By Kimberly Mulvaney
The Proverbs 31 woman, though nameless, is revered by many Christian women today. It is an exemplary description of a good wife. Though we all strive to be this kind of woman, if you’re like me then you feel that you are always falling short.
With all of the demands society puts on us women how in the heck do we learn to be good wives, and what exactly does that even mean? Well, it will look differently for everybody as every marriage is different. However, we can look to the Proverbs 31 woman for guidance on how to be a good wife.
If you’ve ever read the passage, it is filled with descriptions of a woman sewing clothes, going out to fetch water, and going out to get flax and seed for her family. Luckily, we have many modern-day conveniences so that we do not have to make everything for our families from the bare-bones of it all. So how does this description apply to a modern-day woman?
“She is vigilant over the activities of her household; she doesn’t eat the food of laziness.” Verse 27
The modern-day Proverbs 31 woman is not lazy! “She seeks out wool and flax……..she is like a fleet of merchant ships, bringing food from a distance……..she doesn’t put her lamp out at night. She puts her hands to the spindle.”
I definitely don’t seek out wool and flax, nor do I put my hands to the spindle. Though we have modern-day conveniences so we don’t have to do these things, these descriptions are simply trying to encourage us to work diligently for our families.
In today’s times, this may mean getting up every day and heading off to a job to provide income for your family. This could mean being a homemaker and tending to the needs of the home. Getting the groceries, buying warm clothes for your family to wear, and making a stable income are all examples of how the Proverbs 31 woman’s description of hard work plays out in today’s society.
“She reaches out to the needy; she stretches out her hands to the poor.” Verse 20
Meeting the needs of those less fortunate than us is not a concept for biblical times only. I don’t have to tell you all that there is much need in our world to help the poor.
With all of the needs of the world, it can feel overwhelming to try and make a difference. It may even feel hopeless, like the little things you are doing don’t make enough of a difference. Let me reassure you that God has put specific desires in each of our heart’s so that collectively we may make a difference in the world.
Some of us may have a soft spot for animals, others for children, the elderly, our veterans, those with disabilities, or even serving the needs of people overseas. Whatever God has planted in your heart, I encourage you to find even a small way to make a difference in that area.
Perhaps you feel overwhelmed with the needs of your own family. Understandable! See this verse as encouragement to meet the needs of your family, whatever they may be. Your family is just as important as the other’s in this world in need. Another idea is to get your family involved! Serving others side by side can be a great way for you and your man to bond. Find volunteer opportunities for you to pursue together, and plant the seed of service in the heart’s of those you love.
“…..she works joyfully with her hands.” Verse 13
The Proverbs 31 wife does not complain about the work she has to do. She works joyfully! How often do we gripe about the dishes in the sink, the dirty bathroom floors, the piles upon piles of laundry? I, for one, will admit to griping about all of these things at one point or another.
With a change in perspective, we can find more joy in the mundane. Dishes in the sink means that we are fortunate enough to have food to eat. Heck, that we are fortunate enough to have a kitchen to cook our food! Piles of laundry means we are well-clothed. Dirty bathroom floors mean we have access to indoor plumbing for daily self-care. Many people in the world do not have these things at all, and would likely trade their circumstances for our messes!
Be grateful that we have these tasks to do, as they are a reflection of our many blessings. Feel the joy that comes from not only keeping up a home, but serving our loved-ones by providing a clean and comfortable home. As they say, there’s no place like home!
“Her husband entrusts his heart to her, and with her he will have all he needs.” Verse 11
Us women are pretty amazing aren’t we? God himself says that we hold the power to give our husbands all that they need! Little old me, you may say? Yes, you my friend!
We have the opportunity to make our husband happy, comfortable, and healthy. Our men are the most important people in our lives, and we should feel joyful to make them happy. If he can’t find joy in his wife, his life partner, then who can he find joy in?
Trusting each other to be physically faithful is certainly one piece of this pie. But our husband’s trust in us goes beyond physical fidelity. It includes him being able to trust us to maintain confidentiality. In marriage, we share our most inner wants and needs with each other. Our husband’s should be able to trust that we are not going to tell everyone everything that we discuss behind closed doors.
Showing respect is another way he entrusts us with his heart. Being disrespectful is one of the quickest ways for our husbands to lose our trust. He will be constantly walking on eggshells, hesitant that he may do or say the wrong thing because we might snap at them. Let’s be gentle and patient when communicating with our husbands. They chose us to spend their entire life with, over every other woman in the world, so let’s at least give them these simple acts of kindness!
“Many women act competently, but you surpass them all!” Verse 29
Hopefully this clears up some confusion you may have when trying to figure out how to mimic the likings of the Proverbs 31 woman. Working hard, helping those in need, working joyfully, and being wives our men can trust their hearts with are all ways we can live out the high standards of this nameless woman. Remember: your value is above pearls!
Hi all! I’m Kim, a simple girl from the heartland. I have a love for the slow-paced country lifestyle, my amazing husband and sweet chocolate lab, and Jesus who’s provided me with all these blessings. My purpose with this blog is to share tid-bits about God’s glory so you may be encouraged to pursue Him through gratitude for life’s beauty and simple living.
Check out more of Kim’s work at http://www.simplyfilled.com!