In preparing to share what God has laid on my heart this week, I asked my daughter, “What is your favorite or ‘go to’ scripture?” She shared a couple but one of which she called her “character building” scripture. It is Proverbs 31:10-31. This is the description of the VIRTUOUS WOMAN. It is designed to show what wives the women should make and what wives the men should choose. Here is the duty / description of a good wife; and with good reason is so much stress laid upon it, since it contributes as much as any one thing to the keeping up of religion in families, that the mothers be wise and good; and of what consequence it is to the wealth and outward prosperity of a house. It humbles me that my child (young woman) chooses such scripture to model after.
Not all of the hard work of this hardworking woman is adequately or accurately described as "woman's work". The wife in Proverbs 31 is not in the kitchen scrubbing dishes and biting her tongue! While she takes care of her husband and household and excels at domestic activities. She is quite active outside the home as well. She is a successful businesswoman. She is an entrepreneur who works late into the evening, who plans ahead and who is not idle. She knows how to dress for success and how to sell goods for a profit.
But this woman does more than simply succeed in business or at domestic duties. She is no uncaring tycoon: instead, she "opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy". This woman is also far from silent. She speaks with wisdom and the "teaching of kindness" is on her tongue. Her strength, that is, appears to be as much moral as it is physical. As you read this scripture, think about how you define the character of a woman. Is this what you are striving for in your personal growth or for someone’s character in a relationship?
Proverbs 31:10-31New International Version (NIV)
10 [a]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far 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 night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
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 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
This may seem like a lot to digest but…“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”
― Norman Vincent Peale