I am in my second marriage.
I was not a good wife in my first marriage. I was not walking with God and had not yet taken an assessment of my ability to love well, or to love like God loves.
Proverbs 31:10-31 are probably the most famous verses about what it means to be a good wife…and some of the most intimidating verses. The fearful can only scan them, the curious can read them, the intentional study them,
but only the brave can pray them.
For example, here are only two of the 22 verses. Just two: When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Proverbs 31:25-26.
We just read those words, but now what?
When I say to “study,” I kind of mean to stare. Pause on each word. Concentrate on what each means. Face the meaning of the verses square in the eye. You can even look up the words in Greek or Hebrew in an app like biblehub.com.
When she speaks, her words are wise,
Pause there. Play back all of the words you said yesterday. How are you really doing?
[Don’t worry. Me too.]
and she gives instructions with kindness.
Pause again. Play back all of your tones of voice in your words yesterday. How do things stack up on the proverbial kindness-meter?
[Face grimaces. Head hangs. Me too.]
She carefully watches everything in her household.
Pause and stare. Do you give proper attention, or are you careless? Do you watch over everything, or do you play favorites with your responsibilities?
[The stuff I don’t like to do can get less attention, or none at all. You too?]
and suffers nothing from laziness.
Don’t leave this alone. Stare this right in the eye. Are you suffering anything from laziness, anything at all?
[This does not mean we can’t relax. This means when God asks, and we don’t.]
Facing the impossible? Facing a truthful assessment now?
because now you and I know we need God. He needs to show up in His power because we cannot look like these verses in our own strength.
We are now brave enough to pray.
Lord, when I speak, may my words be wise and my instructions kind. Allow me to carefully watch over everything in my household and suffer no consequences of being lazy in anything.
You did it. You prayed the impossible.
I am super proud of both of us for doing so. But what happens when in one hour, we already blow it?
Good news again!
Since we invited God into the process,
Things will start to shift.
- We may sometimes become more aware of our words and feel badly the instant we are unkind. This will lead to rapid confession and asking forgiveness.
- We may sometimes hear our words as they are coming out of our mouth and be able to stop ourselves mid-stream…rewind…and say it again, better.
- We may sometimes be able to stop the words before they begin to fly out of our mouth.
- We may sometimes stop thinking unwise and unkind thoughts in the first place.
Over time, things will improve.
Five years from now, you will compare your old self with your current self and be unbelievably grateful that you dared to pray the impossible because God showed up in the power of His Spirit and matured you into a better display of these verses to the world.
- Husbands, pray these verses for your wife.
- Wives, pray these verses for yourself.
- Moms, pray these verses for your daughter(s) or daughter(s)-in-law.
- Parents, pray your son(s) finds a wife that display these verses.
Today, let’s be brave. Don’t scan, read or study these Scriptures. PRAY them.
My father can read these verses and see them displayed in his wife of 60 years…this week!
The Virtues of a Noble Woman — all 22 verses
10 Who can find a wife of noble character? She is far more precious than rubies. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good and 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 rises while it is still night to provide food for her household and portions for her maidservants. 16 She appraises a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength and shows that her arms are strong. 18 She sees that her gain is good, and her lamp is not extinguished at night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household, for they are all clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known at the city gate, where he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She opens her mouth 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 rise up and call her blessed; her husband praises her as well: 29 Many daughters have done 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 Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her at the gates.
Picture Explanation: Love is in the air.
- This month my husband and I celebrated 27 years.
- Last week, our daughter got engaged.
- This week my parents celebrate 60 years!
- This week our daughter and son-in-law celebrate 15 years.
May each of us women love our husbands in such a way that our husbands praise us saying, “Many daughters have done noble things, but you surpass them all!” Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? Our husbands know there are other good wives in the world, but each thinks theirs is the best.
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