Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.
July 30, 2007
Bow to Your Partner
By Renee Myers, She Speaks! Graduate
“Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She will not hinder him but help him all her life.”
Proverbs 31:11 (NLT)
Do you square dance? I don’t, but I love watching square dance couples here in the South. They’re usually senior couples dressed in their finest square dancing regalia, happy and having a good time. They’re enjoying each other. Isn’t that something? After what must have been many years as partners, they’re still having a good time together! And I think I know why. It’s because they “bow to their partner.”
In square dancing, couples assemble in ‘squares’, music begins, and a Caller calls out steps to lead them through their dance. The caller begins by telling the dancers to “bow to your partner,” and without missing a beat, they do. Looking their best, with smiles on their faces, they make eye contact and bow to their partner.
Can you imagine what a difference it would make if each time our “Caller” told us to bow to our partner we tried to look our best with a big smile, made eye contact with our husband, and paid him some respect without missing a beat? If I were better at bowing to my partner, I suspect we’d be having a “good ol’ time” all the time like those square dancers I’ve seen!
The Bible doesn’t teach us about square dancing, but it does tell us about the Proverbs 31 woman bowing to her husband as a “wife of noble character” in the 31st chapter of Proverbs. Being a godly wife is first priority for the Proverbs 31 woman! Making your husband second only to God is the best way to “bow to your partner.” This means putting him before children, jobs, and other priorities in your life.
Bowing to our partner is about honoring our husband. Today’s verse teaches we can honor our husbands by being trustworthy. Our husbands should be able to depend upon and rely on us. This includes not being deceitful, hiding things from them, or doing things behind their backs.
Proverbs 31: 11 instructs us to enrich our husbands’ lives. Ask your husband how you can do this for him. Perhaps it will be to keep his laundry done and the house organized. Maybe it will be reduce chaos in your home and create more peace. Or he might request that you put other demands aside so you can focus dedicated attention on him.
For me, “bowing to my partner” by enriching his life means keeping my mouth shut when it wants to snap; doing something nice because it’s the right thing to do even if it doesn’t seem deserved; and expressing my love, appreciation, and respect for him. I haven’t mastered these things, but I’m trying!
Today’s verse is summed up by instructing us “not to hinder him but help him all of our life.”
It might sound one-sided or unfair that we are asked to bow to our partners in these ways, but I’ve found that when I give a little, my husband will respond and give a little, too. Bowing to your partner will become a two-way venture. You’ll soon be doing the “do-si-do” of life together into a future of love and happiness! And if it makes you feel better, 1 Peter 3:7 says, “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives…” I have that verse circled in my Bible!
Dear Lord, Please help me to honor my husband and be pleasing to him. In doing so, I’m not just honoring him but honoring You too, as I seek to be a godly wife. Lord, I pray for the wives who are struggling in their relationships and ask that you will put in their hearts the desire to “bow to your partner” and bless their marriages accordingly when they do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Top Ten Things Never to Say to a Single Woman at a Wedding, an ETC article
What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood
Read Proverbs 31:11 slowly and carefully, being mindful of words that jump out at you. God is speaking to you in those words.
What did God bring to your attention as you read Proverbs 31:11?
What can you do to “bow to your partner”?
How might these changes improve your marriage?
Proverbs “…humility precedes honor.” (NLT)
Hebrews 13:4 “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage.” (NLT)
Hebrews 13:1 “Continue to love each other with true Christian love.” (NLT)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105