Ernest Wamboye penned a fitting tribute to his wife Waturi Wakairu on Facebook from Proverbs 31 and we felt it something you can learn and borrow from it.
Queen Waturi turns 31 today. After being married to her for nearly eight years, I, as her husband, can confidently say that Turi has embodied Proverbs 31 as she turns 31. So here is King Solomon’s chapter manifested in the wife of my youth. This is 31 at 31!
Proverbs 31:10 “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.”
Turi’s value-add to my life cannot be tagged with a price. She is the unique kind of friend who has made me the man that I am. While the world pegs the value of a woman based on her sexuality, I peg the price of Waturi based on her God-given image, her humanity and her virtue. The physical attraction that she possesses is but a bonus; she is soul food before she is eye candy (see 1 Peter 3:3-4). Rubies are but common stones in comparison to this babe.
Proverbs 31:11 “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.”
I have full confidence that Turi will walk with the LORD in my absence; she brings spiritual and moral value to the marriage. I have full confidence that Turi will defend my honour; she brings friendship value to the marriage. I have full confidence that Turi’s priority is to raise our children in the ways of the LORD and not let them dwell on Satan’s paths without correction and discipline; she brings parenting value to the marriage.
She does not work against our family values; she promotes them. She is not aborting the God-given mission that we carry as husband and wife; she is enriching it; I have full confidence in this woman. I have full confidence that her weaknesses do not define her; she is keen to be sanctified by Christ and to overcome them; she does not use them as a crutch to excuse sin. I have full confidence that if I was ever in trouble and could only make one call, it would be her that I’d call. She is dependable, reliable, trustworthy and sincerely my best friend. I am confident and I lack nothing of value. There is nothing that another woman can give me that I cannot receive in full from my wife.
Proverbs 31:12 “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
My default memories with Turi are joyful. I bear no heaviness in my heart from any past misdeeds. She has lit my life with pleasantries for the 11 years we have been together since I asked her to be my girlfriend. She is not perfect; she is a sinner. But she has walked in the Spirit more than she has walked in the flesh in this marriage (Galatians 5:16), and that brings me good and not harm as her husband and friend (see Proverbs 18:22).
Proverbs 31:13-15 “She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.”
Turi has been a team player in meeting the needs of the family we started on the afternoon of 1st September 2012 at Brackenhurst in Tigoni where we said our vows. She has not withheld her resources in the name of being empowered as a woman. Neither has she leeched on me financially in the name of only-men-must-provide. She has been a partner. She has joined hands with me from our first year in marriage when we were only 23, broke and fresh out of campus. From a miserable joint income, we have laboured together to build our home financially and we have shared materially with those in need. Money fights rank lowest and close to zero in our marital disagreements.
Proverbs 31:16-19 “She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.”
The Proverbs 31 woman is a financial investor for her home. I have remained confident that this is who Waturi is when she has had a job and when she has had no job. She has been consistent in character when we have brought income together and when I have brought income alone. It is not about the cash she brings to the table. It is about the mindset she possesses.
I did not just marry a pretty face; I married a beautiful mind. She is the same person when there is plenty in the bank and when there is more month than money. She would rather drive a Nissan than get into debt just to be seen with a Mercedes. She would rather wear shoes worth sh3000 than impress people with a sh70,000 pair of designer boots. She is pragmatic to know that sh70,000 can otherwise sort some bills and start saving for a holiday. She is also wise to know that one day she can afford that designer wear and that Mercedes Benz; but that day is not today. She will not turn down an expensive gift when the context is befitting. But she is prudent enough to know when not to accept it; she once told me, “If you ever got me the latest iPhone and we had debt, I would sell the phone for the family.” She is Proverbs 31 because she lives within her means and her financial decisions betray her as a wise financial investor. One doesn’t need a Finance degree to be this; one just needs to be a good steward of one’s resources, and that is who Turi is.
Proverbs 31:20 “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.”
