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.
Proverbs 31:10-31 is an acrostic poem written for King Lemuel. Word tells us that this poem was inspired by his mother as advice to the kind of woman the King should search for in marriage. The text is a plethora of solid, optimistic characteristics. For those of us with sons, do we not agree with his mother’s desires for a daughter-in-law? She only wants the best for her son. My two sons are the young ages of 5 and 7, but I must admit that I already pray for their future spouses. Maybe I’m not demanding she be the exact perfection of the Proverbs 31 woman, because I know it is humanly impossible not to fall short of all she is. However, I pray that she possess many of the same characteristics and daily strives to be the best that she can possibly be as a Godly woman and wife.
The exact same principle applies to you and me. We are far from perfection and daily “fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23; NIV). The Lord knows the “spirit is willing and the (flesh) is weak” (See Matthew 26:41; NIV). When we rest in the Lord, obey His commands and follows His ways, we can daily become who he wants us to be as women of God. How many of us read of the Proverbs 31 woman and want to automatically gag or feel an instant rush of jealousy overcome our very being? I am raising my hand to both. I feel those very things, but secretly desire to be as close to her image as I can humanly be. Remember the above scripture, we daily fall short and the Lord knows the Spirit is willing although that darn flesh loves to get in the way.
The Proverbs 31 woman is one of noble character and is able to laugh at the days to come (vs. 30). I enjoy laughing, don’t you? The word tells us that He will “fill your mouth with laughter” ( Job 8:21; NIV). Instead of spending our days being jealous of this woman who should obviously be put on a pedestal, let’s see what the Lord desires for us to learn from her, and possibly laugh a little along the way.
I will let you in on a little secret. We could possibly assume that this woman was just a fictitious character that a King’s mom journaled about for her son. If she were a real person, I guarantee that she did not possess these characteristics all at once. I assure you she was wise in years by the time she had many of the characteristics mastered. I also love the fact that she had servants. Of course she could be the perfect wife and mother with maid servants. I might get a little more done in a day if I had servants. I am pretty sure I would have time to plant a garden and sew my children’s clothing if I had a cook, cleaner and taxi driver for my family. It is the Lord’s will for this woman to be mentioned in the bible. He would not have inspired it if not. Instead of spending our time being jealous of her and feeling like we could never add up to her perfect characteristics, let’s open our hearts and ask the Lord to teach us about an amazing woman and glean from her inner beauty.
I would love for you to join me over the next few blogs as we discover even more about the amazing qualities of this noble woman.