A String of Pearls

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She will not hinder him but help him all her life. She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship; she brings her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She watches for bargains; her lights burn late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. She has no fear of winter for her household because all of them have warm clothes. She quilts her own bedspreads. She dresses like royalty in gowns of finest cloth. Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council meeting with the other civic leaders. She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions. She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise. Proverbs 31:10-31

What a list!

I’ve been told by many fellow Christian women that the Proverbs 31 woman is quite intimidating. She intimidates me…that for sure.

This chapter describes a woman of noble character. She’s pretty amazing. Here are some of her characteristics:

  1. Virtue.   Proverbs 31:10
  2. Faithfulness.   Proverbs 31:11
  3. Reverence.   Proverbs 31:12
  4. Goodness.  Proverbs 31:12
  5. Willing Worker.   Proverbs 31:13
  6. Good Manager.   Proverbs 31:14,15
  7. Industrious.   Proverbs 31:16
  8. Strength.  Proverbs 31:17
  9. Endurance.  Proverbs 31:18
  10. Well Rounded.   Proverbs 31:19
  11. Charitable.   Proverbs 31:20
  12. Provider.   Proverbs 31:21
  13. Well Dressed.   Proverbs 31:22
  14. Wife of a Good Husband.   Proverbs 31:23
  15. Good Business Woman.   Proverbs 31:24
  16. Honorable.  Proverbs 31:25
  17. Wise.  Proverbs 31:26a
  18. Kind.  Proverbs 31:26b
  19. Good Mother.   Proverbs 31:27a
  20. Busy.   Proverbs 31:27b
  21. Praiseworthy.    Proverbs 31:28
  22. Attains or Excels.    Proverbs 31:29
  23. Fear of the Lord.   Proverbs 31:30
  24. Fruit bearing.   Proverbs 31:31

Why is she this way? Because she fears the Lord. (verse 30). A woman who FEARS THE LORD is to be praised. This has been a common theme throughout the book of Proverbs. This woman is very strong and has an amazing character. But it’s not because she’s just developed a great work ethic. (Although that is true).

Becoming this type of person doesn’t start with a resolve to work hard. That’s what I tend to do. I read passages like this and think about what it would look like for me to become a woman like that. And I know it won’t happen overnight.

This woman was extraordinary because she feared the LORD. She saw that God had provided the means for her to help provide for her family, so she took advantage of those opportunities, and tried to be a good steward of what God had given her. She saw that there were poor individuals in the community and God has blessed her with the means to help them, so she did. But all of these characteristics were a result of fearing the LORD. She understood who God was and had a relationship with Him that transformed her character from the inside out.

I think sometimes I forget that God calls me to worship Him through my everyday life. That’s part of fearing the LORD and loving God with ALL of your heart. That means that I work hard at the tasks that he has given me (anything from respecting family members that I live with to being diligent and honest at my summer job as a witness to others) because I recognize those as opportunities that God has given me to use for His glory. It goes back to the idea of stewardship. How are you using the opportunities and resources God has given you? If you need to make a change in your life, the solution is not to determine to “do better.” The solution is to confess to God that you need his strength to glorify Him where He’s put you for right now. So (whether you’re a girl or a guy), how do you line up with these traits? Could someone say these things about you?

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