What I’m Learning About Being a Wife from a Vine
Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Psalm 128:3
Our pastor mentioned that verse in a message last year, which prompted me to study the idea of children being like olive plants. Boy, did I learn a LOT! I came up with 12 Lessons About Child Training from an Olive Tree and it has been one of my most popular posts. I love going back and reviewing these things every so often.
Fast forward to about a week ago, and I read over that verse again in my daily devotions.
I thought, “Hmm…since there were so many lessons to be learned from the idea of children being like olive trees, I wonder if there are lessons to be learned about the wife being like a fruitful vine?”
I couldn't resist digging into that further, and here's what I found:
First, I needed to know if there was a specific type of vine the verse was talking about. I looked up the Hebrew word for vine in that verse and found out that it basically means…vine.
So then I looked up the Hebrew word for fruitful and it basically means…to bear fruit.
Okay, so that left me with basically any type of vine that bears fruit. Take your pick – grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe…it doesn't really matter.
Then I began researching every other instance in the Bible where that same Hebrew word for vine was used, and that's where it got interesting.
I noticed right away that over and over, God was talking to Israel about the fact that when they turned away from God part of their judgment would be for their vines to be destroyed.
I also noticed that when God spoke of his blessing on Israel, he would mention how that their vines would be fruitful. In fact, in the very verse of which I am talking, God is telling Israel that part of his blessing on them would be for their wives to be as fruitful vines and their children like olive plants.
The verse is speaking of prosperity and blessing upon the children of Israel when they followed the Lord and obeyed his commands.
Lesson #1 from the fruitful vine – Am I a blessing to my husband? When he thinks of me, does it make him thankful for how God has prospered him by giving me to him? Am I flourishing physically, spiritually, and emotionally so that I am a joy to be around? Or am I dried up and withered? Yes, my husband has some God-given responsibilities to keep his “vine” well-watered so that it can easily flourish, but how am I responding? Does my husband see caring for me as a duty or a delight?
The concept of “fruitful” also carries with it the idea of bearing children. God has stated over and over that children are a blessing and a reward. In the verse we are studying, He clearly states that a fruitful wife and the little “olive plants” are part of the blessing he would pour out when his people obediently followed Him.
Lesson #2 from the fruitful vine – Children are a blessing; not something to be avoided! When God states that children are a blessing and a reward, why are so many married couples doing all they can to prevent their blessings from coming?! I am not an advocate of the so-called “quiverfull” movement, where many families hold to the idea that they are supposed to have as many babies as the wife's body will carry. If a couple feels that the wife is physically worn out, I don't think God intends for her to be a haggard, run-down woman, forcing her body to continue producing “blessing” after “blessing”. God gave us the knowledge of how babies are made and I believe couples should use that knowledge responsibly, with the understanding and willingness for God to override our personal plans according to his will.
But at the same time, couples do not need to fear the idea of large families. I'll say it again; children are a blessing; not something to be avoided!
Finally – and this goes right along with lesson #2 – in the Bible, vines had a lot to do with lovemaking! Read Song of Solomon, and you'll find that they made love among the vines. You'll also find multiple references to body parts being like the fruit of the vine.
Lesson #3 from the fruitful vine – A fruitful wife is a wife who satisfies her husband's physical desires. Read Song of Solomon to get an idea of the demeanor we wives should display in the bedroom! We need to be doing as much as we can to take care of our bodies and keep them beautiful for our husbands. We need to delight him and allow him to delight us.
Are you a fruitful vine? When your husband thinks of you does he say, “Wow, God sure has prospered me!”?