Proverbs 31:10-31 speaks of the value of a good wife to her husband, the work she does, her service to those who need her, her ability to provide for her family, and the caring for herself so she can share her strength with others.
In today’s world, we have a boat-load of other wonderful pressures that make our domestic lives feel, at times, like a constant uphill climb. In truth, while the pressures of today might have a slightly different ‘look’, for the most part, all the same major issues were present back in the biblical days as well. Yet, if there is one or two particular things that truly stand out as being the most challenging feats of spiritual strength, it’s definitely got to be marriage and motherhood.
Nothing truly tries your patience the way a screaming child does. Nothing teaches you the true beauty of forgiveness like forcing yourself to get over the anger you feel about your husband tossing his clothes next to the hamper for the millionth time.
Here are few ways that Proverbs 31 can help to challenge us to overcome the little moments in both marriage and motherhood so that we may become more virtuous wives and moms:
1. A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. -Proverbs 31:10
There’s a great reason why this is the first verse in Proverbs 31 epilogue. But who out there is noble? are you worth more than rubies?
Who can find is, essentially, the key phrase in this verse. It implies that no one can truly find a wife of noble character, which is why she is worth more than rubies. This isn’t to say that there weren’t great wives back then but, as we all know, no wife is perfect.
Start off by reminding yourself that you will strive to be the most noble woman that you can possibly be, but don’t allow yourself to be hindered by any of your failures either. Trying and failing is how we all learn.
2. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. -Proverbs 31:11
How many of us can honestly say that our husbands have full confidence in us?
A friend recently described how she kept ‘failing’ her husband because when things are out of her sight, they are typically out of her thoughts as well. In hopes to remind her ever-forgetful brain, she began writing on Post-it notes that she posted in various places throughout the house to remind her to do her tasks. So far, she explained, it had helped some, but she was still thinks her husband couldn’t depend on her to do some of the most basic things because she was often so forgetful.
If you’re curious to know if your husband lacks confidence in you in certain areas of your life together, simply ask him and explain that you want a truthful and direct answer so that you can try to become a better wife. And when you do, tell yourself to take the criticism constructively.
3. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. -Proverbs 31:17
Doing the dishes and folding and putting away the laundry are the two most hated household tasks by most every domestic woman on the planet. You most certainly aren’t the only one.
Yet God has, in this verse, placed upon us the challenge to work vigorously at our tasks. Don’t put off those dishes because you hate doing them, wash them vigorously. Yes, that might’ve had a hint of sarcasm.
In truth, your goal should be to complete every task required of you to the best of your ability. Over time, we will come to find that each task has become so ‘easy’ for us to complete, that is leaves more time for us to focus on other areas of our life, like time with family or prayer.
4. She sees that her trading is profitable, her lamp does not go out at night. -Proverbs 31:18
Wives, and often mothers especially, often need to stay up far beyond that of their family members. Others counterbalance this by getting up extremely early to complete necessary tasks for the day. So many of us lose hours of precious sleep, but how many of us lose it because we’re doing something virtuous?
Sitting up until after midnight watching your favorite television show isn’t exactly what Saul was describing when he wrote about a woman that sits up late at night. Instead, the noble wife is sitting up taking care of the things that cannot be done around the children/husband or are more easily done without them being around.
Seeing that her trading is profitable can be seen in many ways when interpreted for today’s culture, but one viewpoint would be that she sits up at night making sure that her family’s finances are in order, or perhaps she’s sitting up late to make a weekly meal plan with coupons to save her family some extra cash. Either way, she’s doing something that will make her time productive.
5. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. -Proverbs 31:22
Purple was very rare and expensive dye back in Biblical days due to the nature of getting the ingredients to make the dye, so, when many Christian women read this, it can sometimes lead to the confusion that a true Proverbs 31 woman should be dressed in lavish and expensive clothing. This isn’t the case.
God wishes for all women to be dressed well, which mostly means in a modest and classy way. The way that you dress yourself not only reflects how you feel about yourself as a woman, but it also could positively or negatively affect the way that others view you and your family.
6. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. -Proverbs 31:26
Sometimes, “Because I said so,” just isn’t enough- which is tough because kids are the world’s best questioners. Sometimes, our kids ask us questions that we know the answer to, but are unsure of how to explain it to our children. A friend’s daughter recently asked if God made the buildings in the town in which they live. Frozen for a moment, she simply told her daughter, “Sort of.” She knew that men made the buildings, but since God made the men, technically, he also had a role in making the buildings. Yet, how do you explain that to a four-year-old?
For the most part, little questions like the one above, are okay to answer ambiguously, but there are some important parts of life that do require a good explanation, even if the person you’re talking to is very young.
Go to the Bible and find the right instruction for the situation, pray about the issue- it’s one thing to tell a child that something is bad, it’s another to explain why something is bad. Usually, telling a child why they shouldn’t do something has far more impact on the child and leaves them less likely to repeat the action.
7. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. – Proverbs 31:30
This is the most important challenge and reminder to us all as wives and mothers. Honor God first above everything else. Pray. Teach your family to rely upon God as well.
Don’t get caught up on your beauty, which can often be easier said than done, but remember that a woman of true worth and beauty is one that honors God with her every action. After all, she is worth more than rubies.
♡ If you enjoyed this story, I’m sure you’ll love this too → Will the Real Virtuous Woman, Please Stand Up.