Now, This is NOT something I have written. I just want to make that clear. It was written by Pastor Jason Holdridge, who I know about through Kate McDonald.
You can find his original post here. If you have a blogger account you can leave him comments.
UPDATE: I have gotten many comments on this post and I have acquired some new thoughts. One gentleman brought to my attention in one of the comments that the “unloved woman” in Proverbs 30:23 might not be what Jason understood it as. In the NIV and NASB versions of the Bible it simply says “unloved” and so it is easy to understand that woman as someone who is not treated well by her husband. In the KJV and the Amplified versions of the verse it has some interesting alternative words that are used that sheds new light.
In the KJV “unloved” is not in there. In fact, the word is “odious” which means
“1. deserving or causing hatred; hateful; detestable. 2. highly offensive; repugnant; disgusting.” (Dictionary.com)
In the Amplified it says “unloved and repugnant woman”. Repugnant means:
“1. distasteful, objectionable, or offensive: a repugnant smell. 2. making opposition; averse. 3. opposed or contrary, as in nature or character.” (Dictionary.com)
Matthew Henry says that this woman is
an ill-natured, cross-grained, woman, when she gets a husband, one who, having made herself odious by her pride and sourness, so that one would not have thought any body would ever love her, yet, if at last she be married, that honourable estate makes her more intolerably scornful and spiteful than ever. It is a pity that that which should sweeten the disposition should have a contrary effect. A gracious woman, when she is married, will be yet more obliging.
Were you able to follow what Matthew Henry said? Marriage should bring out what is good, but in this “unloved” woman, only bad things are brought out from within her. Maxwell Sears, the individual who commented on this post pointed out that the verse might well be referring to the condition of the woman’s heart, rather than how her husband is treating her. I believe this to be true after reading the original context.
In the Hebrew the word used here is śânê’ which means:
A primitive root; to hate (personally): – enemy, foe, (be) hate (-ful, -r), odious, X utterly. (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary)
I think the King James version is the most accurate seeing as they used “odious” which comes straight from Strong’s definition.
This verse isn’t talking about a woman who is “trapped in a marriage with a misguided man” (see last line of attatched post below). Rather, I think it is more the man that is trapped in a marriage with a misguided woman.
We as woman who are married have such an effect on the flow of life within the home. Our attitudes are everything. Do we depend on the Lord for our fulfillment and satisfaction, or do we depend on our husbands or even ourselves? Do we seek to humble ourselves and admit to when we need correction or do all we see are our husband’s faults?
True, I believe that a woman trapped in a marriage with a man who doesn’t respect her or cherish her is a very very sad thing to behold. It isn’t right. It shouldn’t happen, but it does. And when one of us finds ourselves in the shoes of that “unloved” woman that Jason speaks about here, what will our response be? Will we continue loving the Lord and praying for our husbands and allowing God to refine us by fire? Or will we get stuck? get bogged down and allow Satan to tempt our fragile hearts? I would say that the unloved woman who allows her situation in marriage to make her bitter, angry, hurt, and discontent becomes a woman I wouldn’t want to emulate. It hurts her testimony when strength from the Lord during such a season of life (even a prolonged and never-ending season) would make her such a strong witness for God.
If you find yourself identifying with this woman Jason talks about, look deep within yourself and pray to see if perhaps you are an “odious” or “repugnant” woman. How have you contributed to your wilderness, and are you willing to allow God to first change you before He changes your husband?
What Jason says truly is devastating when a man doesn’t live up to his God-given role in marriage. It is true indeed, but don’t let this post fuel your emotional storm and make you even more discontent as you compare. Again I will say, do not compare your marriage and your husband’s lack of fruitful change to the change that went on within Jason’s own heart. God is with you where you’re at just as he was with Heidi (Jason’s wife) and Jason with where they were at. God worked on Jason’s heart and i’m sure his wife was praying hard for him when she felt unloved. Do not allow self-pity to have even one hair in the door or you will be on a spiral downward of comparisson and discontent that Satan loves.
So…without further ado….
An unloved woman…
21 “Under three things the earth trembles,
under four it cannot bear up:
22 a servant who becomes king,
a fool who is full of food,
23 an unloved woman who is married,
and a maidservant who displaces her mistress.”
