Proverbs 31:10-12 ESV
“An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.”
Now, all the specifics of this passage of Scripture may not apply to our particular lives and circumstances today, depending on where we live and what age we are, and whether we are married or not, and whether or not we have children, and what our culture is like, etc. But there are principles here that we can learn from that we can apply to our lives no matter where we are in life and no matter where we live in this world.
A godly woman, whether married or not, should be a person who does good to others and who does no willful harm to anyone. But “good” is defined by God and by the Scriptures and not necessarily by the people of this world, and certainly not by our sinful flesh. In fact, “good” in the eyes of God might be considered evil in the eyes of the world, and it is being called evil today. And the same is true with “harm,” for the world has a different view from us.
And even if a woman does good and not harm, by God’s standards, and by his word, it doesn’t mean at all that she will be recognized as doing so. And if she is married, there are no guarantees that her husband will trust her or that he will praise her for her kindness, for her love, and for the good that she does and because she does not do harm to him. For not everyone sees things through the eyes of God or through the lens of the Scriptures.
For example, a woman who shares the gospel with others, as Jesus taught it and as his New Testament apostles taught it, which is doing good to others, and which is not doing them harm, might be accused of being judgmental or hateful and of saying things which are offensive and harmful to others. And that is because many people see the true gospel as hateful and judgmental for it confronts sin in sinful humans and it calls for repentance and for obedience to God. And some people might be offended by that.
Proverbs 31:19-20 ESV
“She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.”
A godly woman is not lazy. She works hard, for she works for the Lord. If she is elderly and is retired or if she is a homemaker and/or a stay-at-home mom, and thus she does not earn an income, it does not mean she does not work. So, just so you can be sensitized to this, never ask a woman if she works or assume she doesn’t work if she is not earning an income. It devalues women who choose to be homemakers and/or stay-at-home moms, and it devalues retirees suggesting they no longer work.
Now, there are lazy people in this world, so not everyone works. But we are talking on the subject of godly women here. A godly woman will work for the Lord and for her family. But with regard to the family, those needs change as children turn into adults and get married and have families of their own and as husbands retire and are no longer working outside the home for pay. So a woman’s role in the household can change with age and circumstances, including if her husband dies and if she is widowed.
A godly woman will also be generous and she will care about the needs of the poor, but not just the physically poor, but the poor in spirit, and those needing comfort and encouragement, and she will reach out to those who are in need physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually. But she will also be wise and discerning about who is truly in need and who is faking it, i.e. who is being deceptive and manipulative and is scamming people, too, for fraud and scamming are huge these days! So we need to be wise.
Proverbs 31:25-26 ESV
“Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
A godly woman will rely on the strength of the Lord. His strength and his dignity will be her clothing that she puts on and applies to her life. She will have no fear of the future because she knows that God is fully sovereign over all that he has made, and he is in control over all things. So, she will trust him with her future and she will not give way to fear. And there are many fearmongers out there in the world daily feeding us messages to try to make us afraid, but we must not let them make us fearful.
A godly woman should speak words of wisdom. It doesn’t mean that everything she speaks will be perfectly wise, but that she is a person who is wise and who speaks wise words as a matter of who she is and what she does. But that wisdom should be the wisdom of God and not the wisdom of the world. And she should teach kindness, but not the kindness of the world, but the kindness (grace) of God which teaches we must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness in heart response to his grace to us.
Proverbs 31:30-31 ESV
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.”
A woman who is charming may be enchanting and delightful, but she can also be enticing and alluring. And those are not the qualities of a godly woman. If we want to be godly we need to be holy in all our conduct. We need to take God and his word seriously, and we must be students of the Scriptures, women of prayer, and those who listen to the Holy Spirit and who walk in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (his instructions).
We should not be flirtatious nor be people who make jokes all the time to entertain people, but we should be people who represent Jesus Christ well. It doesn’t mean that we will do this perfectly all the time, but this should be what we are aiming toward, to be more and more like Jesus, and it should be how we walk, in practice, living the life that God has for us to live and doing the things he has called us to do in faithful obedience to him.
And if this is how we live, in obedience to our Lord, in allowing him to shape us and to mold us into his likeness, we will bear fruit in keeping with repentance and for the kingdom of heaven which will be for the praise and glory of God and for the building up of the church to maturity in Christ and for the salvation of human lives from slavery to sin. And this will be our reward, that via our obedience to our Lord, in his strength and power, we made a difference in other people’s lives for eternity. Glory to God!!
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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