Who can find a virtuous wife?Proverbs 31:10-31
For her worth is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
She makes tapestry 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,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over 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:
“Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.
Last week, we started getting acquainted with this virtuous woman. What else can we learn about her?
Verse 11 says the heart (the Hebrew means the feelings, will, and intellect) of her husband safely trusts (is bold, confident or sure, relies on, is secure with) her. I want to point something out here. That word for husband? It can also be translated “chief man, ally, or one to whom it is due.” Who is that in your life? Who is your chief man? Your ally? Who should be able to trust you?
That pretty much sums up everyone we’re around, doesn’t it? Anyone and everyone can trust a virtuous woman.
“He will have no lack of gain.”
She doesn’t take his trust for granted. Now, I know that it sounds kind of redundant, but think about it. Of someone trusts you, wouldn’t it be easy to say, “Well, it’ll be okay if I push the rules a little bit; they trust me”? It could be. Here, the Bible is saying not only do the people around this woman trust her, she is worthy of that trust. The people around her are confident that she is putting her best effort into helping them. They are encouraged when they speak to her. She doesn’t gossip or fill space with empty talk. She helps them thoroughly, to the best of her ability. That goes along with the next verse where
“she does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
I want to go back to that commonplace word “does.” It indicates action, but the Hebrew means to treat a person well. That puts a double positive in this sentence. Then it says she doesn’t do him evil. A double negative turns into a positive. There is a triple positive concerning the virtuous woman doing good! She does him all the good she can. How long? “All the days of her life.” I find it significant that it says of her life, not his. She always speaks well of him; she doesn’t give him a bad reputation or complain about him when he isn’t around. She also doesn’t just bottle up disdain or bitterness inside of her toward him. She forgives when necessary, sees the best in him, and let’s God work through her. She doesn’t try to fix his faults or point them out to others. She does nothing to hurt his reputation, his character, or his person.
I don’t know about you, but I wish I were more like this woman. But what I do know is that I am, like her, being sanctified into the image of Christ. That is the model that we have here in the Proverbs 31 woman. We’ll continue next week.