Beautiful Examples of a Proverbs 31 Wife {Emilie Barnes}

June 22, 2015
I used to be petrified of the Proverbs 31 wife. She seemed unattainable, perfect and all her strengths seemed to be every single one of my major faults. I was jealous of her and disliked the way I felt when I read about her, yet desired to be her above all things. I was first introduced to her in my first year of marriage as a young, very insecure wife. Seven years later, she’s not so frightening anymore. Why? Because I have met and read about many Proverbs 31 wives, and do you know what? None of them are alike. Yet I would describe all of them under this beautiful banner.
I thought I might start a casual series to encourage women who, like me, are or have been frightened of this {not real} woman. It’s my hope to share stories or examples of women who have been “praised at the gates”{vs 28} by their husbands, children or other loved ones to show that God has made us all uniquely different and beautiful for the love and service of our families. Then maybe, just a little bit, this Proverbs 31 woman may not seem as elusive and unattainable as I thought she was.

Emilie Barnes
“For 42 years I have been married to a woman who has truly stood by me. Emilie has shown me the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, the forgiveness of Jesus, and the straightforwardness of Paul in her relationship to me. A very capable person in her own right and busy with her own areas of ministry, Emilie has always worked toward the long-term goal of helping me become the man God wants me to be.

Emilie has loved, encouraged, challenged, motivated, inspired and supported me in every endeavor. She has stood by me, backing my ideas and my leadership even when she has had some doubts. When I have been wrong, Emilie has offered encouragement rather than chastisement, scolding, ‘I told you so,’ or the silent treatment. All through our years of marriage, I have been strengthened by her unwavering respect for me.

Through the years, Emilie’s prayers have also placed a protective hedge around my heart. Knowing that she would be in prayer for me has helped protect me from feelings of anger, resentment, defeat, or egotism. Whenever I was away from the family at a convention, I knew Emilie was praying for my safety, purity and obedience to God’s Word, and protection from Satan’s attacks. Also, being so in tune with God and me, Emilie – like many intuitive wives – has often been aware of my needs before I’ve been aware of them myself. Finally, as a woman of prayer, Emilie is someone I can turn to with every decision that needs to be made, confident that her perspective will be godly and wise.

Emilie has also made me a hero to our children and grandchildren… She has always made it a priority to teach them to support my leadership, appreciate me in word and deed, and respectfully acknowledge my role in the family. Just as Emilie has taught me what a gift a godly wife can be, she ย can undoubtedly teach you as I share from my experience as her husband.”
~ extract from Bob Barnes’ book, What Makes a Man Feel Loved? Understanding What Your Man Really Wants
Don’t forget, dear friends, that neither Emilie nor Bob have had the perfect marriage. Over four decades of living with a sinful person undoubtedly had it’s valley’s and heartache. But, they have obviously persevered, stayed committed and pursued God’s desire for the roles of men and women in marriage. This testimony of Emilie’s love, intuitive care and service speaks wonders. It encourages me and convicts me to honour and esteem my husband as faithfully as Emilie has done.
“However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honours him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.”

Ephesians 5:33
I just love this Amplified version of this verse, how detailed it fleshes out this verse, don’t you?
  1. Wonderful post. I agree with being scared and actually discouraged by the Proverbs 31 wife as being something unattainable. It has taken a long time and a lot of reading to help me see that we are all different but that doesn't make any one of us 'wrong'. As long as God is in all we do, we will be doing good. I'm so glad I found your blog – your posts are such a blessing.

  2. What a great testimony from this husband! To hear Bob share about his wife is sweet!

    Our men do indeed need to be honored and encouraged. My husband and I were just talking about this recently. He absolutely loves when I show him honor and respect!

    Thanks for sharing a great post. I came over on the #Tuesday Talk link up.


  3. You're so right, Jayne, being a Proverbs 31 wife will look different to each family because their needs are different! It's such an important message to get out. I checked your blog and see you're a fellow Down Underer – hello! from across the ditch ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Wow! I love the amplified version! How great to hear from the husband's perspective! I think the thing I love the most about the Proverb 31 wife is that her husband trusted her and had full confidence in her. I know that is what means so much to me in my marriage and I know what my husband wants from me also. Respect, trust confidence…it's so vital and important in marriage! My pastors wife taught a women's Bible study on Proverbs 31. It really impacted me and encouraged me because she shared that this woman wasn't all these things right away, she developed them and grew in her abilities over the years. I can see that now in my life. I was so ignorant but willing in our first years of marriage and now looking back I can see how much I have learned but of course see down the road and know there is so much more for me to learn and develop in. Thanks again as alway for your thought provoking posts and genuineness:)

  5. I know, it just brings out the verse so well, right? I think it clarifies if for any woman who just needs that extra encouragement on what respecting our husbands looks like. You're so right about becoming the Proverbs 31 woman takes time, it takes forever!

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