Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:10, 30
I vividly remember hearing these scriptures read by the pastor at my Granny Bolin’s funeral. I had heard them before and heard them many times again at other funerals and even for Mother’s Day sermons, but I have to admit this time left me feeling more than a little overwhelmed. As a young wife and soon to be mother, I remember thinking how perfectly those words described Granny and wondering how I could possibly follow the example of God’s ideal woman or even that of my Granny.
Proverbs chapter 31 needs little explanation. It portrays a woman who is devoted to her husband and family, a woman who works hard and eagerly helps others, and a woman who remains full of joy and offers words of wisdom. But most importantly a woman who fears the Lord.
Years ago, my mom and I took painting classes. It looked simple as the teacher demonstrated, but when faced with doing it myself it became an intricate task. What appeared effortless actually took much time and effort on my part. Proverbs 31 paints a picture of God’s ideal woman. Every action we take in life is like the brush strokes of a painting. When finished, we hopefully have created a beautiful masterpiece in the eyes of God. It may appear effortless as we observe those with more experience, but being a woman of good character is not an easy task. It takes a lifetime of practice and instruction.
I gave up painting before completing the class, but I haven’t given up on becoming that virtuous woman that God desires me to be. I have been blessed with many virtuous women in my life….my mother, grandmothers, aunts, and many other family and friends. Few things in this life last longer than the beautiful pictures created by the virtuous women in our lives.
10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.