries this energy that praise, adoration, and adulation give in it. It energizes and allows a person to go forward, to advance.
Sadly, what happens to the woman in the wife and mother role who does not receive any praise, honor, blessing from her children or husband is that usually her energy for the endless tasks of making a house a home and a family work is slowly diminished. Also, often a woman in these circumstances looks for a source of praise, adulation, and encouragement and pours considerable attention and energy in that direction. She will become drawn to this source of energy.
Men, this proverb -- plus many other verses in Scripture -- are telling us that we need to build our marriages and families in such a way that they will be factories of praise and blessing for our wife. We must insure that they get the highest amount of praise from us and family in order to give them the energy to keep engaging with us maximally. Remember, wherever she gets the greatest amount of added value, praise, attention, compliments, and encouragement is the place she will be irresistibly drawn.
This proverb is descriptive in that it describes what happens to the wife whose value is far above jewels. But it is also a prescription for how families should act. Ladies, it is also the way you should train your husband and children to treat you so that you can keep going when occupying these marriage and family roles. Notice that both groups must be liberal in their praise and blessing of wife and mom.
It is my privilege at this point of telling you that my wife, Dana, is a woman without peer in the role of wife and mother. I am regularly amazed at her sacrifice, her dedication, her abilities, and love for the children and myself. I cannot give her enough praise for her tireless efforts. I am a really blessed man and I want to continue to energize her through praise, appreciation, and blessing.