Archive for December 26th, 2012

Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31 talks about an excellent wife.  Having one myself, this chapter just made me smile.  Solomon says it this way: “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels”.  There is nothing better than a marriage that is lived God’s way.  It isn’t easy, and I struggle to do it consistently, but when we are focused on each other and not self, when we are living in covenant relationship instead of thinking about what we need or want or should get, when we are loving by choice and married by commitment – things are very good.  My bride is more precious than jewels.  She is more valuable than gold or any precious metal.  She is the joy of my life.

Solomon goes on to remind us that relationship matters.  “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain”.  When we do marriage right – when we have the relationship the way God intended – there is no lacking of anything.  The blessing of a marriage done God’s way is amazing.  It is built on a foundation of trust – trust in each other.  Trust in God and the way He created each of us.  The reality is that God is the Author of life – He alone created my bride the way He did – and who am I to question that and spend my life trying to change His creation.  But that is often what we do in marriage.  We spend all our time trying to change our spouse, rather than focusing on what we can change – which is ourselves.  That is what God wants us to do – to change our heart and get our attitude right – not focus on trying to change our spouse into what we think we want.  Why?  Because we really don’t know what we want.  But God does.  And He created our spouse perfectly for what we need, not what we think we want.

The chapter goes on to give a very detailed list of what an excellent wife looks like.  Check these things out:

–       “She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life

–       She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands

–       She is like the ships of the merchant

–       she brings her food from afar

–       She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens

–       She considers a field and buys it

–       with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard

–       She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong

–       She perceives that her merchandise is profitable

–       Her lamp does not go out at night

–       She puts her hands to the distaff

–       her hands hold the spindle

–       She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy

–       She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet

–       She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple

–       Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land

–       She makes linen garments and sells them

–       she delivers sashes to the merchant

–       Strength and dignity are her clothing

–       she laughs at the time to come

–       She opens her mouth with wisdom

–       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

–       Her children rise up and call her blessed

–       her husband also, and he praises her

What a list.  Seem overwhelming?  It is if you try to accomplish those things on your own.  But God created the list, which means He is able to help wives achieve it.  In His power, in His way, you can be an excellent wife!

So guys get off easy?  Maybe in this chapter.  But actually there is one very important thing that Solomon calls out here.  That is for husbands to praise their wife.  He writes it this way: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all”.  That truly describes my bride.  When is the last time you praised your wife?  Publicly?  A lot of us are pretty good at complaining or asking for more, but pretty lousy at praising our wife and kids.  God calls us to do that.  Not once, not once in a while, but regularly and publicly.  An excellent wife is a great gift from God.  I am certainly blessed by my bride every day.  And for that I am grateful.  She is all that I could ever hope for, and the greatest earthly gift that God can provide.  Thank you Lord for my bride!

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