The Importance of a Good Wife – Proverbs 12:4

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones. – Proverbs 12:4

A husband may not be responsible for his wife’s actions, but he certainly is seen differently by others in light of her reputation and character. It is a great joy to see a married couple who work together, who highlight the strengths of their spouse and resolve issues well. This proverb speaks of the importance of a good wife and stresses that her character is crucial.

If you were to list what your idea of a good wife would be, what would you mention? The Bible provides a list in Proverbs 31 for us, and I’ll paraphrase some of the things mentioned. Check out the full list here in Proverbs 31:10-31 (the link goes to Bible Gateway). Do these characteristics match up with what you have in mind for a good wife?

  • Her husband trusts her and her actions. (vs. 11)
  • She does good, not evil. (vs.12)
  • She purchases materials and makes clothes. (vs.13)
  • She is an early riser in order to serve he family. (vs.15)
  • She is a profitable land investor. (vs. 16)
  • She has strong arms. (vs.17)
  • She cares for poor and needy people. (vs.20)
  • Her actions help make her husband famous. (vs. 23)
  • She speaks with wisdom and kindness. (vs.26)
  • She fears the LORD. (vs.30)
  • Her deeds are praised. (vs. 31)

Does anything in this list make you uneasy? I’m slightly scared of this type of woman! Surely only men are supposed to strengthen their arms? However King Lemuel, the writer of Proverbs 31, and highly influenced by his mother, thought differently (“The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:” – Proverbs 31:1).
Unlike our world’s idea of a wife having a demeaning role in the home and in society, Proverbs portrays an extremely positive and powerful picture of a married woman who is godly and wise. This woman has strength in many areas. She supports her husband’s work and makes him the talk of the town. People assess her, nudge the lucky husband, and say, “You did well with her, buddy! (or say it under Facebook pics of her!)”
The proverb we are looking at in 12:4 speaks of this type of woman crowning the head of her husband. This crowning seems to speak of honour, headship, and glory – all things that lift up the husband in the eyes of his community. He is truly blessed 2334811445_29e4083a9c to have such a wonderful wife, who supports him and doesn’t supplant his authority. The opposite type of woman mentioned has intent to cause unrest and pain to her husband. Her actions bring his status among the community into disrepute, since, as the argument goes, what wise man would have married her? A man whose wife constantly makes unwise and spiteful decisions will find his efforts to get anywhere in life severely held up. The proverb speaks of the shameful wife rotting her spouse’s bones. He is hampered in his efforts to flourish in life.
In a world where self-purpose is all important this ideal stands in clear contrast. This excellent wife is satisfied with bringing about God’s and her husband’s glory by excelling in all things in her area of service.
I certainly want to seek such a woman for marriage; as of October, 2013, I’ve yet to marry.
What can we learn from this?
One thing we learn at least is the importance of whom we choose to marry. They will be our closest companion and will help us in our work/ministry. If our spouses seek to be destructive it will be easy as pie for them to bring us down. Your spouse will know you better than anyone else. If, however, they are godly and servant-hearted, your spouse will know how best to serve you. Choose wisely. Peace be with you.

Thanks for reading! – Pedrozki (Pete)

More Reading:

Proverbs speaks of this topic elsewhere: Proverbs 18:2
I’ve written about a similar passage here: Guaranteeing, Honour, and Forgiveness – Proverbs 11:15-17 (verse 16)

5653798858_458f2d65ec_q

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is either the New King James Version or New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Main image courtesy of Kwadwo Kwarte and the “More Reading” image is courtesy of Vermont Historical Society / Flickr – Creative Commons

The Story of the Crafty Woman and Simple Man (Part 2) – On Proverbs 7:21-27

The story which we are following in a two part series has it’s conclusion here in verses 21-27. If you haven’t yet done so, may I encourage you to read the first part of the story (quite long) to get some insight into the full meaning, before you get into the conclusion here.

————–

This is a heavy story. We’ve read about seduction, blasphemy, and adultery. Surely this isn’t one for teaching your children at the dinner table! But surely it is. When are they going to learn to remain pure for their spouse if you don’t teach them when they are young? I’m not saying you are any more graphic than the passage itself is, though, as that isn’t so smart. All teaching needs to be done in wisdom and love.

In verses 6-20 the characters were introduced (the young man with no understanding and the crafty adulteress), and the woman revealed her nature, expressed her desires, and gave her preposition. In these last verses of chapter 7, we will see the end and conclusion to this sad tale.  

As in the first post we will read the story and then I’ll comment on it. Let’s read.

The Outcome.

21 With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, with her flattering lips she seduced him. 22 Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, 23 till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, he did not know it would cost his life.  

