The Proverbs 31 Husband

Catholic moms familiar with the Proverbs 31 wife, who we hear about this Sunday, might sympathize with Daria Sockey. As April and I promised in our Guide to Sunday, here is Daria’s Faith & Family magazine payback piece:

Proverbs has a section subtitled “The Ideal Wife:” She’s held up to us as a role model, yet she dishes out intimidation as well as inspiration, if you ask me.

“When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize.”

On the one hand, anyone trying both to run a home and earn extra income sees a true sister in Mrs. Proverbs 31. She’s CEO of a cottage industry garment factory, a real estate speculator,and with her spare profits from these ventures, she plants a vineyard. This is in addition to clothing and feeding a large household, caring for the poor, and dispensing wisdom left and right. All in the same day.

I get tired just reading about it.

On the other hand, moms who are just trying to get through the day feeding, cleaning, and educating little people might respond to Mrs. P’s exploits with, “Yeah, right. She’s got a built-in daycare center with all those maidservants and what not. Give me some of those, and I’ll be out there buying fields and planting vineyards too.”

But I think we can all learn a lesson from the Ideal Wife without getting hung up on literal details. The idea is to be whole-hearted in caring for the needs of our families and others in need; not to give in to the temptation to slack off if we are — like me — the slacking off type.

The more interesting question, in my opinion, is “What about the Ideal Husband?” Surely all the God-fearing men out there are eager to measure their own virtues against a guilt-inducing Super Man.

Aren’t they?

Well, divinely inspired I am not, but in the spirit of Proverbs 31, here are my own thoughts on the Ideal Husband.

They come from the good example of several wonderful dads I know, especially my dear husband, Bill. It’s a Father’s
Day tribute to any man who can be more or less recognized here:

When one finds a worthy husband, his value is beyond high-yield IRAs.

His wife, entrusting her heart to him, has an unfailing prize.

He goes forth to a job he may not always like, enduring rush hour traffic and unpredictable bosses in order to provide for his family.

He rises before dawn to get the nursing infant, bringing it to his wife who remains comfy and warm in bed.

He takes the lead in family prayer, giving good example to his sons.

He wields dish rag and vacuum in due season, and exhorts his sons to do likewise.

He takes a rowdy preschooler to the back of the church, that his grateful wife may worship the Lord her God in peace.

He fixes the broken towel rack or installs the new blinds within 48 hours of his wife’s request.

He relinquishes a favorite televised sporting event to spend the evening with the family God has given him.

When his wife glumly announces that it’s hot dogs for dinner again, he replies, “Great! My favorite!” and gives her a kiss
He says “Gee! You’re pretty!” at unexpected moments, cheering her heart and renewing her self-confidence.

Hairlines recede and bifocals may appear, but such a man is forever a hero to his wife.

Happy Father’s Day to all our heroes.

Daria Sockey writes from
Venus, Pennsylvania.