A bondservant didn’t draw his prestige from his work, but from his relationship with his master. To some degree, he had no control over his reputation. It was based solely on whose servant he was. Being bondservant to a high priest would have been more prestigious than being servant to a local street merchant, for instance. But by choosing the life of a bondservant, he knew that if he served well and strengthened his master’s house, he would strengthen his master’s honor in the community as well as his own.
Have you chosen to draw your prestige primarily from your relationship with your wife? Probably not. Truth be told, most of us draw our prestige from our careers. It’s our work and what we do five days a week (or more!) that lifts our self-esteem, not whom we’re married to. If you must work long hours and nights for six weeks, it may mean some unusual business project came up. Everyone can understand that. But if you work long hours and nights six months, then you’ve made a crucial decision about what you value most in life.