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  • By: Douglas G. Goldberg
  • Published: September 3, 2014

Last week was my 31st wedding anniversary. Thirty one years ago on August 26th, on what turned out to be a rainy Friday night, my amazing wife Kitsen and I were married in the front pasture of her parents’ ranch, then moved into the indoor arena for food, fun, music and dancing to celebrate. The next day we left for Mazatlán, Mexico for a week on the beach. Two years later, I graduated from law school. Today, our law practice is in its 29th year and our three boys are 27, 25 and 20 years old and we are expecting the arrival of our first grandson (Grant and Alison’s first child) on you guessed it October 31st. Time sure flies.

As I contemplated thirty one years of marriage, I started researching how the number 31 fits into the world. Here’s what I found.

  • Math folks know 31 as the third Mersenne prime ( 25 – 1 ), the fourth primorial prime, and together with twenty-nine, another primorial prime, as comprising a twin prime. (Whatever all that means!)

  • Science geeks identify with 31 as the atomic number of gallium, a chemical element with symbol Ga, (no, not Georgia) primarily used in electronics manufacturing.

  • In sports, hundreds of athletes have worn jersey number 31 and several have had the number retired by their former team in their honor. In Major League Baseball, the San Diego Padres retired the number for Dave Winfield, the Chicago Cubs for Ferguson Jenkins and Greg Maddux. Maddux was also fortunate enough to have had his jersey number retired by the Atlanta Braves. The NBA’s Indiana Pacers retired number 31 in honor of Reggie Miller. In ice hockey goaltenders often wear 31. I’m sure there is a good reason for that although not being a hockey aficionado, I have no idea why.

  • Thirty-one is also:

  1. The number of days in January, March, May, July, August, October and December;

  2. The code for international direct-dial phone calls to the Netherlands; and

  3. The number of flavors of Baskin-Robbins ice cream.

While I’m sure all of this makes for interesting discussion at the next cocktail party, the most important thing I want to share is Proverbs 31. There is an adjective used when describing a woman like my wife. It’s called being a “Proverbs 31 Woman.” Telling a woman that she is a Proverbs 31 woman is a compliment of the highest order. And no woman I know deserves it more. I mean really, how else could you describe someone who has put up with me for thirty one years?

I have shared below verses 10 through, yep, 31, in Kitsen’s honor, a true Proverbs 31 woman, a woman of noble character, to whom I am forever grateful.

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.