Church discipline is never a pleasant thing. It weighs heavily on the hearts of church leadership and it is uncomfortable for a church body to endure. That’s by design. It isn’t meant to be pleasant. It is corrective (Proverbs 22:10) and instructive (Proverbs 21:11). Unpleasant as it is, when it is not carried out, the church and its power in the community both suffer. Continue reading
She is always a blessing to her husband and by extension her household.
Proverbs 31:12 “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
She is Love Incarnate
Like love, “she suffers long and is kind, does not behave herself unseemly, she is not self-seeking, thinks the best of others, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.” (See 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.)
Included in doing good and not evil, is this woman’s ministry to her husband, and by that I mean her ministry in keeping her husband right. Husbands need that because they tend at times to be slope-headed Neanderthals. Men are stubborn. Men are brutish. God gives them wives to keep them straight for all those times they do not hear that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. When big decisions need to be made, husbands would do well to hear their wives because often God will speak to men through their spouses (and vice versa). It is how God has ordained that relationship.
She is a Constant and Stable Influence
“All the days of her life,” means she is there for the long haul, through the good and the bad. The blessings don’t make her greedy for more, and the hard times don’t make her long for better. She is faithful no matter what.
Her goals and aspirations are in support of her husband – and her husband’s job is to faithfully love her in return. (God tells us husbands this twice: Ephesians 5:25 and Colossians 3:19. Why? Because of that whole slope-headed Neanderthal thing.)
(13) She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
(14) She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
(15) She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She is Industrious
She looks for opportunities. “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.” That’s not to say that a woman’s work is limited to things like knitting and crocheting. The point is that this woman takes whatever talents she has and uses them for the benefit of her household. Maybe it’s not knitting, maybe it’s web design, or freelance programming, or writing, or brain surgery. Whatever the talent is, it’s being put to good use for the benefit of the family.
There’s nothing wrong with a career, but for both husband and wife, the career needs to be aimed at benefitting their God-given responsibilities to their family, not their ambitions for climbing the corporate ladder.
“She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.” This verse is not just about food preparation. This is about how this woman is not about the status quo. She is creative. Imaginative. She is a real contributor to the home and family life.
“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.” She is a good steward of all that she has, including her time and sees to it that her household is well taken care of.
What you don’t see here is a woman working under duress. Her husband is not holding her in abject servitude. In fact, as we’ll see later, she is a very independent woman. She does not see herself as shortchanged because she is a wife, and she is not oppressed, depressed, or distressed. She thrives in her role as wife, because she and her husband complement each other.
For this series I am going to put up a post at the end of each month until I am done looking at the Proverbs 31 Lady, because her passage appears at the end of Proverbs and if you’re reading a Proverb a day, you get to read about this lady at the end of each long month.
So, who is this Proverbs 31 Lady, anyway? First, she is a picture of the Church in relation to her Lord Jesus Christ. So, all that she does is aimed ultimately at honoring the Lord. Practically speaking, the Proverbs 31 Lady is a strong woman. She is confident, a person who knows who she is. She is also ministry-minded, using her strengths and her talents in ministry to her household, and someone that God holds in high regard.
She is a woman of character and of great worth because of her character:
Proverbs 31:10 “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” [Rubies = pearls]
She is worthy of her husband’s trust, and a good steward of their resources:
Proverbs 31:11 “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.”
“No need of spoil” means “does not lack profit or gain.” In other words, this woman is not wasteful of what they have as a family. She does not squander their resources, so her husband is free to trust her completely and has no need to worry and no need to work extra to make ends meet. She runs a tight ship.
A wise husband will give this woman free reign similar to what Pharaoh did with Joseph (Genesis 41:40-45). He won’t be intimidated by her strengths as an individual. Instead, he’ll recognize those strengths and praise her for them. Any man who runs around treating his wife like a doormat because he thinks it makes him more of a man is both insecure and stupid.