Nestled in the book of Proverbs is a description of the biblical ideal for a wife and mother. Described as a woman of noble character, she is the kind of woman parents wanted their sons to marry. Ruth was described in this way in Ruth 3:11. As you read Proverbs 31:10-31 you see the description of what an excellent wife looked like in 970 BC.
The terms may sound strange and outdated, but like the rest of the principals of living found in the Bible, the traits are eternally true and trustworthy. The woman pictured is a bit intimidating. Few of us can live up to this ideal. We may be hard pressed to achieve one or two facets of her excellent character. Fortunately, these passages donít describe one particular woman. They are, more likely, a composite of all the best qualities of godly women.
The excellent wife is conscientious--managing her home efficiently. She takes care of her husband, shops for the best food and works hard to prepare it. (She probably didn't serve microwave dinners.)
This perfect woman is not confined to the home and to housework. She is also a business woman, shrewdly making the decision to invest in her business and working tirelessly to make it successful.
She is strong and she works enthusiastically. She watches over her affairs. Money is used wisely for the family and home and business. There is no competition with her husband, she honors his leadership. She is a wise manager but is not selfish with her time and money, helping the poor and needy. People respect her. She is a loving and compassionate counselor to her children and her friends.
The Proverbs 31 woman is rewarded for her faithfulness and diligence, being praised by her husband and honored by her children.
This is an ideal result, but we know that very often it isn't the way things turn out. You may be in a situation where you are working hard to display biblical qualities, but your husband, family, or friends donít value your efforts. This can be disheartening and makes it difficult to continue.
It is important to note that more valuable than all of the accomplishments of the excellent wife, is she fears the Lord. It is this relationship with God that brings the wisdom, zest for living, and godly qualities. Being faithful to God and diligent in following His word is not always honored in this world but is highly valued by God.
Remember that your Heavenly Father sees the intent of your heart and He values you beyond measure. What better reward is there than that?
Something to think about:
- What character trait of this woman of noble character do you consider to be most important? Why?
- Which character traits would you like to develop in yourself?
- As a married woman; does your behavior bring honor to your husband and through that, bring honor to God?
- As a single woman; does your behavior bring honor to God?