The Author’s Conclusion.

24 Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth: 25 do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; 26 for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. 27 Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death.

7581813268_fd5257fa25

Electric Bill (Flickr)

The woman’s forwardness rooted the man to the spot, and then her enticing words bound him tight. He didn’t so much as murmur, “No!”, before he took her bait. By going by her house at night, he had been asking for trouble and did more than half the work for her. She offered her steaming pie of lust, and he immediately went in to sup.

Biggest mistake ever. “Do whatever feels good or makes you happy,” is the dangerous call of evildoers. There is no guarantee that you will be making it out in one piece! The young man went into her house healthy and never got out again. As an ox to the slaughtering yards he went meekly and met his doom. Proverbs say he metaphorically took an arrow to the liver. That’ll drop you dead for sure.

Now this story seems to indicate he suffered death for his troubles, and I’m wondering if Solomon exaggerated the outcome to serve as a severe warning against adultery. It made me sit up; what about you? What sort of death is this if not physical? As I’ve pondered about other parts of Proverbs, I believe this is a spiritual murder. Simply put, you give up your morals for this woman, and she will give them back mutilated and unusable. Such is the outcome of giving into such an arrangement.

Solomon urges us not to turn aside to the adulteress’ house. Keep your heart from straying because of it’s desires and save yourself from this sin. The end has been shown to us. Pay attention to his words. We have been warned. Amen.

————-

Your turn: Is the Bible’s assessment lining up with yours when it comes to this issue of sexuality? If not, why not?

 

Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

The Story of the Crafty Woman and Simple Man (Part One) – On Proverbs 7:6-20

When you were younger did you like to listen to stories from your dad or mum? I fondly remember hearing silly stories from Dad at bedtime, and they were captivating. Stories help focus our minds, and that is why there are so many children’s books full of them. There is drama, suspense, and a build up and climax or two! A good story leaves us satisfied and thoughtful. Much of chapter seven is a narration of the interaction between a simple young man and a crafty adulterous. Some of you might be incredulously saying, “What?! More about sexual immorality?”

Why is there so much talk in Proverbs about adultery? Well that’s a good question and one  of the many reasons to study Proverbs even more deeply than I am in my posts. Suffice for my post to say, adultery is a sin that affects everyone involved very deeply, including the Holy Spirit (if there are believers acting sinfully), and so it is an important issue to deal with.

Now lets read the story of these two characters.

The Simple Youth. 

 

 

6 For at the window of my house I looked through my lattice, 7 and saw among the simple, I perceived among the youths, a young man devoid of understanding, 8 passing along the street near her corner; and he took the path to her house 9 in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night.

The Crafty Woman.

10 And there a woman met him, with the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart. 11 She was loud and rebellious, her feet would not stay at home. 12 At times she was outside, at times in the open square, lurking at every corner.

Her Tasty Seduction.

 

13 So she caught him and kissed him; with an impudent face she said to him: 14 “I have peace offerings with me; today I have paid my vows. 15 So I came out to meet you, diligently to seek your face, and I  have found you. 16 I have spread my bed with tapestry, coloured coverings of Egyptian linen. 17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let us take our fill of love until morning; let us delight ourselves with love. 19 For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; 20 he has taken a bag of money with him, and will come home on the appointed day.”

There is more in this story to come, but we will pause the story and reflect on what has passed here. I will finish the story in Part 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solomon is the storyteller, and includes a mention of himself as the onlooker from above. He points out a youth who is without understanding. While angry youths may be the scary ones, a clueless man is a wrecking ball of all kinds of destruction! This youth is out at night for no good reason, and is passing by the woman’s house. We are not told if he is seeking her, but it’s clear he is asking for trouble! (See 8 and 9.) It’s indicated he knows who she is and is tempted by the opportunity.

  

The woman enters the scene and much more is said about her. (See 10-12.)

 

 

Immediately we smell trouble, as she is dressed up in the clothes one would associate with a p rostitute and is said to have a crafty heart. The woman is a schemer and dresses up to attract attention from certain men who would desire her. She cannot sit still at home with her rebellious scheming and is out about in the city looking for men to seduce. She has a rehearsed script all ready for this simple man but hardly needs to use it. Easy prey, one might say.

6887435734_5db80c9f52

 

 

 

This woman is described as an opportunity seeker and doesn’t hesitate to catch hold of him. Breaking boundaries that should well be left unbroken, she flirts outrageously with the man by grabbing and kissing him (vs. 13). That would be a truly shocking display of rebellion in that culture, but perhaps even nowadays we would be uncomfortable with such a display by a stranger.

