Proverbs 31:10-31 (NIV)
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.
How does this passage challenge you?
Lord, this passage can make me feel like a failure as a woman, wife, and mother. I can’t say that I have never let my husband down. I don’t make clothes, I rarely mend clothes and it is not gladly when I do. When I get up before daylight to prepare food for the family, it is usually a holiday and I get tired and my feet hurt. My arms are more flabby than strong, and my hands ache from arthritis. When I try to compare myself to the list of virtues in this passage, I fall miserably short. Any woman who felt burdened to complete each of these tasks would be exhausted and probably discouraged. But You have not given us this poem in Proverbs 31 as a resume of expectations but as a personification of wisdom. Instead of focusing on virtues or skills or activities, it’s about becoming more like Jesus. It shows that You recognize how big the job of wife and mother truly is and what an integral role a woman plays in the life of Your family. It directs the husbands and sons to recognize and appreciate the value of their wives and mothers. Lord guide me in Your wisdom to apply Biblical principles in my marriage, motherhood, and ministry that will lead to fruitful results. Help me to pursue habits that feed my soul and bless You and my family more than anything else. Allow me to speak and act with integrity, to be forward-thinking to invest my hard work and efforts to better my family and their future. As external beauty is fleeting, let the beauty of Your love radiate from my heart. Let me be a good friend, a strong example of faith in the community, and a woman of noble character. Lead me to be a woman of great compassion who reaches out to those in need. Let my virtues, business, and talents be the fruit of a heart that honors You. Amen