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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Wimpy Wife and Proverbs 31

In your mind’s eye, picture the ideal Christian wife. What is she like?

Many of us think she’s this sweetsy cutesy little number, who’s quiet, prudishly modest, and submissive in the extreme. She’s someone we can hardly imagine—and someone we don’t even want to be. She doesn’t seem to have a mind of her own and certainly wouldn’t express her opinions. She’s a servant, hospitable, and she keeps a perfectly clean house, supports her husband in everything, and has a lot of children. But, hint hint, this isn't exactly accurate.

It’s interesting what the Bible has to say about the ideal Christian wife. I like the description—with God’s hearty approval—of the Virtuous Woman in Proverbs 31. What kind of a woman was she?

Let’s look at her in detail.

  • First, we see her worth. Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Quality rubies are worth more than diamonds of the same weight. Isn’t it interesting that God uses rubies to describe a virtuous woman?
  • What kind of a relationship does she have with her husband? The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. His heart never fears that she will betray him or do him any wrong. He knows he can trust her—with anything. It implies that she builds him up so that he can be a leader of the people.
  • Now, we look at her industry. This lady is an entrepreneur. She is hard-working, giving, and kind. Actually, she tires me out! Day and night, you’ll find her busy. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
  • How about her clothing? I don’t think you’d call this lady “dowdy.” She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
  • She’s strong as a person and physically, too. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
  • How does she speak? She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
  • What do the people who know her best think about her? Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
  • What does God think of her? Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
  • And, what is her reward on earth? Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. (All Bible quotations are from Proverbs 31:10-31.)

We’ve learned that God’s ideal woman is:
  • Priceless.
  • Trustworthy.
  • A good woman, whose husband is a respected man.
  • A hard worker.
  • Wise.
  • A provider.
  • A businesswoman.
  • Charitable.
  • Someone who takes care of her own household.
  • Elegant.
  • Strong.
  • Honorable.
  • Joyful.
  • Physically strong.
  • Wise and kind in speech.
  • Praised by her husband and children.
  • Someone who respects God.

I know, as I wrote this list, I did some soul searching. What would God say about me? I don’t know for sure. How do I add up? Some of these areas are not my strong suit. What’s a Christian woman to be like? Strength is mentioned in two contexts. This is no wimpy lady! She’s amazing …

and worth far more than rubies.

God said that.

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