When my kids are grown and my husband and I are old I want my family to say “Susan is a Godly woman, she lived by Proverbs 31”.
I can honestly say, I’m not there yet. I don’t serve as openly as I want and I look for praise more than I should.
Truth, I’m not perfect and I put too much pressure on myself to be perfect or to have it all together. So far, I don’t have it all together. Perfection is not a reality until we reach eternity. So, I want to replace the word perfect with the word grace. I mess up. My family messes up. We are broken people. Grace is what I need and what my family needs from me.
Have you messed up today? Do you have it all together?
As I dig into Proverbs 31, I find it interesting that there are so many verbs or action words that follow a beautiful description of what a godly woman looks like and how she is praised. You can say it’s a chapter of action for wives and/or moms and if you do the things listed your family will love you for it.
I love how straightforward scripture is. You simply have to listen to what it’s saying. If you want Godliness in your home and life, this is the chapter you need to study.
The result of living the Proverbs 31 life –
10. An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
An excellent wife is rare and she is precious. She is worth more that jewels. I don’t know about you but I like jewels. That statement was written for women. We know about this value. Ha.
Some versions use the word virtuous instead of excellent. I love the word virtuous because it means strong in all moral qualities. Wow! What a high standard. “I’m not sure I can measure up” was my first response and honestly I can’t. But I know that God has given instructions for me to work on and He will help me achieve greatness as a wife and mom.
From vs. 11, the husband’s heart trusts in his wife and he will have no lack of gain because he is enriched by his wife. This verse hits right in my heart. When was the last time my husband was enriched by being married to me? Do I fill him or empty him?
Vs. 12, she helps him and doesn’t harm him. Again, I question myself – Am I helpful? Do I offer help? Or am I stingy with my talents toward my husband? Or worse do my words hurt him and my kids?
23. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
Behind every good man is a good woman. You know that saying, don’t you? It’s not saying that the ‘good woman’ takes credit for the things the ‘good man’ accomplishes or that the ‘good man’ is incapable and the ‘good woman’ has to do everything. It means that the husband is a better man because he truly has a good woman on his team. He can share and she can provide input. They work together and he is prepared for the leaders of the church or any organization.
It’s hard sometimes when the husband is in the spotlight and the wife is not. As a pastor’s wife, I get it. But there are somethings that only my husband can do. I have to respect the design of God and appreciate my husband for his role in the ministry.
At the same time, God didn’t leave women out. God gave us a critical role. We are to be our husband’s biggest cheerleader. We should cheer him on when no one else is standing up. From vs. 28, we know that we will be praised for being the selfless and cheerful wife.
28. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29. “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
Blessings are the ultimate praise a mother or wife can receive. Children want to love their mothers and as we teach them to love others selflessly, they will return that love to us. Of course, we don’t teach our children to love so we can get a pat on the back. A loving mother gives freely to her children. But it means so much when our love tank is filled up by genuine praise.
This verse also has instruction for husbands: he praises her. It’s important for the wife to receive some encouragement, too. If your love tank is empty, you may begin to feel bitter and resent serving in the family. It’s difficult to give when the love isn’t returned. If you feel like this is you, pray about your husband and your feelings, read scriptures and books, and then consider telling him how you feel. Spend some time and effort making sure that you are not the problem. If you have some issues, work on those. Afterward, approach with open hands and heart.
This doesn’t mean nag or hint to death. Don’t do that. If you truly feel like you need some love, tell him gently. Gently is the key word. Don’t demand. Don’t start a fight. If it starts going south, bail out. Don’t pursue it at this time. Pray some more.
Another tip, if you tend to be a negative person your mind may start to wander. You may begin recalling all the ugly things about your husband. Do not let this happen. Force yourself to think about what you fell in love with and the good things your husband does.
Ultimately, we should give our love and energy freely not expecting anything. On the other hand, when love is returned to us we can be open to receive it and be truly thankful.
31. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
People know the work of godly women. Let your life, your talents, and your family be your testimony. Invest in these because they are what matters most.
Daily habits of the Proverbs 31 life –
She is a strong household manager –
13. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.
15. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.
16. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
24. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.
This woman has it going on. She takes care of her stuff and her people and she makes transactions on behalf of the family. I want this. I want to be on top of my responsibilities and there’s nothing wrong with this.
She takes care of herself physically and spiritually –
17. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.
Girls, we have to take care of ourselves. We can’t handle everything or we become frazzled. Self-care should be a priority. His strength is ours and we should dress ourselves in the clothing of godliness daily.
She is diligent and hard-working –
18. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
As a mom or wife, have you ever had a project you had to finish. Finishing the project meant staying up late and working hard. I’ve done it. It’s not much fun but when the project is complete there is a great sense of accomplishment. Do you have a project on your heart to do for your family? Write a book? Finish some pictures? Plan your week? If it requires a late night to complete, it’s worth it. I’m not suggesting doing this all the time but occasionally is worth the effort. We can do anything for a season, right?
She is generous –
20. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.
Okay guys, confession, I need to be more generous. I focus on my personal finances and other things in my life that I fail to see other’s needs around me. I have to be intentional about stepping out of my selfish world to see someone that I can help. It doesn’t mean you have to give money. Time is one of the most valuable gifts you can give. Is there an elderly person in your life that needs a visit? Opportunity!! Maybe there’s a new mom that needs a couple hours to herself? Opportunity!! You get the picture. Let’s reach out more.
She is prepared –
21. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
Are you prepared for bad weather? Are you prepared for bad days? They are coming! If you are not prepared, spend some time thinking about what area you need to strengthen your fortress. For me, I need to have more items for my kids for days of stress and exhaustion; i.e. quiet bags, pre-made crafts, etc. This will save me some sanity on days that need a little independent or quiet time.
She is well-dressed and her home is attractive –
22. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
One of the areas that our husbands need us is in the domestic realm. We should all know by now that men don’t appreciate high thread count sheets or a well decorated kitchen the way we do. That’s ok. According to this verse, we should own this for our families. We should make sure our homes are tidy and that we are well dressed. Please don’t misunderstand – this is not an invitation to shop uncontrollably. It’s an invitation to make sure our home and our families have what we need. Recently, we had to get a new bed and linens. Our old didn’t survive the move. When I picked our bedding, I wanted something that suited us. Each night I think ‘my bed is pretty’. I’m amazed at how relaxing our room is when our bed is well dressed. Win!!
She is strong and doesn’t worry –
25. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
Do you worry? Do you have anxiety? Are you nostalgic? Maybe you shouldn’t be. Maybe I shouldn’t be. I struggle here. I can honestly say that I want myself to be covered with strength and dignity. I want God to cover me with these attributes so that I can focus on what is most important – today.
She is wise and yet kind –
26. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
This lady has it going on! She’s smart, savvy, and can control her tongue. I get so wrapped up in being in charge that I start talking poorly. If wisdom and kindness leave your mouth, you are a virtuous woman indeed.
She isn’t lazy –
27. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
There are some days that I need to sit in my pjs and enjoy a quiet day with my little family. Have you ever noticed that when you have a lazy day you either feel restless or you just want to veg out some more? Perhaps we should enjoy a rest while doing something. Idleness is dangerous. Let’s be extra cautious of idleness.
She fears the Lord –
30. Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Fearing the Lord is a great quality, indeed. Fearing means to have a Lordship respect for the almighty. We should realize that He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and a lot more. We should want to be more like Him because of our fear or strong respect for the Father.
This chapter is full of God’s wisdom for our lives.
How can you implement these habits into your life today? Leave a comment below.