When I was in college I remember being quite immature, as college students often are. As a bible major we were often asked to give “inspirational” bible verses. The one I think that was most frequently tossed around was Prov. 31:10a. “A worthy woman who can find?” This was often done in jest. But, the reality is, it is a worthwhile question to ask.
A worthy woman who can find? This is not to say that a worth woman could not be found. Rather, that a worthy woman was not easy to find. Now, I know that there are woman who will no doubt attack that assertion and want to drag me over the coals for saying it. However, the wise man was the one the told his son this truth. He worded this question in such a way that his son would get it. A worthy woman, an excellent wife is not something you can just pick up at the Five and Dime. Sadly, this is the manner in which many try to find a bride (or husband for that matter). Solomon was not encouraging his son to belittle his wife. Solomon was not encouraging his son to belittle all woman. Solomon was encouraging his son to be mindful of the type of woman he would make his bride. It is easy to find a woman to marry a king’s son. It is not easy to find a woman who is a worthy or excellent wife.
Today is Mother’s Day. Today woman all across America are being honored by their children and their husbands. They might have received breakfast in bed, flowers, a handcrafted gift, a day off from cooking etc. But, not everyone honored is worthy. I know, that it not popular to say, but here me out. In a culture that feels the need to reward participation, it leads to a lot of mediocrity. Why seek to be excellent when you can get the same reward by just showing up? A lot of mothers (and fathers) are doing just that. They are expecting respect, honor and “greatness in the eyes of their children” by simply showing up every morning. I get it, some mornings should be deemed a victory by just showing up. But Solomon want us parents, and specifically in our text, wives and mothers, to aim higher than just showing up. So, what does Solomon say make a woman worthy?
She is Trustworthy. “The heart of her husband does safely trust in her, so that he has no need of spoil (Prov. 31:11).” The immediate context has to do with how she spends money in the home. I am certain that we all have seen commercials, movies, or met someone that feels the need to own as many shoes, purses, knickknacks, etc as humanly possible. Often times the home is brought to financial ruin because the husband cannot trust his wife to not spend every dime that is brought into the home. (It is one thing to provide for needs, it is quite another to spend money simply because it is there). An excellent wife, a worthy woman has earned the trust of her husband by not over spending. The idea of trust however continues throughout this chapter. In the end he has to trust that she can and will do all that is needed around the house, with the kids, and certainly when it comes to other relationships. A worthy woman is a woman that does not give her husband a reason to doubt that she will always be faithful. A worthy woman is a woman that doesn’t give her children a reason to doubt that their mother is devoted to their father.
She is a Provider. “She is not afraid for her household; for all her household are clothed in scarlet (Prov. 31:21).” I know that the following verses talks about her sewing skills. This verse ought not be taken too literally. She doesn’t have to worry about her family in the cold winter night (The harshest of nights) because she has already met that need. She had provided for her family in such a way that no one needs to worry about what to eat or what to wear, because those needs have always been met in each situation. I know typically we think of the husband being the provider for the home. While it is true that traditional roles have men as the primary bread winner, there is more to being a provider than just earning money. There are people with lots of money that pay a nanny to do the providing. In that circumstance, who do you think the children learn to trust? It isn’t mom or dad. It is the nanny. It is not money that provides the needs of children, it is the carrying parent that uses his or her resources to meet those needs. Be a worthy mother by taking care of your kids.
She Honors her Family. “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land (Prov. 31:23).” He is not just known by the leaders of town, he is known in a positive way. If you want to be a worthy woman, an excellent wife, ask yourself, what do others think about your husband by your behavior?
Grinnell church of Christ
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A Worthy Woman
Volume 8 Issue 19