She attempts to sooth his anxiety of this sin by saying she had gone to the temple that day and is all clear with God(!)

This woman is impudent in her actions and doesn’t care she is sinning with her actions.

 

She makes what is a horrific sin sound like paradise in verses 15-18. When she should have her bed prepared for her husband, she is doing it for a complete stranger. Such a betrayal. As we see in in verses 19 and 20 she executed her plans with him out of the picture. She twists this to her advantage as a further tempting factor for the young simpleton.

By now she has him well and truly in her grasps. A wise man would have fled on the first sign of temptation. He most obviously stays and hears out all her words of silver. Such a fool.

 

What is happening here? An Israelite woman is betraying her husband by seducing a foolish Israelite man. This is such an offensive image to imagine. God is not being honoured in any way here. Not a silly story at all. Not even a bedtime story in any way. It’s a story that is compelling and repulsive at the same time. There is more to come. Stick around. Move on to Part 2.

—————-

 

Your turn: What is your impression about this woman? This man? Am I fair in my assessment?

Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

The Story of the Crafty Woman and Simple Man (Part One) – On Proverbs 7:6-20

When you were younger did you like to listen to stories from your dad or mum? I fondly remember hearing silly stories from Dad at bedtime, and they were captivating. Stories help focus our minds, and that is why there are so many children’s books full of them. There is drama, suspense, and a build up and climax or two! A good story leaves us satisfied and thoughtful. Much of chapter seven is a narration of the interaction between a simple young man and a crafty adulterous. Some of you might be incredulously saying, “What?! More about sexual immorality?”

Why is there so much talk in Proverbs about adultery? Well that’s a good question and one of the many reasons to study Proverbs even more deeply than I am in my posts. Suffice for my post to say, adultery is a sin that affects everyone involved very deeply, including the Holy Spirit (if there are believers acting sinfully), and so it is an important issue to deal with.

Now lets read the story of these two characters.

The Simple Youth

6 For at the window of my h

6887435734_5db80c9f525229518867_09e10f6c53_n

ouse I looked through my lattice, 7 and saw among the simple, I perceived among the youths, a young man devoid of understanding, 8 passing along the street near her corner; and he took the path to her house 9 in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night.

The Crafty Woman

10 And there a woman met him, with the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart. 11 She was loud and rebellious, her feet would not stay at home. 12 At times she was outside, at times in the open square, lurking at every corner.

Her Tasty Seduction

13 So she caught him and kissed him; with an impudent face she said to him: 14 “I have peace offerings with me; today I have paid my vows. 15 So I came out to meet you, diligently to seek your face, and I have found you. 16 I have spread my bed with tapestry, coloured coverings of Egyptian linen. 17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let us take our fill of love until morning; let us delight ourselves with love. 19 For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; 20 he has taken a bag of money with him, and will come home on the appointed day.”

There is more in this story to come, but we will pause the story and reflect on what has passed here. I will finish the story in Part 2.

 

 

 

 

 

Solomon is the storyteller, and includes a mention of himself as the onlooker from above. He points out a youth who is without understanding. While angry youths may be the scary ones, a clueless man is a wrecking ball of all kinds of destruction! This youth is out at night for no good reason, and is passing by the woman’s house. We are not told if he is seeking her, but it’s clear he is asking for trouble! (See 8 and 9.) It’s indicated he knows who she is and is tempted by the opportunity.

The woman enters the scene and much more is said about her. (See 10-12.)

 

Immediately we smell trouble, as she is dressed up in the clothes one would associate with a prostitute and is said to have a crafty heart. The woman is a schemer and dresses up to attract attention from certain men who would desire her. She cannot sit still at home with her rebellious scheming and is out about in the city looking for men to seduce. She has a rehearsed script all ready for this simple man but hardly needs to use it. Easy prey, one might say.

This woman is described as an opportunity seeker and doesn’t hesitate to catch hold of him. Breaking boundaries that should well be left unbroken, she flirts outrageously with the man by grabbing and kissing him (vs. 13). That would be a tru

 

ly shocking display of rebellion in that culture, but perhaps even nowadays we would be uncomfortable with such a display by a stranger.

She attempts to sooth his anxiety of this sin by saying she had gone to the temple that day and is all clear with God(!)

This woman is impudent in her actions and doesn’t care she is sinning with her actions.

She makes what is a horrific sin sound like paradise in verses 15-18. When she should have her bed prepared for her husband, she is doing it for a complete stranger. Such betrayal. As we see in in verses 19 and 20 she executed her plan

 

s with him out of the picture. She twists this to her advantage as a further tempting factor for the young simpleton.

