Saturday, October 19, 2013
Her Family Call Her Blessed
As we saw last time, Solomon describes in Proverbs 31 the ideal woman he prayed for his son to marry. The Proverbs 31 woman is generous and charitable (v. 20), trusting that God will allow her to be a channel through whom blessings flow (2 Corinthians 9:6), and knowing that you can’t outgive God (Luke 6:38), Who is the source of all good gifts (James 1:17). She is a blessing to her family (Proverbs 31:12), has a realistic opinion about herself (v. 18), provides for her family through her hard work and planning (v. 21, 24), and enhances the reputation of her husband (v. 23).
God’s plan for marriage is for the wife to submit herself to her husband’s authority, who in turn loves her self-sacrificingly (Colossians 3:17-24; Ephesians 5:20-33). This is a beautiful picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church (Revelation 19:7-9). He loves us so much that He died to redeem us (Romans 5:8), and we follow His authority because we trust that His infinite love and power enables Him to work all things together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).
Although the hard work, thrift and prior planning of the Proverbs 31 woman allow her to be well dressed (v. 22), her true beauty comes from being clothed in good character traits. People admire her not for the clothes she wears, but for her spiritual and moral strength in following God’s Word, and for the honor she brings to her family. God has clothed her in magnificent garments of salvation and righteousness (Isaiah 61:10; 1 Peter 3:3-10).
Because she is a woman of character, she finds joy in following the Lord, no matter what the external circumstances (Nehemiah 8:10; Philippians 4:4). She knows that she can be patient and wait upon the Lord to bring her through trials and to bless her (v. 25; Psalm 23:4-6).
The Proverbs 31 woman is kind, speaking the truth in love (v. 26), but knowing when to be silent (v. 26). She can control her tongue, refraining from gossip (Matthew 12:35-37), criticism or anger that could ruin her testimony (James 3:2-13). Her restraint in speech reflects the Word of God that she has hidden in her heart to avoid sinning (Psalm 119:11) and the subjection of her actions to the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1).
This type of woman, although rare, is a tremendous asset to her family and all those around her, and they respect and praise her, recognizing that the blessings she gives them are priceless (v.10, 28, 29). We should strive to be praiseworthy in setting a good example and teaching our children how to behave and fear the Lord (Proverbs 10:1; Titus 2:3-5), in our generosity (Luke 6:38, Philippians 4:16-18; Mark 9:41; Matthew 6:20-21), and in our faith and prayer life (Philippians 4:13; Colossians 1:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Psalm 119:10-11).
We can become this kind of woman not by relying on our social skills or our physical charms, but by fearing the Lord – by putting His will for our life ahead of all else (v.30). In doing this, we can live in a way that will reflect our position in Christ to those around us (Ephesians 4:1)
As important as it is to love and provide for our family, even this can become an idol in our lives if we put it ahead of our obedience to God and our desire to please Him. Rather, if we put God first in our lives, He will provide for our physical needs (Matthew 6:33), let us be a blessing to others (Proverbs 31:30), enlarge our sphere of influence in this world and give us eternal life in the next (Mark 10: 29-30).
Until Christ comes again, may we honor Him by giving to all we encounter our example of faith in Christ, in His death, burial and resurrection as the only Way to Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 14:6) that they too may accept and follow Him (2 Timothy 1: 5; Acts 16:31).
© 2013 Laurie Collett
Proverbs 31: 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.