A Jewish husband shows respect and honor for his wife when he recites Proverbs 31. This portion of the Bible is read or sung to her every Friday night at the Sabbath meal. The chapter of the noble wife is read as a compliment to the woman of the house. There is something to be said about this tradition. Imagine writing a beautiful assessment of your wife and reading it out loud once a week in her presence and in the presence of family and friends. The purpose of this tradition is to make the husband aware what a treasure he has and to make the wife aware what a blessing she is. – As Isaac Klein states in his book “A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice (Under “The Laws Of Marriage, p. 381), “Let a man be scrupulous about honoring his wife because whatever blessings prevail in a man’s home are there because of his wife.”
Some of the key thoughts are in the beginning and conclusion of the chapter, where it says (Proverbs 31: 1+31):
“The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
King Lemuel remembers what his mother taught him. And what did she tell him: honor your future wife not for her physical appearance, but for what she does. Praise her in public; let everybody know what a wonderful woman she is.
Opposed to what King Lemuel’s mother taught her son, the physical attributes of a woman take center stage worldwide. Instead of admiring a woman for what she does, she is admired for her attractiveness. In a nutshell, it is all about her looks and nothing about her accomplishments. How does this affect the world? Negatively – the world is much colder because of this view of women. If the blessings of a household depend on honoring the woman of the house, then the world misses out on a mighty blessing when the women on this planet are dishonored. I would go as far as to say that a curse is associated with dishonoring women. With that said, Proverbs 31 is an important chapter to read for men and women alike, married or unmarried, because this chapter is all about respect and honor; and I believe our world could need a little more of both.