By now she has him well and truly in her grasps. A wise man would have fled on the first sign of temptation. He most obviously stays and hears out all her words of silver. Such a fool.

What is happening here? An

 

Israelite woman is betraying her husband by seducing a foolish Israelite man. This is such an offensive image to imagine. God is not being honoured in any way here. Not a silly story at all. Not even a bedtime story in any way. It’s a story that is compelling and repulsive at the same time. There is more to come. Stick around.

—————-

 

Your turn: What is your impression about this woman? This man? Am I fair in my assessment?

Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Adultery will always burn you – On Proverbs 6:27-35

Have you ever been accidentally burnt from a fire? It hurts, doesn’t it? Have you ever messed around with fire even though you knew what could happen? That is unwise. In Proverbs we have a rhetorical question about an unwise man playing with fire.

27 Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? 28 Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? 29 So is he who goes in to his neighbour’s wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent.”  

Surely you will be saying, “Of course he will get burned!” So it is with adultery. A man who commits adultery with another man’s wife is heaping those burning coals onto himself. It is an unavoidable outcome of doing such a wicked thing. He embraced the fire of adultery and will suffer the results.

473555870_46170ca5ed_n

http://tiny.cc/aw5bhw

What is the burning? Possibly a number of things like retribution from the husband, having a case against him, disease, dishonour and such. There is much at stake, and as we see in the next few verses, it starts to get expensive.

30 People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. 31 Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold; he may have to give up all the substance of his house.”

This little anecdote about a starving thief is relevant to the argument. The man who steals to survive is still guilty of his crime and is required to pay back the worth of what was stolen with interest. He owes much because he stole what wasn’t rightfully his.

As it is with the adulterer. He owes much because he took what he didn’t own. He might end up losing his life for his sin.

He also is said to wreck destruction on his own soul:

32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul.”

My thoughts on this verse is that there is a forgetting or pushing aside of morals and decency in this situation, and they don’t come back so easily. Once a choice like this is made, it is hard to turn back.

However, I feel this passage, and in fact all of Proverbs, needs to be examined more in depth than I actually provide for here.*

Moving on, we see a terrifying force in action. The husband. He will not be quenched with apologies. He is not satisfied with gifts. He is one not to be reckoned with;

33 Wounds and dishonour [the man] will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away. 34 For jealousy is a husband’s fury; therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 35 He will accept no recompense, nor will he be appeased though you give many gifts.”

Picture this: your wife has been caught in adultery. The perpetrator offers you an apology. He says it was a fling. He gives you an earnest expression of regret. You fume inside and want to wring his neck. Nothing he does will get back what he took! If only you could deal with this the way you feel like doing! You are an aggrieved and jealous husband. You are justified.

The man who comes up against this better watch out. He used the wife, angered the husband, and has God yet to contend with. Better to not have touched that fire…Amen.

—————–

Your turn: What do you think verse 32 means by adultery destroying a man’s soul?

 

*I really intend my posts to encourage a thorough study of God’s Word. I’m giving a bit of depth, but can’t say I am delving deeply enough for some of you. I can only do so much in a daily post.

 

Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Be satisfied with your wife – On Proverbs 5:15-19

 Proverbs 5: Stay faithful and reject immorality.
 ————

15 Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. 16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you.”

In chapter five, we have seen two similar views on the issue of adultery; the perils of the immoral woman, and the gradual descent to total ruin in going into her house.
Here is a nicer view for me to write about.
Don’t squander what is yours. Don’t let the water from your fountain to flow wastefully onto the street. Drink from your well and keep it for yourself.
This analogy of water from a man’s well is written to stress a point.
Solomon is saying here to save what is yours and be satisfied with it. Avoid adultery, as it will drain you dry, leaving you parched with no water left for you to drink. Instead be satisfied and delighted in the blessings you have in your wife.
8 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love.”
Well, the Bible has been accused of being old fashioned and prudish, but then we come across language like this! Marriage is the only relationship in the Bible where the expression of love for someone else through sexual intercourse is applauded heartily. And that’s because it is so good to keep God’s ideals for marriage. It is so much more worth to share the gift of sex with someone you trust, treasure, and are committed to as a spouse.
Consider your wife far superior to any woman who might want your attention. Solomon says “always be enraptured with her love”. Be caught up with the satisfaction of being with your spouse, and rejoice with her in what you have together. Whatever there is to compare with her isn’t worth it.
This is not a fairytale ideal either. If you desire to marry, wait for your spouse. Stay celibate until you can fulfil your desires within the appropriate, wonderful arrangement that is marriage. And when you are with a wife, stay faithful to her. You would ask the same for her, wouldn’t you? Amen
————-

Pondering: Why aren’t we content to drink from our well? Is it because we don’t trust God to know what is good for us?

