Sunday, July 17, 2016

Snares, Nets, and Bands

"And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands..." (Ecclesiastes 7:26a)

Each time I come to this particular verse, my mind goes back to Proverbs thirty-one. Not as a comparison, of course, but as a stark contrast. In this verse in Ecclesiastes, Solomon charges some women with having hearts that are "snares and nets," and hands that are like clutching "bands” to a man. The woman he describes in Proverbs 31:11-12, on the other hand, possesses a heart that a husband can “safely trust in,” for he knows "she will do him good and not evil all the days of her [not just his] life." In I Samuel 18:21, we are told that Saul gave his daughter, Michal, to David for the express purpose of being a "snare" to him. And she was, too.

As women, we sometimes think being the “weaker vessel” puts us at a uniquely unfair disadvantage. But in reality, we wield a tremendous amount of influence in the so-called, “battle between the sexes.” And any woman who is honest will agree with this. I would contend that as a woman, it is no small achievement to win the respect and confidence of a good and godly man. In Judges sixteen, where the story of Samson and Delilah is found, I have written in the margin, “Every woman seeks to know the heart of a man...his strengths and weaknesses. The difference in women is found in what she does with that knowledge.”

I am conscious of the influence I have with my own husband. I consider it a sacred trust. To the extent that one person can know another, I think I know his heart; and to the extent that I know my own, his heart is safe with me.

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