An excellent wife is hard to find. Steph Nickel continues this 3 part series and shares what she has learned from Proverbs 31 – an excellent source of Old Testament wisdom.
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An Excellent Wife
I gave today’s devotional the title “An Excellent Wife.” If each of us were to share what we thought were the qualities of such a woman, we’d come up with a wide variety of answers. Those answers would be based on our gender, background, culture … many factors. But our most important resource in this and other practical matters is the Word of God.
(I often refer to this woman as “an excellent wife” because that’s the way she is referred to in today’s passage. However, whether we’re married or single, we can learn much from her.)
Let’s take a couple of days to look at the “excellent wife” described in Proverbs 31. We have much to learn from her.
Today, let’s read verses 10-20: “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. 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, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy” (ESV).
Verse 10 says, “An excellent wife who can find?” (ESV) This question indicates this kind of woman is rare.
She is also valuable, as indicated by the statement, “She is far more precious than jewels” (ESV).
What constitutes this kind of woman?
What Kind of Wife Is She?
She is one who does nothing to break her husband’s trust. He can have full confidence in her. I have often prayed that verse 12 would be true of me, that I would do Dave good and not harm all the days of my life.
The woman described in these verses is a business woman, but her business revolves around meeting the needs of her household.
One word in verse 13 jumps off the page at me: willing. Too often I don’t exercise right priorities. My home and family don’t always get the time and attention they should. And more than my actions, my attitude is even more important.
When my children were young, I forfeited tending to household chores—and teaching my sons and daughter to pitch in—in favour of keeping the peace. While there may have been a time to do so, my three are now grown and I am slowly becoming more willing to expend more energy around the house.
This Woman Rises Early
The woman described in Proverbs 31 rises early to care for her family. It seems as if she is out and about before others are even awake.
There are times I stay up late or rise early to work in my home office while my husband and daughter are sleeping. However, I often lose sleep because I’m watching television or playing a game on my phone. I can’t imagine the “excellent wife” described in today’s passage would do so, even if she did live in the 21st century.
I’m not suggesting we make ourselves sick by not getting enough sleep or burn ourselves out by not taking any time to relax, but it’s important to be honest with ourselves and make sure our priorities line up with those God has set out in His Word.
I love what the passage says in verse 13: “She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy” (ESV).
An excellent wife looks out not only for the needs of her household but also for the needs of those who have not been blessed as she has.
The Proverbs 31 woman is a hardworking business woman who looks to the needs of her family and ministers to the poor and needy as well.
Be In Prayer About This Woman
If today’s devotional has made you uncomfortable …
If you’d just as soon ignore this description of an excellent wife …
If you find yourself thinking you’re already being pulled in a dozen different directions …
If these statements are true, I encourage you to go back over the passage. Read through it prayerfully. Ask the Lord to change your heart, to give your right motives, to give you insight as to how these verses are to apply to your life—whether you’re married or single.
Take a look at your To Do list. Ask the Lord what He would have you continue to do and what He may be calling you to set aside. Ask for wisdom and direction.
Also, take a close look at your motivation for each task. Ask yourself why you do what you do. Be honest with yourself.
Trust me. I’m not pointing fingers. I know these truths in my head, but I don’t live them out as I should. Too often I do what I do from selfish motives.
I am so thankful the Lord doesn’t simply lay this out before us and say, “Now, go and accomplish all this in your own strength.”
That would be impossible.
The Lord will give us the desire, the motivation, and the ability to accomplish all He calls us to. Now that’s encouraging!
Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio. Read and hear more from Steph Nickel on the contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.
Stephanie’s show, “Family Life Lessons,” airs from Monday to Friday on HopeStreamRadio.
Read More About Excellent Wives
An Excellent Wife – They Call Her Blessed – Proverbs 31
Images courtesy of:
Holding Hands – Colle
Woman With Tea – JESHOOTScom
Business Woman – StockSnap
Meat Market – strecosa
To Do List – analogicus
Brenda Wood – Enough Already
Bryan Windle – Archaeological Evidence for Daniel
Carol Ford – Looking Toward the Future
Carol Harrison – Challenges