It will all be lost – On Proverbs 5:7-14

 Proverbs 5: Stay faithful and reject immorality.
————–

The focus in chapter five changes a few times, but the overall theme remains, which is: stay faithful and reject immorality. In the last post we saw how going onto the immoral woman’s path was very dangerous, as it led down to hell. In the next few verses we will now look at the detailed collapse of many things in the man’s life, including his health and body because of this sinfulness.

7 Therefore hear me now, my children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. 8 Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, 9 lest you give your honour to others, and your years to the cruel one; 10 lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labours go to the house of a foreigner;”
Solomon repeats his ‘catch phrase’ here, to listen to his words. Repetition in the Bible usually means that a point is being stressed. In order for one to keep from this tempting woman, one must listen to good instruction. This obedience must also continue into adulthood as well, as sexual temptation follows you as you grow up.
Going on, we see one loses honour and years in going to her house. The man is giving up his standing with family and the community to be with her. If one was associated with a disreputable woman in Solomon’s day, any honour they had would have been lost in a minute. The mention of lost years could mean the wasted time and effort in pursuing such a relationship, but could also mean a real health problem from having this affair.
Loss of power and labour is presented here, too. When a man devotes himself to a woman other than his wife, he is betraying his wife and house of the power and care that it deserves, recklessly throwing it away for others to pillage.

11 And you mourn at last, when your flesh and your body are consumed, 12 and say: “How I have hated instruction, and my heart despised correction! 13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! 14 I was on the verge of total ruin, in the midst of the assembly and congregation.”
There is great sorrow in this betrayal. Certainly for the wife, but also very much for the husband on the loss he has received. He hurt his wife, destroyed his body (vs. 11), and “was on the verge of total ruin”, all because he failed to love instruction. It is a warning against disregarding the instruction we receive from those who lead us.
In favour of full freedom and enjoyment he rejected what he treasured most, that including the voices of his teachers. Adultery is a tragedy, and one that wrecks many marriages. One that leaves a man standing helpless, in full view of all his family, friends, and neighbours; a ruined person.

Yet, there is hope. There can be forgiveness, and not just from his family. Not just from his wife. Even from his God. The man can repent, and most certainly should, but it is on his own head. It’s up to him. Just as it was to be faithful. Amen.
————

Pondering: Why is unfaithfulness so hurtful? Do you think our unfaithfulness to God hurts Him and us? 

Note: Scripture taken from Biblestudytools.com

Sweet as Honey, Bitter as Poison – On Proverbs 5:1-6

Proverbs 5: Stay faithful and reject immorality.

————–

Sin may taste sweet in your mouth, but goes down into your gut like a slicing sword. In this chapter Solomon warns against the peril of giving into the sin of adultery. Like a good teacher he claps for our attention and offers the wise choice before the unwise.

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; lend your ear to my understanding, 2 that you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge.”
As we will see, the desire to sin needs to be replaced with a desire for wisdom, purity, and faithfulness. One can’t simply avoid sin; one’s head has to be filled to the brim with good things, otherwise sin will become too tempting. Thoughts on the grandeur of God are a great start.

3 For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.”
The thirst for something different due to a dissatisfaction of what one has in their wife makes an immoral woman like this so tempting. And for sure she will be sweet but, as Proverbs says, she will also be bitter* and cutting like a sharp sword. She will destroy much of what you treasure. You will no longer desire her, but she won’t let you forget your crime. It is never wise to give into sin, no matter how small it may at first seem. Sin always want more.

5 Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of hell. 6 Lest you ponder her path of life– her ways are unstable; you do not know them.”
Solomon says the immoral ways of this woman are so destructive they lead to death, even hell. However literal we are to take this, it should be a stopper for those desires, and an opportunity to RUN! Flee from sexual sin! You don’t know her unstable ways, so avoid them! This is not a game. It just gets more and more serious the deeper you get into sexual immorality.
Don’t even go there in your thoughts. Repent and turn to God for help. And flee. Amen.

——–
*Pure wormwood oil is actually very poisonous, and the wine made from the plant is very bitter.

On the immoral woman: The thought arises that there is a lot in Proverbs about the woman who is the perpetrator in sexual wrongdoing, but surely Solomon is making it clear that the man who goes after her is just as guilty. Consider also this, Solomon was a man and this book is from his perspective. If Proverbs had been written by a godly woman, we would expect a different (but equally valid) view of sexual immorality in humans.

Note: Scripture taken from Biblestudytools.com