Bible Reading: Proverbs 31:1-31
The epilogue to Proverbs is about a wife of noble character [31:10-31]. In Hebrew it is a beautiful acrostic poem, in which each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
As a young Christian I read the amazing story of John and Betty Stam who were missionaries in China. As a young woman Betty Scott wrote down the characteristics of the man she wanted as a husband. Inspired by that story, I did the same and wrote about the kind of wife I wanted to marry. In doing so I read todays passage and noted several characteristics of a godly wife:
She is trustworthy [verse 11]. Just as a chair has four legs, and if a leg or two are removed it is no longer safe to sit on, so relationships are built on four building blocks, and if one or more are removed it is in danger of caving in. The four blocks are love, the enduring quality; trust, the most fragile quality, honour, the most neglected quality, and understanding, the quality that takes the longest time to develop. A godly wife is totally trustworthy.
She is industrious [verse 13-19,22,24,27b]. She is hard working, feeding and clothing her family. If she is in business she is prudent and wise. She diligently watches over her household.
She is compassionate [verse 20]. She cares for and reaches out to the poor and needy.
She is encouraging [verse 23]. The text says that her husband has a position of responsibility and respect. In my experience the encouragement of a godly wife helps her husband to be successful.
She is wise and kind [verse 26]. When she speaks it is with wisdom and words of kindness.
She walks with God [verse 30]. She loves the Lord and honours and has reverence for Him. This woman is a tremendous blessing to her husband and her children. So much so that they rise up and bless her and praise her. I am reminded of the story of Susannah Wesley. She had seventeen children but each day spent time with God. She would cover her head with her apron and for that hour she communed with God and her children knew that she was not to be disturbed! It is hardly surprising that two of her sons, John and Charles Wesley became the leaders of a Christian movement that brought revival to the United Kingdom and possibly averted the kind of revolution that caused such havoc in nearby France.
Why do you think that this passage is applicable and important to both men and women?
As you have read this devotional what has been your reaction? Is there anything that you have read in this passage that challenges you to think about your own attitude and lifestyle?