In the book of Proverbs, there is a description of the biblical ideal for a wife and mother - the kind of woman that parents wanted their sons to marry. She was a woman of noble character. Ruth was described in this way in Ruth 3:11. As you read Proverbs 31:10-31 you will see a description of what an excellent wife looked like in 970 BC. The terms may sound strange and outdated, however, like the rest of the principals of living found in the Bible, these traits are eternally useful. The woman pictured may sound 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. These passages do not describe one particular woman. They are, more likely, a composite of all the best qualities of godly women.
You will notice that the ‘excellent wife,’ while she is very conscientious of how she manages her home and that her husband is well taken care of – she shops for the best food and works hard to prepare it - 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 hard 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 wise and loving counselor to her children and her friends.
The Proverbs 31 woman is rewarded for her faithfulness and diligence. She is
praised by her husband and honored by her children. This is an ideal result of hard work, but we know that very often it is not the way things turn out. You may be in a situation that you are working hard at emulating biblical qualities, but your husband or family or friends do not value your efforts. This can be very disheartening and makes it hard to continue. It is important to note that more valuable than all of the accomplishments of the ‘excellent wife,’ is that 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?
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Almighty God. The Creator of heaven and earth.
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