Tuesday 10 October 2017
The book of Proverbs is full of words of wisdom on the subject of marriage. Proverbs 5:1-23 and Proverbs 6:20-7:27 contain warnings to men to avoid committing adultery. There are also several one-verse proverbs that make observations about married life. But today we are going to look at the final verses of the book of Proverbs.
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
‘Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.’
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honour her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
If you thought that the Bible supports the idea of wives staying at home while husbands go out and earn money, then think again. The woman in this passage is praised for her hard work, business sense, generosity, wisdom and spiritual strength. These are characteristics to admire in all people, including women and men.