The last chapter of Proverbs stays consistent with the over-riding theme to impart wisdom to the following generation. In this hymn we hear words of advice from the mother of King Lemuel as she teaches her son what traits to look for in a woman when considering her as a wife. In today’s study, instead of looking at these verses specifically as traits that wives may or may not be able to attain, we are going to broaden the scope to include all Christians. The manner in which we lead our daily lives is to be in a daily, hour-by-hour, act of worship of God as modeled in these verses by the “good wife.”
Key Verses: (MSG)
10: “A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.” – God is seeking and values people who are willing to immerse their lives into humble servanthood.
12: “Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.” – In the life of a servant there is never a selfish moment. Instead, the needs of others always come first.
17: “First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.” – Christ’s servant finds joy in the mundane and is diligently focused on the tasks that need to be accomplished.
18: “She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.” – There is value, even a sense of urgency, in the tasks required for the building of God’s kingdom.
20: “She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.” – Again, we read a verse that stresses the importance of reaching out and helping those in need.
21: “She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows…” – Difficult and stormy times may come but the faithful servant has learned to trust and rely on God in all things.
26: “When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.” – James admonishments concerning the unbridled tongue come to mind in these verses.
30: “…the woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.” – God has created us to worship Him in everything we do and He rejoices when that happens.
Points to Contemplate:
Are you a “good wife” for Christ?
Are you “worth far more than diamonds?” Have you dedicated your life to be a humble servant for Christ? Do you look up to the woman portrayed in these verses, praying that you could be like her? Or, do you feel that she has become enslaved by her position of servanthood and will be unable to fulfill her potential as an individual if all she does is mindlessly serve others? Can this woman be admired in today’s world?
Do you rise early each morning, “eager to get started” at the tasks that lay before you? Do you find joy in serving others? Are you willing to set your own needs aside so that those around you can be nourished? Do you look for ways to bring joy, happiness, and even “exotic surprises” into the lives you serve? Do you sense the value of your work? Do you recognize urgency and necessity of the tasks that God has presented before you?
Do you see servanthood as an act of worship? When we deny our selves and place our lives on the altar of sacrifice, are we not worshipping God? Can you hear the heavens rejoice with each selfless act of service? Are you blessed, even energized, through your acts of service? Can you feel God’s admiration? Does everything feel right when you serve others, when you reach out to those who are weak and administer to the needs of the poor? Promises of the Gospel:
As twenty-first century Americans, we do not hold in high esteem the image of a woman who slaves from dawn to dusk in order to tirelessly provide for the needs of her family. We have come to wonder why this woman would forego her own needs and career to do nothing more than cook and clean. On the other hand, we also look upon this woman as an unachievable model with unrealistic expectations. Anyone trying to be like her would fall short. Why? Because there is no sense of reward. There is no glory. It is a thankless job that nobody notices. But there is reward and it is the only reward that counts, God’s praise. We are all called, as Christians, to be humble servants. It is a fulfilling life once we begin to see that each moment we are serving others is a moment of worship to God.