Proverbs 31:26-31

In Proverbs 31:26-31 King Lemuel’s mother continues with her expose on the excellent wife. She begins by describing a woman filled with wisdom. She is a beautiful person on the inside. She has what is often described and valued in the Book of Proverbs—wise speech and words that show the law of kindness. Both her deliberate speech (she opens her mouth) and her spontaneous words (on her tongue) are marked by wisdom and kindness. “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” This is one of the most important characteristics of this woman who with all her eminence and excellence, was of a meek and quiet spirit.

She is observant of her family and what they are doing. The choice to watch so carefully means that she does not choose to sit idly by or being consumed by her own selfish ways. “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Trapp wrote “She hath an oar in every boat, an eye in every business; she spies and pries into her children’s and servants’ carriages, and exacts of them strict conversation and growth in godliness: she overlooks the whole family no otherwise than if she were in a watch tower.”  She is paying attention to everyone and everything all the time.

A woman of such character and wisdom rightfully receives the blessings and praises of her family. Both her children and her husband not only see, but also speak of the blessedness of the woman who brings such blessing to their household. This is not only a description of the excellent wife, but also an exhortation to children and a husband to bless and praise the mother and wife of godly character. “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Her husband praises his wife with words that encourage, reward, and nourish her. Every home can have a wife and mother that stands apart like this excellent wife; then every husband can legitimately feel “I’ve got the best wife” and children feel, “We have the best mom.”

King Lemuel’s mother noted the passing nature of outer beauty and the deceitful nature of manipulative charm. In contrast, a woman who fears the Lord has beauty that does not pass and charm that does not deceive. “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.” Proverbs begins with a strong connection between wisdom and the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). Here the collection ends describing the excellent wife as being filled with the wisdom, beauty, and charm that marks a woman who fears the Lord.

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.


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