Every start of the month as we sort our resources, Turi always voices that we must give our tithe to the Gospel and we must give to those in need before we continue to address our needs. It is indeed a blessing when you have a wife in agreement with you. She has a more open hand than I do.
Proverbs 31:21-22 “When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.”
Turi is the ultimate homemaker. She runs the home like a well-oiled machine. I play my biblical role in leading the family and heading my wife (Ephesians 5:23), but I know that when you see the Wamboye household and its members look like a neat home, the real success is because Waturi runs the show (see Proverbs 14:1).
Proverbs 31:23 “Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.”
Any respect you have for me from my public life is attributed to Jesus and then to my wife, in that order. Any disrespectful public bad behaviour you witness in Ernest Wamboye is because of his own foolishness, sinfulness, stubbornness and callousness. Period.
Proverbs 31:24 “She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.”
The Proverbs 31 woman has her work speak for itself. Waturi’s workmates (merchants) can speak on this. She is hardworking and delivers without laziness.
Proverbs 31:25 “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
Waturi’s strength and dignity comes from being clothed with the righteousness of Christ’s salvation (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). He gives her the identity she possesses. He is her strength because He enables her to stand firm in her faith and values (see 2 Corinthians 1:21-22). He is her dignity because he has taken away her shame and sin and has made her a new person (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Proverbs 31:26 “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”
Waturi weighs her words carefully. In our 12 years of friendship, courting and marriage she has never raised her voice at me. She has used her words to build me and not destroy me. The foolish wife in Proverbs 19:13 and Proverbs 21:9 wears her husband out with her nagging and quarrelsome tongue. Waturi has made the Wamboye home a haven of peace. I look forward to going home because there I find no nagging but rather, words that are seasoned with salt (see Colossians 4:6).
She voices her frustrations peaceably without challenging for a fight or delivering an egotistic one-upper. She understands that husbands value peace of mind. She is humble of heart and the words from her mouth prove it. In her submission, she has not lived in fear of her husband (1 Peter 3:6), but rather she has beheld purity, reverence and honour and it has won me over severally (see 1 Peter 3:1-2).
Proverbs 31:27 “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
Waturi is allergic to an idle life. She uses her rest and self-care time well. Otherwise, she will be doing artwork with children, reading a Timothy Keller book, teaching our house-help how to cook and bake or she will be learning something online. Whatever the activity, Waturi can account for her time in the family with evident results to speak for her.
Proverbs 31:28 “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”
We have two daughters- Thandiwe and Ivanna. They praise their mother. I can already see how much they love her and how blessed they are from the investments she has made in their lives as girls. Waturi even bought a book titled “Bringing Up Girls” by Dr James Dobson and began reading it immediately! As she went through each chapter, she shared with me the key lessons she has learned. She has gently and lovingly reminded me since 2016 when Thandiwe was born that girls need a father that accepts, affirms and appreciates them verbally. Thanks to her, I have found myself doing this effortlessly with my girls. She is the better parent, and I praise her for it!
Proverbs 31:29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Yes, you do surpass them all, Turi! You bring no shame to your husband (see Proverbs 12:4). You are fairer than 10,000 damsels and better than a billion pretty girls. Your nobility radiates your beauty; given the option, I would choose thee again.
Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Perhaps it is too early to say this, but I know one day Turi will know deeply that the best words she could hear are not “I do” from her earthly husband Ernest Wamboye but rather “Well done,” from her heavenly husband, Jesus Christ. She fears Him; she trusts Him; she hopes in Him. And that makes her fiercely attractive to me! It is a beauty that gets more youthful with time, unlike the wrinkling of our mortal bodies. She is truly from the LORD (see Proverbs 19:14).
Proverbs 31:31 “Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
So I honour you, Waturi. I honour you for your works speak for themselves. The Bible says to praise you at the city gate. The city gate was a public place in Jerusalem where everyone could be seen, heard and addressed. We don’t have a city gate in 2020, but we have social media; it’s the most public place I could find to praise you! You are truly Proverbs 31! Happy 31st birthday, my love!
If beauty was measured in bricks you would be the Great Wall of China!