“An excellent wife, who can find, she is far more precious that jewels.” Proverbs 31:10
Have you ever felt like you were less than perfect as a wife? One thing that I have learned over these short 4 years of marriage is that every marriage goes through struggles at one point or another. I am learning that the first years are also one of the hardest and most trying periods. There are so many new things that you have to learn about your spouse. Lots of things change after you enter into this new season. You find that it seemed like you went on so many dates when you were not married, and now you would be lucky if you got one in a month, especially after children come into the picture. Before marriage you saw each other as perfection, and now you see quite a lot of flaws.
Ryan’s and my single goal for our marriage is to have it be as strong as possible. We want to be so close to each other that every second we are away from each other we are missing being together. We want our family to be as close to Christ as possible and to be leading godly lives together.
As I was thinking about this goal tonight, I started to read Proverbs 31 again. I was asking God to teach me what I need to do to make our marriage head faster in the direction of our goal. Here is how He answered me.
I discovered 9 different attributes that a wife after God’s heart exhibits. (This certainly applies to any woman as well, not just those who are married.)
- She displays self control
(v. 11-12) “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.”
A man is able to trust in his wife and never worry about anything with her because he can trust that she is never going to do anything that would jeopardize any aspect of their life or family. Areas of struggle for many women could be finances (girls just like to have fun right?), gossip, an unforgiving spirit, and much more. If a husband can trust that his wife is going to have good self control in all areas of life, he can trust that in all the days of her life, she will never bring harm in any way to him.
- She is selfless
There are many verses in chapter 31 that talk about selflessness as opposed to selfishness.
“She does good to him and not harm.” (v. 12)
“She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household.” (v. 15) I mean come on, who doesn’t want to sleep in?
“She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.” (v. 20)
In today’s world, it is all about “I.” We see it in commercials, movies, tv, magazines, books, the internet, and much more. The world is convincing us to be a “me first” type of person. We should not be concerned with other people, we should only do whatever makes us happy, and whatever would advance our lives.
Our divorce rates are going through the roof because we have people who are dissatisfied with their marriages and they think their spouse isn’t doing enough to satisfy their own needs. I’m not discrediting the fact that we have needs. I know we all do. But imagine a world that was “you first?” Imagine a marriage that was, “What can I do to make life easier for you?”
I am horrible at this. Honesty moment, I am probably one of the most selfish wives out there, and have found myself fallen into the trap of the “Me first” mentality time and time again, and I am sick of it. This is not how God created us to be. He designed us to be there for one another, helping each other in any and all circumstances. He created woman out of man, to be his helper. So why are we not helping ladies?
- She is business savvy
(V. 16) She considers a field to buy and plant a vineyard.
There is a lot of wisdom that comes from this one little verse. First of all, it does not say that she just goes out and buys a field just because she can, but that she “considers a field.” I believe that in this verse God is calling women to make all their decisions be made through prayer. Sometimes we just react to things, we don’t weigh the pros and cons. This type of behavior can be dangerous at times, especially for our finances. But through prayer, and careful research and consideration, we can make godly and wise decisions that will be the best for our family.
(v. 24) She makes things to sell, and delivers them to companies.
A wife after God’s heart is one who takes care of her family, but she knows her giftings and passions and utilizes them to make a profit for her family. Whether you are a stay at home mama, or you are a working mama, it does not matter. A woman after God’s heart will be able to find out what God has blessed her with and will be able to use that wisely to help provide for her family.
- Her strength comes from the Lord, even in weakness
(v. 17) “She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.”
(v. 25) “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the times to come.”
We all know that we are weak, and in our own doing, we are not able to accomplish anything. We can try and try, (and we do) but we will never amount to anything on our own. We will fail every time. Philippians 4:13, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Or 2 Corinthians 12:10, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Throughout the bible God shows us that we are weak, and only He is strong. This is so comforting to know that He is there in our weaknesses to make us strong in those moments when we need His strength the most. He is there to carry us through any and all circumstances.
A wife after God’s heart is able to realize that she is weak, and that God can, and will give her the strength she needs throughout each and every day. Lean on Him, and He will fill you up always!
- Her trust is in the Lord
(v. 18) “She perceives that her merchandise is profitable”
Notice that it says, “She perceives.” It is so easy for us women to look down on ourselves and practice self-doubt. We try new things and we doubt our ability to accomplish them. We make things and we doubt if they are good or not. We doubt our parenting, we doubt our decisions. I mean honestly, we doubt just about everything we do. But when a woman sets her eyes on the Lord, she stops the doubting and starts believing in the power of God and the ability that He gives. We will find that when we trust in the Lord with all our heart, strength and mind, we will start to drown the noise of the enemy, and he will soon be cast out of our lives forever, leaving only room for trust and faith in God.