I’ve been married for just over ten years. It seems like a lifetime unto itself in many ways. I struggle to remember life apart from Heidi. I know I’ve lived longer without her than with her, but the B.C. years seem more forgettable since she entered my story. With every year we’re together, I’m losing clarity in my remembrance of the first 18 years of my life. I think this is the magic of love. “It covers over a multitude of sins” as the Scripture says. Her love has covered over me so beautifully.
I read this text a few weeks ago and it has been pestering my heart like a little poodle nipping at your heals. I can’t escape the power of these six words…”an unloved woman who is married”. An unloved woman is unconscionable in and of itself. But an unloved woman who is married?…this is unbearable to creation itself. There is nothing that causes the universe to hide in fear like the reality of a marriage where the husband leaves his bride unloved, unwanted, unvalued, undone. It just can’t bear up under these conditions.
I’ve left my wife unloved before. I’ve gotten busy with life. I’ve said yes to too many invitations. I’ve sought the rush of accomplishment. I’ve chased my own adventures apart from her. I’ve sat in silence in front of the television letting her take care of the household duties. I’ve seen her eyes hollowed out by monotonous obligations without so much as an acknowledgement of appreciation. I’ve seen Satan ravish her with insecurities without lifting a finger to fight off her inner demons with the “truth that sets free”. I’ve let words stay inside me when she needed them…oh, has she needed them. I’ve complimented everyone but her. I’ve befriended everyone but her. I’ve changed my schedule for everyone but her. I’ve left her to wonder at her place of importance. I’ve made her feel replaceable. I’ve given her the name, “Afterthought” by my actions. I’ve left her to wander in a world of uncertaintly as to her role in our marriage. I’ve made her read between the lines too much. I’ve left her to fill in the blanks on too many occasions. I’ve left so much inside her unfinished, promising to come back and complete what I said I would do, and letting time take the edge off my vows.
I’ve left her at home with the girls too many nights. I’ve shrugged her off when she needed “adult” conversation. I’ve been a lazy listener. I’ve made her feel like a bother, a nuisance. I’ve seen her dying for my affection, and sadly left her for dead. I haven’t asked nearly enough questions of her heart. I haven’t done much to sacrifice myself to make her dreams come true. I haven’t been the creative leader in the home that I am in the church. Some of these weaknesses go beyond neglect toward abuse. This is unacceptable.
I don’t want my wife to be unloved. I want more for our marriage, our friendship.
Here are some declarations I must make in order to avoid the dread of this verse:
1. I will speak when I’m tempted to stay silent.
2. I will move when I’m tempted to stand still.
3. I will hug when I’m tempted to withdraw.
4. I will kiss when I’m tempted to stare.
5. I will ask questions when I’m tempted to just talk.
6. I will affirm when I’m tempted to attack.
7. I will enjoy when I’m tempted to endure.
8. I will create when I’m tempted to shut down.
9. I will date when I’m tempted to distance myself.
10. I will listen when I’m tempted to solve.
11. I will enable when I’m tempted to disable.
12. I will understand when I’m tempted to be understood.
13. I will sympathize when I’m tempted to criticize.
14. I will forgive when I’m tempted to forgo.
15. I will gaurd my eyes when I’m tempted to feed my flesh.
16. I will accomodate her interestes when I’m tempted to push my own.
17. I will give her freedom when I’m tempted to pursue my own.
18. I will look for the good when I’m tempted to point out the bad.
19. I will defend her when I’m tempted to dis”gaurd” her.
20. I will pursue her when I’m tempted to abandon her.
21. I will trust her when I’m tempted to question her.
22. I will serve her when I’m tempted to let her serve me.
23. I will help her when I’m tempted to let her do “it” herself.
24. I will honor her when I’m tempted to talk about her.
25. I will crown her when I’m tempted to “down” her.
I don’t want my wife to be unloved. I want my chivalry to cause her to feel captivating. I want my romantic heart to break up things she’s scared to try for fear of failure. I’m a guy, but that doesn’t me I’m the incorrigible grunt that culture says I am…I’m created to love my wife with such passion that it confounds all of creation. And I want to…I really, really want to.
There is nothing so dreadful as an unloved woman trapped in a marriage with a misguided man.