Proverbs 31 as the church?

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Puritan Board Freshman
Because of some unforeseen circumstances, my wife and I are in seemingly a complete role reversal. I’m having to be a stay-at-Home Dad while looking for work, and my wife is working an office job from home. Currently taking care of three boys, 4 years old and under, is actually more exhausting than my old desk job!

The reason I am writing is because during this time I really wanted to ensure both my wife and I were applying the Word to our lives. I began praying for help in understanding my role now, and hoping God would show me through scripture his will.

I have to say I’m learning a lot, and just recently my wife came upon John Gill’s commentary in Proverbs 31, where he cites the “woman” being the church, and says Ambrose taught this as well. Here’s the text:

“[...] Others, "Wisdom", who in the beginning of this book is represented as a woman making provision for her household, and said to be more precious than rubies; and is to be understood of Christ; which I should have readily given into, but that this virtuous woman is said to have a husband, ( Proverbs 31:11 Proverbs 31:23 Proverbs 31:28 ) ; which cannot agree with Christ, who is himself the husband of his church and people, which church of his, I think, is here meant; nor is this a novel sense of the passage, but what is given by many of the ancient Christian writers, as Ambrose, Bede, and others; and whoever compares ( Proverbs 31:28Proverbs 31:29 ) , with ( Song of Solomon 6:8 Song of Solomon 6:9 ) , will easily see the agreement; and will be led to observe that Solomon wrote both, and had a view to one and the same person, the church of Christ, who is often represented by a "woman", ( Isaiah 54:1 Isaiah 54:5 Isaiah 54:6 ) ( Galatians 3:26 ) ( Revelation 12:1 )

I was never aware of this understanding of Proverbs 31. My question is, is this commonly held in the reformed church (my wife and I converted about 4 years ago)? Also, are any of you aware of any others who held to this teaching?


Ordinary Guy (TM)
If Christ is likened to a good woman taking care of her household well, this still upholds the meaning that a good woman normally takes care of her household in the manner described in Proverbs 31.

There are countless reinterpretations of Proverbs 31 now that we live in a gender-confused age. Women nowadays hate the Proverbs 31 woman and flock to any interpretation that frees them from domestic duties.

Titus 2:3-5 still describes a wife as a "keeper at home" does it not?

Oikourgous. The Greek word oikourgous is a compound word (oikos "house" then ergou, "work"). Women are said by Paul literally to be supposed to do the housework.

Sorry, but you are outside the biblical norm if your wife works outside the home and you become Mr. Mom.

Conditions may render a less-than-ideal state-of-affairs needful for a time (God even allowed a woman to lead Israel into battle in the case of Deborah), but we cannot consider this the ideal or gravitate towards readings of the text that excuse our behavior.

I sympathize with your plight and hope you find work soon.
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