- She is connected to God intimately and closely
(v. 18) “Her lamp does not go out in darkness.”
Figuratively speaking, Our lamp is basically our souls, or our own strength. And the oil that goes in our lamps is God. How do we feed souls and strength with God? We read His word daily and we pray constantly, “Without ceasing.” We make the choice daily to be connected with God, our oil source, and constantly be growing deeper and deeper in relationship with Him. We meditate day and night on His word. This is vital for us. If we are not constantly connected with Him, and our oil runs out, our strength and soul fails us when trouble comes. When sickness comes over you or your household, you can do one of two things. You can practice joy 24/7 and live your life in peace. Or you can practice a spirit of fear and stress and worry. Your soul and strength will fail you and you will struggle to make it out of the darkness in one piece.
- She gives without holding back
(v. 20) “She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.”
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it hard to give my tithe at church on Sundays. Sometimes people ask me for help with things, and I find it hard to say yes. I sure hope I am not alone in this struggle.
God calls us to give without abandon. To give so much and not worry about anything. In return he promises to bless us richly.
Just take into consideration the widow with a small child. Elijah went to her and told her to make him some bread with the only flour she had left. In return he told her that God promised she would never go hungry through the drought that was over the land. She was afraid, and said that she just wanted to make one last loaf for her and her child so that they could eat it and then die. BUT, Elijah was in need and God wanted to teach us all something. God moved the widow’s heart to trust in the promise of the Lord. She turned the last of her flour into bread and gave it to Elijah, and imagine what happened next. Through the entire drought, the widow had enough flour to keep her, her son, and Elijah alive.
She gave, and God blessed. This story inspires me so much. If a widow who had nothing can give all she had left to someone in need while only clinging to the trust she had in the promise of the Lord, then who am I to keep what I have to myself when someone else needs it more.
- She’s not stingy
(v. 21-22) “She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself, her clothing is fine linen and purple.”
Something to note before moving into this passage is that purple and scarlet were costly linen in biblical times. It was not something that all people had access to. Purple also signifies royalty because it is known in times of old to be costly.
When we think about the time period, and what these items meant in that time, we can see that a woman after God’s heart is not stingy on the items she purchases for her family. We know that a lot of the time items that are more expensive can be better quality than items that are less expensive (not always, but a lot of the time.)
For example, certain vegetables are healthier to buy organic. However, sometimes they can be more costly than non-organic vegetables. If we go off of what this verse is saying, a wise wife would not cut corners, but buy only the very best for her family in wisdom.
To allow for the best health possible, instead of buying the cheap cans of spaghetti-o’s at the store, she would pay the extra to buy the more wholesome and nutritious foods for her family because she knows that that is what is best for them. Also keep in mind that we know from earlier that she also makes wise decisions and considers everything before she jumps into it. A wise woman would buy the best quality for her family, but first prayerfully consider the cost and other factors before hand.
- She has wisdom in her speech
(v. 26) The teaching of kindness is on her lips.
This is so important for us to understand because, for anybody really, the tongue can be the most dangerous part of our body. It has the power to heal, and the power to destroy just by one word. A woman who is seeking God, and a wise wife will consider EVERYTHING that comes from her mouth before she even utters a word.
Are the words that you are about to say helpful to the other person? Are they going to draw them closer to God? Do they edify yourself, or to they edify the other person.
A huge struggle with everyone today is gossip and slander. Sometimes we even justify it with a sly little remark like, “Oh, you should pray for so and so.” If you are finding yourself talking about someone else and their situation while asking someone to pray about it, ask yourself these simple questions. Is the person you are telling actually going to pray about it? Are you willing to pray about it right then and there? Are you willing to tell the person you talked about that you told someone else so they could pray about it too? Are you willing to tell the person you talked about that you prayed for them? If you can not say yes to these questions, then you probably shouldn’t be talking about this with someone else, and you have fallen into the trap of gossip. Christ calls us to speak with love and kindness to everyone.
What are your desires for your marriage? What do you want your family to look like in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? Do you want to see it vibrant and whole, or crumbling and undesirable? Do you want a good marriage, or do you want the best marriage you can possibly have?
God desires to fill your marriage and your family full to the brim and overflowing with His goodness and blessings. He wants you to be in a tight relationship with Him, so closely connected that there is no room for the enemy to pick and tear at you or your family. Cling to Him, and He will make all your desires a reality.