Proverbs 31 (select verses) ESV
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels. (v. 10)
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life. (v. 12; “him” is her husband)
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong. (v. 17)
Now, a lot of this proverb is cultural and time sensitive, and this woman did have servants to help her with all her work, and it was written in a time period when we did not have all the modern conveniences that we have today, so I am going to speak of this more in terms of what a godly woman should be like in the culture of today here in America. And not every godly woman has a husband and children who love and support her in what she does and who sing her praises, especially in today’s culture.
A godly woman in America today should be a woman of God who is dedicated to serving the Lord Jesus with her life, and who is committed to loving her husband and children and the family of God. She does her husband good and not harm. She does for him the good that the Scriptures teach that a woman of God should do, and she does no evil to him. She cares about his needs and she reaches out to meet those needs as best she is able according to the will of God.
She dresses herself spiritually with the strength and wisdom of God, and she relies on the strength of the Lord to do what God has called her to do. And she does the works of God which he prepared in advance that she should walk in them, but in His strength and power and not in her own strength. For she has answered the call of God to go wherever he sends her and to do and to say whatever it is he commands. And so she is doing the will of God for her life in serving the Lord in the ministry he has for her to do.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
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. (vv. 18b-20)
This woman of God is not lazy. She is not slothful. She is a dedicated servant of the Lord. And she will stay up in the night or get up in the middle of the night if the Lord has something he wants her to do, especially if she works for him full-time and she is not obligated by another paying job. So, no matter if it is day or night she will do what the Lord calls her to do, which includes being generous and giving to others in their needs. For she loves others as God loves her, and she cares about their true needs.
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.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness. (vv. 25-27)
This woman of God is not worldly, she is not sleezy nor provocative, and she dresses modestly and is not vulgar. She is a woman of enormous faith in the Lord Jesus who wants to please her Lord in all that she does. And so she is holy unto God, living a life which is separate (unlike, different) from the world because she is being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. She is not perfect, but she is dedicated to following the Lord in obedience and to not walking in sin.
She walks in the wisdom of the Lord and she exercises that wisdom in her daily life and teachings and in how she handles her life situations. Again, she is not absolutely perfect in all that she does, but she does seek the counsel of the Lord in what to do and in what to say and in how she is to live and in how she is to speak to and treat others, etc. And the kindness she exercises does not include lying to anyone nor placating sin, but she speaks the truth in love to others for their good.
She is not idle, and she does look to the ways of her household, but the Lord provides for her so that she can do his will, and she lives in a day and time and culture which provide many modern conveniences for her, so she does not have to do everything a woman had to do 100 years ago or more. But she does not live in filth and she is not neglectful of what needs to be taken care of in her home. But her home may not make it to “Better Homes and Gardens” to be on display, either. For her home is comfortable to live in.
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. (vv. 30-31)
As you age you begin to realize the reality of this ever more. For it is so true that charm is deceitful. And there are many “charming” people out there who are very deceitful. But many people like them, and they are drawn to them because of their charm, but they are not aware that these charmers often have a snake’s bite. And beauty is definitely fleeting and should not be our main focus. We should be clean people, but outward beauty is not what really matters. What matters is if we are beautiful inside.
For it is a woman who fears the Lord who is to be praised. And a woman who fears the Lord is a woman who takes God and his word seriously, and who walks in obedience to her Lord in walks of holiness and righteousness, and no longer walks in sin. She listens to the Lord, and she follows him wherever he leads her, and she does not resist him nor refuse him. No matter what God calls her to do, she works for him in what she does, and so she bears the fruit of righteousness and holiness, and not of sin. Praise the Lord!
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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