Thoughts on life and Scripture...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

An Excellent Wife

'An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.'
-Proverbs 31:10

As women, we often compare ourselves to the Proverbs 31 woman and can become discouraged because we know we fall short. What woman on this earth is an excellent wife? What wife does her husband good and not harm all the days of her life? What wife is so hard working as is portrayed in Proverbs 31? What wife opens her mouth with wisdom at all times and is kind at all times? What wife is not at times anxious or worried about the future? We all are. We all fall short of the Proverbs 31 woman. We are all sinful human beings, and the woman described in Proverbs 31 is perfect.
This should not discourage us, however. Instead, we can look at this text as an example of what we can strive for--what we can ask Christ to work in us so that we can better glorify Him in our roles as wives, mothers, and women in general.
We have to remember that an excellent wife is a gift from the Lord. We are not excellent wives on our own. 'House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.' Proverbs 19:14.

So, let's take a look at what some of the virtues of an excellent wife are.
An excellent wife has her husband's best interests at heart. He does not need to worry when he is away from home that she will dishonor him or waste his estate. She does not abuse the confidence that he has in her, but seeks to make herself more worthy of it. She is not like the wife described in Proverbs 21:9, 'It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife', or see also Proverbs 25:24.

Instead, she builds up her household and does not tear it down (Proverbs 14:1). In other words, she does good to her household--her husband and children (Titus 2:4). Some ways in which she does good to her household include being hardworking. She works with willing hands (Proverbs 31:13), rises while it is yet night (v. 15) to prepare her household for the day ahead. She uses her physical strength (v. 17) and her lamp does not go out at night (v. 18). That doesn't mean she doesn't sleep, but she will work into the night if needed to get the things done that need to get done. She does not eat the bread of idleness (v. 27).

Another way that she does good to her household is that she is kind (v. 26.) Kindness is on her tongue. Though she may need to discipline or rebuke, she does so with kindness. Her words are wise (Ephesians 4:29) and she is careful with her words, not using them to slander others (Titus 2:3).
An excellent wife is also prepared--prepared for the snow, by having her family well-dressed (v. 21). In fact, she laughs at the time to come (v. 25). There is no worry about the future because she is prepared and also because she trusts in the Lord.

An excellent wife also uses the gifts and talents that she has been given for the good of her household. (v. 18 ,19, 22) In fact, she even uses them to better her household financially (v. 24). 

Not only to her own household but also to others does she do good. She reaches out to the needy and opens her hand to the poor (v. 20). We can assume that if she is helping others that she has already attended to the needs of her household. It is also an outpouring of her heart--it shows that she has a heart of compassion, mercy, and kindness.

All these things are a result of a woman who fears the Lord. An excellent wife is wise and wisdom is from fearing the Lord. Proverbs 9:10, 'The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.' (Also see: Proverbs 1:7, 15:33, Job 28:28, Psalm 111:10)
For more on the fear of the Lord, you can always refer back to this post written by Brad.

Having seen what an excellent wife is, we can strive to become more and more like that. We can ask the Spirit to work in our hearts to give us greater wisdom, kindness, and love--to help us to fight against the sins that we struggle with in our roles, so that we may not revile the Word of God (Titus 2:5).

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