“Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies” (PV 31:10)
As a woman of God, as a wife, each time I need refreshing from the Word of God, I read Proverbs 31. This passage never fails to attract me, to strengthen me, to stir me up and to bless me with fresh revelations. I am reminded that God has a particular woman in mind to be the Bride of Christ. It is not easy to be a godly woman. No good thing happens by accident. There is a price to pay to become God’s best; ‘a virtuous woman’ in the eyes of your husband, children and community. To be virtuous it means to be morally excellent, righteous and upright before God and man. It means to be honest, noble, principled, faithful, praiseworthy, un-bribable, spotless and guiltless. It also means to be above suspicion, a good and perfect example to others. The opposite of ‘virtuous’ is to be sinful, wicked, a liar and a deceiver. In Hebrew, the word ‘virtuous’ it means to be a strong soldier, the captain of an army. It means to be rich and generous. The word describes a woman in labor. She is in pain, waiting patiently, with hope and courage, for her baby to be born. She is looking forward to the joyful satisfying rest of fruitfulness. Her worth is ‘above rubies’. Her ‘bride price’ is priceless. Only the Blood of Jesus is able to purchase the soul of His bride. She is not foolish. She knows the value God has set on her. She is not ready to compromise her destiny or the future of her descendants. This high standard of character and behavior is possible only to a child of God, who is filled with the Holy Spirit.
The world has its own description of what it means to be a successful woman. The world loves to see women with superficial beauty, slim and without pimples, having professional make up, with expensive jewelry, beautiful clothes and natural charm. But what is God’s idea of a perfect woman? The first thing I see here is that this woman ‘fears God’ (PV 31:30). God is at the center of her life, the reason for her testimony and the source of her success. The second thing I see is that this woman loves her God given family. She does not live independent from people. She has invested her life, effort, prayers and time in the lives of her husband and her children (natural and spiritual). She takes care of her household, even of her servants. She invested in people and she now enjoys a great harvest of love. In her old age she enjoys the fruit of her labor.
This woman is a good wife. She submits to her husband and helps him fulfill his destiny. From the beginning of her marriage and until old age, she is not a liability to him, but a blessing. “The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life” (PV 31:11, 12). Her husband trusts her with his heart. This is total trust. He trusts her with his body and his soul, with his spiritual life, with their children and their finances. Trust is rare to find. Trust must be earned. It does not come automatically. Over the years, her husband has studied and tested his wife, during good times and bad times. She prayed and she stood with him. Together, they overcame problems and trials. They wept together and rejoiced together. She proved to him that she is faithful, wise, strong, stable and spiritual. This husband trusts his wife. They have become friends and true partners in life.
“Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land” (PV 31:23). The virtuous woman prays for, helps and encourages her husband to be a man of God. She does not compete with him. She complements him. Her husband fulfills God’s will for his life. This is a great achievement and true success. Behind the scenes, his wife rejoices and praises God for her husband’s success. He praises her saying: “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” (PV 31:29). The husband’s open public praise and recognition of his wife’s love and faithfulness over the years is a sign of a true, mature, godly and happy marriage. This woman is a good mother and her children appreciate her.
The third thing I see is that this godly woman works very hard. She works at home and outside the home. The reason why she works is to glorify God and to benefit of her family. Her work does not hinder her responsibilities in the home. Her work is hard. She wakes early in the morning and she sleeps late at night. She travels far away to buy things to sell. But she does not grumble; she truly enjoys her labor. She “willingly works with her hands” (PV 31:13). In Hebrew, the word ‘willingly’ means to work with pleasure and purpose. Her work is valuable to her. Each day she plans her work. There is no confusion and no stress. Even when she has to do humble work in the house (for example, washing dishes or clothes), she feels blessed and happy.
Dear sister, is that your experience? Do you fear God? Do you really enjoy your life, your marriage, your motherhood and your work? As you are getting older, do you become happier and more fulfilled? Can I ask your husband, your children, your servants of your neighbors, what kind of woman are you? Do you want to be ‘a Proverbs 31’ woman of God? You single sisters… do you desire to be this type of wife and mother? You older woman of God, are you ready to mentor and teach the younger women how to be good wives and mothers? Then pray for the strength to become a living proof that God’s Word is true. Pray that you may fulfill destiny and become a blessing to many. This is God’s will for you! For the glory of God and for the good of many people! In Jesus name, amen!
(In the picture, you see some beautiful, expensive rubies)