In earlier devotions from Proverbs 31 we noted two distinct divisions to this chapter. The first division was the Queen mother’s instructions and counsel to her son who would one day be king, verses 1-9. The second division, beginning with Proverbs 31:10, continues to the final verse of the chapter. The latter division expresses the king’s reflections, love and admiration for the godly and virtuous character of his mother. Such a woman is a model for every wife and mother.
I have identified four virtuous qualities of the king’s mother in earlier devotions: She is rare, priceless jewel (31:10); responsible (31:11); righteous–a compliment to her husband’s character and reputation (31:12); and reliable: “worketh willingly [delight] with her hands…her candle goeth not out by night” (31:13-18).
Continuing in Proverbs 31 we note five additional qualities that are descriptive of the virtuous woman’s extraordinary influence on her husband, family and peers (31:19-30).
1) The virtuous woman is creative (31:19). She provides clothing for her household.
Proverbs 31:19 – “She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.” [spinning flax and wool into cloth]
2) The virtuous woman is compassionate and caring (31:20-21). a) She is selfless and generous; extending charity toward those less fortunate (31:20).
Proverbs 31:20 – “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”
b) She provides the finest clothing to protect her family from the cold (13:21).
Proverbs 31:21 – “She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.”
3) The virtuous woman is celebrated... Distinguished for the honor she is to her husband and home [unlike the scandalous wife of Proverbs 7] (31:22-24)
Proverbs 31:22-24 – “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.”
4) The virtuous woman is courtly and noble (31:25-29). She is strong, confident and competent – “Strength and honour are her clothing…” (31:25). She is wise – “She openeth her mouth with wisdom…” (31:26a) and instructs her children and servants. She is gracious – “…in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (31:26b-27). She is diligent (31:27) – Overseeing the affairs of her household; she is not idle. She is praised (31:28-29) – Inspiring her children and husband to publicly praise and commend (31:28-29). She is comely (31:30). Physical beauty is fleeting; however, the grace and godly character of the virtuous wife and mother are endearing and enduring.
Proverbs 31:30 – “Favour [charm; grace] is deceitful [lies; unreliable], and beauty is vain [temporal; passing]: but a woman that feareth [reverences] the LORD, she shall be praised.”
What is the secret of this woman of extraordinary skills and godly character? She reveres the Lord and loves His Word (31:30).
Proverbs 1:7 – “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Job 28:28 – “…Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.”
Proverbs 16:6b – “…by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith