Welcome to the first week of my new study series! Once a week I will be unpacking each verse, and sharing tips and tricks, as well as Biblical encouragement to help all of us work on that particular skill or trait.
I am so excited to be personally working on being a better wife and homemaker, so I hope you will join in with me! If you have not done so already, I encourage you to read Proverbs 31:10-31.
Today we are looking at Proverbs 31:10. My translation is NASB, which titles this section as “description of a worthy woman”. Here is what it says:
An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
We begin this section with the idea that finding an excellent wife is not an easy task for a man, and that when he does find her, she is rare and valuable. But what exactly does excellent mean? I know we are all able to use it in a sentence correctly, but just for fun I decided to look at several online dictionaries for the definition.
- very good of it’s kind
- extremely good
- of the highest or finest quality
Okay, so now we know what excellent means in a worldly way, but what about in a godly way? Naturally, I turned to the Bible to see what God says about positive character traits for women (some of these are specific to women, while others are for all Christians).
She is modest and focused on serving.
Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. 1 Timothy 2:9-10
In my humble opinion, I believe that this verse is not chastising women for putting care into their appearance, but it IS letting us know that our inner works are more important to God. If we spend more time focusing on our appearance than we do serving others, we are not practicing godliness, are we? If we claim to be followers of Christ, yet dress and carry ourselves in outlandish, immodest ways, are we truly representing Him in a positive way?
She practices self control and is sensible.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:3-5
Reverent means to feel or show respect, but who or what are the older women to respect in this passage? Why, God of course! I’ve talked about this verse before (and even run a Facebook group devoted to this practice), but it is always worth reading again. Older women here are instructed to have self control in their actions so that they don’t run their mouths, keep their wits about them, and can then pass on their teachings to the next generation. They are specifically told to teach the younger women to be sensible (defined as “having, containing, or indicative of good sense or reason”). Fine and dandy, but what does that mean for us today, in a practical way? I would say it means that, as women, we trust God foremost. We know that life can be daunting, but we know that wisdom comes from Him, and that we can always seek answers when we are confused, scared, undecided, etc.
She is submissive to her husband.
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22
Marital submission is still a touchy subject among Christians but I would hope that you, as a reader of my blog, see the validity of it today. You can check out my submission series for more in depth reading, but I will briefly state that this is something we KNOW God values for in women. Rather than restate all the points I’ve made in my submission series, I will encourage you to check out those posts at this point.
She is beautiful on the inside and has a quiet and gentle spirit.
Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3-4
Once again we see that there is nothing wrong with caring for our appearance, but neglecting our inward beauty is a problem! Gentle and quiet are easy enough to understand, but perhaps not always easy to implement. We can practice this by working on being kind and tender with our family and friends. Do you find that you often raise your voice at them? Are you on edge or bristly with your words? Those are areas to focus on changing to cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit.
She is a helper to her husband.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18
When doing research for this post I looked into what the word helper means in this context. It is not someone weak, incapable of doing tasks independently, lacks skill, or anything like that. Here, helper means someone to complement the man’s skills and abilities. I don’t mean “compliment”, as in give praise, but complement as in a counterpart. A suitable helper is in position to see what her husband needs. For example, in our marriage, my husband does not enjoy budgeting or bill paying. I am fairly good at it, so I take on that role for him.
She seeks God first.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
In this passage of scripture we are being told to seek God above everything else, and then the rest of needs will be met (“these things”). In verse 32 Matthew tells us that the non believers prioritize their search for worldly things, but followers of God should be seeking Him first. Not seeking money, or social media followers, or stuff for our homes. GOD first, everything else later.
She is hospitable.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2
Hospitality is pleasing to God. Think of all the travelling Jesus and his disciples did: they didn’t need to sleep in the streets because people were eager to host them! Even after Jesus ascended into heaven, and the disciples continued spreading the Gospel, they always had a place to stay because people knew that they were doing good works, and wanted to assist in anyway they could. Women, as keepers of our home, it is our duty to be hospitable! That doesn’t mean you need to open your doors to everyone, but you should be visiting with people from your church or community. A simple way to do this is invite another woman over for tea and a chat!
Phew, that was a lot, wasn’t it?! Hopefully I didn’t scare you away, but rather, encouraged you! And I hope you will come back next week for part two.