The perfect wife. Isn’t that what Proverbs 31 appears to be telling us – that if a woman keeps busy creating and selling products, investing in real estate, is generous to the poor, teaches others, manages her home and business well, provides for the needs of her family and employees day and night, she is a valuable wife?
It’s easy to accept that these are requirements for being an excellent wife. But I see two things in these verses that may be a truer measure of her worth.
1. Her Husband Can Trust Her
“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value” (verses 1-2).
He knows she will not disappoint him. He knows her like no one else, and she has earned his confidence. Even if she were to make mistakes in the management of her home and business – he can trust her to correct them. He has FULL confidence in her because she provides what is most valuable to him.
Her husband can call her blessed, and praise her, saying,
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all” (verse 29).
2. Her Works Praise Her
“Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate” (verse 31).
I think we can do a better job of honoring our women friends. This verse reminds us that it’s a woman’s works that should bring her praise, not her hairstyle or fashion choices. And definitely not her idleness (verse 27). We should draw attention to our friends when their good works shine, and praise them for their efforts.
Have you known of someone, in mourning for a woman who was dear to them, saying how much they’ll miss her fashionable grooming or her choice in hair design? If I have, it was because of cousin Joyce’s quirky hats which only added to her lovableness. She worked hard in her profession serving the housing needs of her community with abundant joy and caring – the demonstration of her loving care is what we’ll miss.
Lord, thanks again for teaching us to use wisdom when we assess a person’s value. You gave us tools to use (our minds and hands) to make things better for ourselves and for others. Help us to use them well. Thank you, God! Amen.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis