Lucia's Blog: IN THE GARDEN: SHE SHALL BE CALLED WOMAN - THE EXCELLENT WIFE, PART FOUR
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

IN THE GARDEN: SHE SHALL BE CALLED WOMAN - THE EXCELLENT WIFE, PART FOUR

"An excellent wife, who can find?  For her worth is far above jewels ."
Proverbs 31:10



GOD'S PERFECT PLAN FOR EVERY WIFE:  
A WIFE'S UNDERSTANDING OF HER ROLE - PART ONE


All men and women in our times are influenced by the false doctrines of  "feminism."  Bible believing Christians know that we must change our culture back to the pattern that God gave us in the beginning.  How shall we make that change?  We have no hope of changing if both our men and our women don't accept the Bible pattern.  Please, give careful consideration to the following study of the excellent wife of Proverbs 31 as well as a fresh look at the Titus 2:5 woman.

In the Garden of Eden, God created man and woman in His image, Genesis 1:27.  God also gave them tasks to follow as His "image-bearer".  Each, man and woman, were to be in charge of His creation (to rule over) so that they might glorify Him.

"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'"          Genesis 1:26, emphasis added.
"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."   I Corinthians 10:31, emphasis added.

Since He created us in His image, we are accountable to Him.  We have the task and obligation to make wise and righteous choices for us to accomplish and fulfill our God-given duties. 

“… choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…”
Joshua 24:15, emphasis added.  
"… that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God."  Romans 3:19, emphasis added.




In the Word of God, we are instructed concerning the vital nature of both men and women as being equal.  Why?  Though men and women are made in His image, they are different in their physical bodies. 
"Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being… Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”  … So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that lace. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man."
Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-22
"For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve."  I Timothy 2:13

It is crucial that we understand the order of creation. God commanded specific roles for the husband and the wife.  God made the man rule over the earth and later over his wife.  God created the woman to be man's "help meet" or helper.  God intended the woman to be suitable for him; to complete him and to provide all that he was lacking.  Again, though they were created in God's image, God's plan or intention for each was that they assume different roles.  The woman was created for man, not man for woman. 

"For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.  For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man;  for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake."
I Corinthians 11:7-9, emphasis added.  

Later in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul makes mention of God's original plan for both.  The man is to glorify God, and the woman is to glorify man.




In the beginning, back in the garden of Eden, God's foremost intent was for man to rule, that is to take dominion over the earth.  Therefore, God created the woman Eve to be man's (Adam's)  "suitable helper."  As a result of their disobedience to God, God pronounced judgment on both and cursed the Serpent (Satan) and the ground.  Man would have to work the soil intensely, and the woman would have to suffer pain in childbirth.  Moreover, there was going to be a power struggle between the man and his wife.  

"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy conception; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire (to control or overtake) shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule (to have power) over thee."  Genesis 3:16 

It is evident that before they sinned against God, there was harmony between Adam and Eve, harmony in fulfilling their God-given roles.  Beginning with their disobedience to God's command, men and women have been caught up in a power play over who should be dominant. Without a doubt, this brought grief, confusion, conflict, bitterness and misery for both.  By the grace of God, Jesus came down from heaven to redeem us and to reconcile us to each other as well to God.  He restored us to Himself and thereby restored the ideal relationship between husband and wife.  The good news is that we can set things right through His plan of redemption in Christ.

Since the beginning, God's intent for man was for him to be the head of his wife.  
"For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body."  Ephesians 5:23 

He is to be the one in charge.  He has the obligation to govern his home.  The wife is to model ("act out") submission as unto the Lord and glorify Christ. 
"Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord…  But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything…  This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church."  Ephesians 5:22,24,32 

On the other hand, the husband is to model ("act out") Christ's response to the church, Ephesians 5:32.  The husband is to offer himself as a sacrifice for his wife and family as Jesus did when He died for His church. 
 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her."  Ephesians 5:25

The husband is commanded to love, to nourish and to cherish his wife as Christ loves His church. 
"So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church…  Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband." 
Ephesians 5:28-29, 33

That is why is vital to study and understand the will of God for both husband and wife and their given roles.  It is in obeying His divine pattern that we are going to learn how the husband and wife relationship fits perfectly together according to His Laws.  It is important for us as husbands and wives to understand God's divine plan for us that we may have a direct and close unity and harmony in our marriages.  This leads me to this question:  As a wife how can you best carry out your God-given role?

Consider the many ways a wife can carry out God's divine plan for her, being her husband's glory:

  1. She can help him by devoting herself to the management of their home and children.
  2. She can help him to accomplish his goals.
  3. She can bring peace and make things easier for him.
  4. She can put him first over the children, parents, friends, job, ladies, etc.
  5. Talk highly of him with honor and respect to others.
  6. She will not slander, demean, under-appreciate him at all even if you think it is true.
  7. She will consider his work, goals, interests, as well as his work for the Lord as more important than her own.
  8. She will examine all of her actions as to whether they glorify her husband or not.
  9. She will be affectionate and gracious to his family and friends.
  10. She will build him up with her words rather than tearing him down.
  11. She will be chaste and pure in the way she dresses, speaks, and wears her makeup.  She will be careful not to call another man's attention.
  12. She will carry herself in a manner that is pleasing to both God and her husband.
  13. She will be patient, meek and quiet in spirit always pointing him to the Lord.
  14. She will encourage him to use all of his spiritual gifts for the glory of God's work.
  15. She acknowledges that man's obedience glorifies God even as she glorifies her husband by submitting to his headship.  

Often sisters in Christ ask me, "What if my husband is not a Christian?  What if he is not glorifying God?  My answer is that a Christian wife still has to abide by God’s Laws and that she is commanded to fulfill her God-given role; she must live out the role that God intended for her regardless of whether her husband is doing his part or not.  We are to do God's will and nothing else.  Let us not sin against our God by disobeying His Laws.

Let us meditate on God's will for us as Christian wives that we may be godly women, excellent wives whether our husbands are faithful Christians or unbelievers.  Let us not ignore that this is what He has revealed in His Word, His Law, the Bible.  He has provided us with abundant wisdom through His inspired Word so that we may live a godly Christian life.  One of the foremost texts in the Bible concerning God's will for us, wives, is found in Proverbs 31.  Notice that in Proverbs 31 we find the words of King Lemuel "which his mother taught him."  Notice that in Proverbs 31:1, he starts out by asking:  "An excellent wife, who can find?  For her worth is far above jewels."

So, who can find an excellent wife?  What is an excellent wife?  How can one recognize her?  What is she like?  What does she do?  Proverbs 31:10-31 provides us all the answers to these questions.  Throughout Proverbs 31 verses 10-31, God describes for us twenty traits of what an excellent wife is.  As Christian women who profess godliness, we must make it our foremost goal to develop these qualities or excellencies if we truly want to glorify God in our life and reflect His glory.  

Consider those excellent traits that makes an excellent wife:   
  • Strength.
  • Trusted.
  • Respectful to her husband.
  • She honors her family.
  • Of exceptional worth.
  • Good to her husband.
  • Generous.
  • Wise.
  • Diligent worker with her hands.
  • Supports her family.
  • Creative.
  • Talented.
  • She trusts in the LORD.
  • Trustworthy.
  • She is watchful and busy.
  • Chaste, modest.
  • She is optimistic.
  • She is a blessing to others.
  • Not afraid.
  • Praised.
  • Careful.
  • Blessed by her children. 
  • Fears the LORD.
  • Kind.
  • She is selective because she knows how to choose her battles.

What a glorious reflection of God's glory!  When a woman starts to develop these excellent traits in her life because she fears the LORD, she starts blooming into a godly, excellent wife.  Her life starts to glorify God by her attitudes and actions.  It is life as a beautiful flower which reflects the glory of God's creation in the light of the morning sun.


I.   THE EXCELLENT WIFE - PROVERBS 31 WOMAN AND HER GODLY TRAITS

Proverbs 31 is a record of a king who is carefully contemplating or reflecting to some extent on many of the noteworthy teachings his mother had taught him.  He called this wisdom, "the prophecy (oracle) that his mother taught him."  His mother had urged him to refrain from certain women, the lewd women, because they destroy a king.  She had also warned him about other sinful things:  the use of alcohol which perverts a  king's judgment.  She encouraged him to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.  To plead the case of the poor and needy.  After all this excellent counsel his mother had given him, she expressed to him her concerns that he find a suitable woman as a wife.  She started by speaking of the excellent, godly, virtuous woman and how rare and precious she was.  She described this excellent woman at length.  She gave him a list of all her excellent attributes and how soon he will find her by what she portrays as a godly woman.  Her life, her deeds, would speak for her.  He would know her by what she DOES.

The key word in Proverbs 31 is ACTIONShe works hard.  She is a creative merchant.  She is prudent.  She is kind..... As you read through this excellent Proverb, you will find that almost every verse describes the daily chores or tasks she is engaged in.  She is not lazy or slothful.  She is diligent in her work.  Both when it is convenient and when it is not convenient.  In the end her ACTIONS speak of her worth.  A godly, God fearing woman is one that is busy doing constructive activities day to day.  She is indeed an active help meet for her husband.  She is magnificent as a wife, a mother, a loving and caring neighbor.  She blesses everyone who would come in contact with her by her godly actions, her righteous deeds.

The "Proverbs 31 woman" is one that shines as a beacon in this world of darkness.  It is the woman who embodies all these excellent qualities which each Christian woman should strive for in her daily life.  She models these excellent qualities in her home, in her family life and in her daily walk.  This excellent wife has a heart that pleases God.  Do you find it difficult to follow this excellent woman's example?  Is it difficult to measure up to such a godly, excellent woman?  I know and am aware that when we all compare ourselves to this excellent wife by considering the way we have carried out our responsibilities as wives and mothers, we feel as if we had failed.  This excellent wife's example puts us to shame.  We feel miserable!  Let our heart not be troubled but rather let us follow Christ's example and walk in His footsteps.  Let us press on or follow after and press toward the mark, Philipians 3:12-14.  Let us repent and follow God's divine pattern for us.  Let us obey His standard and not fall short by lowering His standard. 

I will be considering the last part of Proverbs 31, verses 10-31 about this "excellent woman."  Each of these 22 verses begin with a different letter of the Hebrew Alphabet.  This same Alphabetical pattern is found in some of the Psalms.  This pattern may have been used as an aid in memorizing Scripture.  Psalm 119 is the most famous Alphabetical Psalm.  There are 22 Alphabetical sections of eight verses each.  In the Hebrew Text of Proverbs 31 each verse is distinctly divided into two parts.  For example, in verse 10 - Part 1:   An excellent wife (virtuous), who can find?   Part 2For her worth is far above jewels (rubies).  This two part pattern is found throughout all these verses with the exception of verse 15 which seems to be divided in three parts.  Isn't that interesting!

  • She is a Woman of Strength.
"An excellent (virtuous, worthy, far above) wife, who can find?  For her worth is far above jewels."  (Proverbs 31:10)

"An excellent (virtuous, worthy, far above) wife, who can find?"   This might literally read, "Who can find a woman of strength?"  The term "'excellent" ("virtuous" as in some Bible translations) is from a noun that means strength, efficiency, or ability.  In this text it means strength of character, that is, moral strength and firmness.  She is also rare, unique, precious, and matchless.

In Exodus 18:21 we find this same expression of men.  Moses was commanded to find "able men," literally meaning "men of strength," who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain.  In view of this verse, we can say that an excellent woman is one who fears God.  One who loves the Word of God, one who hates sin.  Men like these were not easy to find.  This same expression is found in I Kings 1:42 ("valiant man" or "man of strength").  In verse 52 it is "worthy man" or "man of strength."  In this verse, we learn that the opposite of a virtuous woman (excellent wife) is a wicked man.  Therefore, a virtuous (excellent) man is someone of great moral strength in whom there is no wickedness.  He is a godly, God fearing man.  In turn, the virtuous(excellent) woman, is a God fearing woman as in Proverbs 31:10 and 31:30.

In the Old Testament we find two more examples of this virtuous woman.  One is Ruth in the book of Ruth 3:11.  Everyone knew her as a virtuous woman.  A woman with strength of character fears God, loves the Truth and hates sin.  Today, we live in a culture where both men and women lack this strength of character.  The other example of an excellent, virtuous woman is found in Proverbs 12:4From this text we learn that a woman of strength does not put her husband to shame.

"For her worth is far above jewels."  A woman who fears God is worth far more than jewels (rubies).  The Hebrew term for "rubies" refers to pink pearls or red coral.  To the Ancients a pink pearl that was found in the Red Sea among mollusks was of great value.  It is difficult to be certain which stone or pearl this Hebrew word refers to, but its use in the Old Testament suggests two things:  
  1. It was of great worth, very valuable (Proverbs 20:15; Job 28:18).  
  2. It was somewhat red in color (Lamentations 4:7 --"ruddy").

Who can find a virtuous woman (a woman of strength)?  She is indeed a rare gem or jewel.  Jewels (precious stones) are precious and very expensive as well as rare.  They are very beautiful, brilliant and lustrous compared to the other stones which are mostly plain.  The excellent woman is a beautiful woman inwardly rather than outwardly.  She is not only a rare jewel but a beautiful one.  A godly woman is rare and hard to find.  The same can be said about the godly man.  So the question is:  How is a godly young man to find a godly woman to marry?  First, he needs to acknowledge that a godly woman is not going to be attracted to just any kind of man.  She is going to be looking for a man of strength, a valiant man who would speak the Truth of God and most importantly a godly servant of Christ.  So, for the godly young men out there you must be a gem yourself, exercising godliness.  Fearing the Lord with all of your heart.    Dare to be different and go against the flow of the world.   Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).  Dare to be the kind of man that would draw, attract a godly woman's attention.  This godly, worthy, excellent, God fearing woman is hard to find even among those who profess to be Christians.

  • She is a Trusted Companion.
 "The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good and not evil all the days of her life."  
(Proverbs 31:11-12)

"The heart of her husband trusts in her."   This husband can surely trust his wife.  Why?  Because she does not do him harm but good throughout their relationship.  As we read through this beautiful poem, we come to appreciate why he trusts her.  By her righteous and good deeds she has earned his trust.  She is honorable, faithful and chaste.  She does not do or say anything behind her husband's back.  Isn't that remarkable and beautiful!

Sadly, many husbands today cannot trust their wives and often this can also be said of their wives.  They cannot trust each other.  One of the main foundations of a strong honoring marriage is to be able to trust your marriage companion.  This is one of God's greatest gifts.  So, what makes a husband trust his wife?  First, "he will have no lack of gain (spoil)."  Second, "she does him good and not evil."

"And he will have no lack of gain."  The expression "no lack (no need)" is found in Psalm 23:1, "I shall not want."  It means to be in need.  It is used in both texts as a negative expression.  When the LORD is our Shepherd, then we shall not be in need of anything (no lack of gain).  Why?  Because He supplies all our needs, Philippians 4:19.  Therefore, a godly wife will have no lack of gain (shall not be in need of spoil).  The word "spoil" means "plunder, booty."  It often refers to valuable stolen goods in war or battle ("booty").  The soldiers would take all these things from the defeated enemies gaining riches for themselves.  Here in verse 11, the word "gain" does not imply that the wife has to do this to have no lack of gain (need of gain).  It means that she is a wonderful, excellent blessing to her family, even financially.  How?  By managing her home well in a way that is productive and industrious.  As a great result of all her efforts, she is a great gain and even profit for her family.

Sadly, we cannot say this of many wives today.  Why?  Because many of them are lazy, idle and careless causing their family to suffer great financial losses.  How and Why?  By shopping compulsively and incurring credit card debts and by engaging in wasting countless hours of unproductive activities (television, the internet, games, shopping, hobbies, reading, phone, etc.).  This leads me to the following question:  How is her husband to safely trust in her?  Perhaps, after destroying the family's budget, and all that she has lost, he is going to find himself in great need of gain.  Take note that the wife is not the only one with the problem of wasteful spending and unproductive activities.  Men are guilty of this as well.  Both need to repent!  This is exactly why many women have to go to work, abandoning their home and children.

"She does him good and not evil."  Her husband can safely trust in her and not have to worry about her being a financial hindrance (verse 11).  Also, because he knows she will do him good and not evil.  "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of Jehovah."  Proverbs 18:22.  In Job's case, his wife became a curse who only added to his trials and sufferings.  (Job 2:9-10).  Unfortunately, some men find "a crown to their head" while others find "rottenness to their bones."  (Proverbs 12:4).

Without a doubt, Proverbs 31:10-31 was written to help shepherd men in finding the right kind of wife.  The key to finding the right, excellent woman, is to bow before God in prayer, trusting in Him to help him find one.  The excellent wife desires only God's highest blessings.  She wants the best for her husband.  Her life is a constant blessing and a profit to her husband.

"All the days of her life."  She is constantly doing good to her husband.  She does him good no matter her circumstances.  Her husband can depend on her trustworthiness to do him good and not evil but rather a blessing.  He can count on her today and tomorrow, all the days of her life. She is not a roller coaster, up and down, hot or cold.  She is persistent in her godliness.  She is good to him every day.  She is constant in her love, unshaken faith, and endurance.  She is unchanging, loyal and permanent.

  • She is a Cheerful Worker.
"She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight."
(Proverbs 31:13)

"She looks for wool and flax."  This text is one of many in Proverbs 31 where the hands of this excellent wife are mentioned.  Wool is the wavy and curly undercoat of a sheep and can be used woven to make warm garments or fabrics.  This excellent woman of God would gather the fleece or the flax fibers to make clothing for her family.  This was back then and of course today it is a very complicated and time consuming task.  In order to work wool or flax fibers one would have to wash it, soak (flax or hemp) in water to soften it and separate the fibers.  Then the fibers had to be combed, carded, spun and finally woven.  Notice that this was not a hobby for her.  It was part of her never ending job or task in order to provide adequate clothing for her large family, her household.   On the other hand flax was a fibrous plant used in spinning.  The fibers can be extended and twisted into yarn or thread to make linen.  This excellent, godly woman "looks" or "seeks" for wool and flax in order to make garments. She would select the best quality of both in order to make clothes not only for her household but also for others as well.

"And works with her hands in delight."   This godly woman would work with delight or pleasure.  She would take great delight and pride in her profession as a homemaker and manager of her home.  She was an eager hard-worker.  She would look for tasks that might be an asset to her family.

Take note that she did it with joy:  "with her hands in delight." (willing hands).  Needless to say, she did not consider it an unpleasant chore but rather enjoyable and satisfactory.  Although we don't have to weave cloth and make clothing like this, we still have plenty of work to do when it comes to our family's clothing which we can do with diligent and willing hands.  One example would be the time we spend doing laundry.  It can be done with delight, a cheerful heart and willing hands.

We have lost the art of working with our hands in our culture today.  Why?  Because we are saturated with modern, computerized, and electronic entertainment.  Most women don't delight or find it enjoyable to make clothes with their hands.  They instead delight in shopping uncontrollably for clothes at the malls and many times this affects the family budget.  It is sad to say, but our women never learned these homemaking skills of sewing, mending or knitting and crocheting from their mothers or grand-mothers.  Our daughters are a total failure when it comes to these things.  Even their mothers do not know how to do these things.  Therefore they are not able to teach them to their daughters even if they want to.  Oh how my mother who would spend hours sewing and doing things with her hands!  She was the best seamstress I ever knew!   The wise and godly woman would take great pleasure in working with her hands, providing clothing for her family.

  • She is a Cautious  (Frugal, Thrifty) and Wise Shopper. 
"She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar."
(Proverbs 31:14)

"She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar."   In the previous verse, we noticed that she is looking (seeking) to provide clothing for her household.  Now in verse 14, this godly woman is looking  to provide her family with food.  The Word of God teaches us that we ought to be content with food and covering.  I Timothy 6:8.  The excellent, godly, virtuous woman of God plays a crucial role in providing both food and clothing.  Notice that this virtuous, excellent wife is compared to the merchant's ships.  Merchants are traders who buy goods in one port, sailing to another port where such goods are needed.  They then sell them for a profit.  This takes time and effort.  So this godly, excellent woman would bring in food from afar, distant places.  In the Hebrew the word "food" meant "bread".  It was also used for food in general. 

My question is:  Does this text mean she had to travel to far off countries to bring food for her family?  Very unlikely!  Most likely what it means is that she brought in foods from distant lands by trading for them.  She most likely took some of her wonderful garments that she made with her hands (verse 31) and was able to sell them and trade them to some merchant men in exchange for food which had come perhaps from afar, distant lands.  In today's 21st century terms, it means being a diligent and wise (prudent) shopper.  This of course takes time and effort but it is worth the investment not only because it is our duty as Christian wives but also because it saves the family from financial catastrophe.  We must learn from this excellent woman who was frugal, not wasteful, using economy and good management.

  • She is Disciplined (Self Controlled) and Organized (Efficient, Orderly).
"She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens."  (Proverbs 31:15)

"She rises also while it is still night."  This tells us that this godly woman rose early and was up before the sun.  She was not idle and lazy.  In Proverbs 6:6-11, the sluggard should have learned from this godly woman to learn diligence.  There are so many extraordinary advantages in rising or getting up early.  It is a wonderful time to meditate on God's Word and prayer since there are no distractions.  This is a well spent time with our LORD.  What a marvelous way to start the day!

We see this example in our Lord and Savior:  Mark 1:35 and in Psalm 88:13 where the Psalmist had the habit of morning prayer.

Rising up early allows us also to start the day on good track.  When one sleeps in late, half the day is gone rendering us useless to accomplish our God given duties.  We must make it a habit and ambition to begin well, to rise up early.  May our God help us to start our days well according to His Word.  Beginning the day with Him giving diligence to all our tasks and duties.  Of course, there might be times when a mother would have to sleep in after being up taking care of a sick child.  This godly woman was diligent but also flexible and realistic.

"And gives food to her household and portions to her maidens."  One of the reasons she would rise up early was to provide food for her household and serve others as well.  She would get up before her husband and children in order to provide a hearty meal for them.  She makes sure her family gets off to a good start.  

We live in a culture today where many of our younger women and older women hardly know how to cook and prepare meals.  It is sad to say but many families eat out or order food to eat instead of preparing it.  Very few families sit down at the table together to pray and enjoy a home cooked meal.  And we wonder why they don't stay together!

This godly woman was indeed well organized and self-disciplined.  She was blessed with a large household that included serving maidens.  It is evident that she was not poor.  One might think that this godly woman would command her servants, female servants to rise up early and prepare breakfast for the entire family.  No she did not.  She gives portions of food to her maidens.  This speaks of her kindness. 

Today, many of us cannot afford serving maids but have our children as our helpers if we take the time and effort to teach them all these excellent homemaking skills.  Teaching them to do every day work is an investment that will pay off bountifully for both parents and them. 

  • She is Entrepreneurial and Competent (Capable).
"She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard."  
(Proverbs 31:16)

"She considers a field and buys it."  This word "considers" is often used to describe the wicked who devise evil or are actively plotting evil as in Psalm 37:12; 31:13, 17:3.  In the case of this godly and excellent wife, she considers a field with the purpose of increasing the estate she shares with her husband.  She does not do it impulsively, carelessly.  She gives it very careful thought.  She wants to further her husband's interests and has a plan for her family.  She knows that a profitable, prosperous vineyard would be of value to all.  Understand that this godly woman is not working independently of her husband.  They were working as a team.  She likely had his counsel and blessing on this operation because we know that the heart of her husband safely trusted in  her (verse 11).   "She buys it."  It literally means, she takes it. 

When the godly wife is under the headship of her husband, she can play a significant role in managing her family finances.  Some wives are very good at managing the family budget and bookkeeping and are a great blessing to their family and husband when they do it properly according to God's will.

"From her earnings she plants a vineyard."   The purpose of buying the field was to provide a place for a vineyard in order that her family might enjoy the fruit of the vine, a field of grapes.  This was a result of her labor in cultivating and maintaining (from her earnings).  Her vineyard was the fruit of her loving toil.  When this godly woman planned to buy the field, she calculated also the amount of toil that was going to be needed to maintain the vineyard.  

In some translations it says, "the fruit of her hands" which could mean "the fruit of her earning."  That is to say that with the fruit of her hands (verse 13), she was capable of earning enough money to buy and plant a field of grapes, a vineyard.  Perhaps she used her servants or maidens to help her work the field.  She was indeed an entrepreneurial and capable wife.  She was not afraid of getting her hands dirty doing hard work.

  • She is Strong and Confident.
"She girdeth her loins with strength, and maketh strong her arms."   
(Proverbs 31:17)

"She girdeth her loins with strength, and maketh strong her arms."  This verse refers to her inner strength, both emotional and spiritual.  Such language is also found in 2 Timothy 1:7. This inner strength and firm trust in God expresses outer strength, physical vitality(vigor).  The word "girdeth" means to encircle or bind with a flexible band or girdle (belt).  In Bible times both men and women wore tunics.  When the tunic was ungirded it would hinder their ability to walk freely.  The Bible also uses this term in a symbolic way.  Jesus said, "Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit."   Luke 12:35.  That is to say, "Be as men who with a long race to run; gather up the folds of your loose robes, and fasten them with your girdle; that nothing may keep you back or impede your steps."  In Bible language, "to be girded" means "to be ready for action."  
"For You have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me"
Psalm 18:39
This godly, virtuous woman, has an abundance of inner strength which enables her to work hard in order to accomplish all her physical tasks.  She does physical labor and thus is strong.  Her tasks demanded a considerable amount of physical strength.  She does not retreat from performing her physical work.  She does it gladly and with a cheerful heart.  Why?  Because she is resolved to not be lazy or slothful.  This worthy and excellent woman is a great example of diligence and hard work.  Her labors give her good health, physical strength and keenness, willingness, eagerness for new labors.  This attitude gives her ease and tranquility in order that she may be able to perform all these tasks which to some women appear to be impossible.  In the Bible we have Rebekah as an example.  Do you remember when she offered to draw water for all the camels of Abraham's servant?  In the Bible we have many examples of women doing hard work:  gleaning, grinding grain, and drawing water.  Physical work is good for us, women!

  • She is a Diligent and a Competent Manager.
"She perceiveth that her merchandise is profitable: Her lamp goeth not out by night."  
(Proverbs 31:18)
"She perceiveth that her merchandise is profitable."  The word "perceiveth" in the Hebrew language means "taste."  That is to say literally that she tastes that her gain is good.  This same word is found in Psalm 34:8. "O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!"  God's goodness must be tasted.  One must experience it.  Only those who obey God and His Word can truly trust in Him by tasting of His goodness and having a close relationship with Him.

In some translations the word "gain" is used as "merchandise" which means profit, traffic and gain received from both.  This word is found twice in Proverbs 3:13-14, "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold."

This godly (excellent) woman purchases a field which she manages well, yielding her good profit.  She experiences the reward, fruits of her labor. She is indeed reaping what she sows by laboring diligently.  She finds it to be a good harvest.  This is the labor of her hands.  She is aware that her success is due to the intense labor of her hands, reaping the fruits of her hard work.

Her lamp goeth not out by night."   Olive lamps were used in Bible times to light up homes.   Notice that this excellent woman’s lamp does not go out at night.  That is to say, that it is not quenched or extinguished.  "And the lamp of God was not yet gone out, and Samuel was laid down to sleep, in the temple of Jehovah, where the ark of God was."  I Samuel 3:3 What is this godly woman doing at night?  Most likely she is hand spinning (verse 19).  This is an amazing woman who labors intensely day and night with diligence and courage (endurance).  At midnight her light would still be on.  I wonder if this amazing woman ever slept?  Why?  Because according to this verse, she works late at night and in verse 15, she rises up early while it is still night.  It is like saying "late to bed and early to rise."  She is willing to work long hours.

Isn't it something that some women are up late at night preferring inferior lamp light and then they sleep through half day, missing out on superior sunlight?  But this excellent woman is a great example of being diligent both during the day and night.  Somehow, she is able to find necessary sleep and rest without overindulging herself in sleep.  That is why she is not poor as mentioned in Proverbs 6:9-11.

As Christians we must examine our activities, especially those that we perform at night.  We must ask ourselves if they are profitable and pleasing to our God.  May we be about our Father's business!

  • She is a Hardworking and Kind (Generous, Benevolent) Woman.
"She layeth her hands to the distaff, And her hands hold the spindle.  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy."  
(Proverbs 31:19-20).

"She layeth her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle."  (verse 19).  Once again this remarkable woman is laboring hard with her hands.  She definitely uses her hands with skill to provide clothing for her family and very likely to others as well.  She is willing to do monotonous work.  This time she is spinning wool to weave it into clothing.  The "distaff" was a staff that was used in ancient times to hold the flax, tow or wool which would be spun into thread with the help of a spindle.  The spindle would turn and twist the fibers into threads (verse 13).

We find an example of hand spinning in Exodus 35:25-26:  "And all the women that were wise-hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, the blue, and the purple, the scarlet, and the fine linen.  And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun the goats' hair."

Without a doubt, this excellent woman's hands are never idle but rather always busy.  She is not engaged in worthless pursuits but godly ones.

"She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy." 
(verse 20).  Compare this verse to that of verse 9 of the same Proverb:  "Plead the cause of the poor and needy."

This verse 20 is an example of parallelism often found in Hebrew poetry.  In these two phrases we clearly see a parallel of idea.  The second phrase is vocalizing basically the same idea as in the first phrase with just a few variations.  Both phrases underline the truth about this godly woman who is compassionate, doing substantial deeds of mercy.  She is easily moved by the distresses and suffering of others. She definitely loves the poor in both truth and in Spirit,  "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth."  I John 3:16-18.

The word "poor" here means "afflicted, humble."  Those who are materially and physically poor; the needy.  In Leviticus 19:10; 23:22, the Law of God commanded the Israelites that the gleanings from their vineyards and fields were to be left for the poor of the land.  It is evident that this woman of God obeyed this law.  Deut. 15:11.

The word "needy" used at the end of this verse means 'one who is in need, in want, or lacking.  It is also used many times to describe the spiritual condition of God's people.  Psalm 40:17; 70:5; 86:1; 109:22.  God is the only One Who can supply what we need.  That which we lack.  He makes us rich indeed!

In the New Testament we are given responsibilities toward the needy, I John 3:17; James 2:15-17.  May God give us wisdom to meet the needs of those He puts in our way.

  • She Clothes Herself and Her Household Properly.
"She is not afraid of the snow for her household; For all her household are clothed with scarlet.  She maketh for herself carpets of tapestry; Her clothing is fine linen and purple." 
(Proverbs 31:21-22)

"She is not afraid of the snow for her household; For all her household are clothed with scarlet." (verse 21).  

The Bible makes mention of snow a number of times.  Psalm 51:7; Proverbs 26:1; Isaiah 1:18.  But it only records one occurrence of snow in 2 Samuel 23:20; compare I Chronicles 11:22.  Snow occasionally occurs in Palestine but rarely reaches any substantial depth.

This excellent woman is always concerned about the welfare of her family.  She is not afraid of the snow and the cold that accompanies it.  She is not afraid of the cold because she is well prepared.  She is confident of how she provides for her household due to her excellent management and hard work.  She has made preparations ahead of time in order to clothe her household (family and servants) with warm clothes.  Her household is "clothed with scarlet."  Isaiah 1:18; Joshua 2:18 use the same word to indicate the scarlet color.  It is described in Psalm 22:6 of our Lord who was bruised and slain to redeem us eternally. 

This godly woman of God makes sure that she represents her husband well (with attires) since he sits "in the gates." She is aware that the clothing she wears represents him as well.  So she cautiously chooses garments suitable for herself and her husband who is her representative.  Her children and husband are not dressed in dull clothing.  Dullness does not add to the spiritual state of a person.

"She maketh for herself carpets of tapestry; Her clothing is fine linen and purple."   (verse 22). 
"She maketh for herself carpets of tapestry."  Apparently these were coverings that she made for her bed (see ESV).   In the Old Testament, in the Hebrew language, the only place where the word "coverings" is found is in Proverbs 7:16.  It refers mainly to coverings for a bed.  "I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt."

This virtuous woman decorated her bedroom with beautiful bedspreads and coverings.  She had mastered her skills or crafts and sewing, making beautiful dresses.

Her clothing, attire, is beautiful and appealing made of the finest material, fine linen of Egypt.   The purple was manufactured by the Phoenicians from a marine shellfish.  The shell was broken and crushed which gave a milky fluid that would become red or purple when exposed to the air.  Purple cloth was used in the furnishing of the Tabernacle, Exodus 25:4.  In Solomon's Temple, 2 Chronicles 2:14; 3:14.  And in the highest priest's garments, Exodus 25:4; 26:21.  It was used for the kings' royal garments, Judges 8:26.  It was also a symbol of luxury and wealth.  In the New Testament we see the rich man wearing it, Luke 16:19 and by the harlot of Revelation 18:16.   Jesus our Savior was dressed in purple when they put around Him a kingly robe.  Mark 15:17, 20.  In the book of Acts, Lydia was a merchant, seller of purple, Acts 16:14.

So what do you think is the meaning of this verse in relation to the virtuous woman?   It means that this godly woman does not dress in a shabby way.  Since she is industrious, she is able to purchase the finest material and make the finest garments with her own hands.  She does not consider going around in shabby, impoverished and threadbare clothing as a mark of her spirituality.  She wears expensive, royal clothing to match her queenly and godly character.  Her outer garments of beauty and splendor matched her inner beauty.  Despite all of this she is not vain or arrogant.  She understands well that outward beauty fades away (we will see this on verse 30).   She acknowledges that the most important clothing is the adorning of the inner man:  "strength and honor are her clothing."

I want to make it clear that all these garments do not come at the expense of her family or the poor.  It does not hinder her godliness.  In I Timothy 2:9, Christian women are instructed not to adorn themselves in costly array or garments.  So, do you think there is a contradiction here?  Do you think it is wrong for a godly woman to buy expensive clothing?  Should she instead shop at thrift stores or yard sales in order to find necessary and inexpensive attire?

In the Old Testament we find many cases where great wealth and godliness were not incompatible.  For example, Abraham had wealth and so was David and Solomon.  None of these were condemned for possessing riches.  Psalm 62:10.  In I Timothy 6:17, those who are rich are not condemned for their riches but are instructed not to trust in them but in God.  They are also instructed to be generous and ready to share them.  "Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed."   I Timothy 6:18-19.

  • She Contributes Greatly to Her Husband's Success, Prosperity and Influence.
"Her husband is known in the gates, When he sitteth among the elders of the land."  
(Proverbs 31:23)

"Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land."  This text says nothing about this godly and excellent woman but rather describes her husband as a noteworthy leader of the land.  Public business and cases were decided and conducted at the gates of the city.  The "gates of the city" served as the city's courtroom.  What then do we learn about the excellent wife from this text?

There is a well know saying, "Behind every good man is a good woman."  Indeed, this is true of this godly wife.  She contributes to her husband's success.  She brings him honor by the way she keeps her domain.  Her support helps bring him to this place.   Notice the contrast in Proverbs 12:4 and in Proverbs 31:23 with the husband without a godly wife, who is industrious, loving, and faithful.  A wife can have a huge influence over her husband whether it be for good or evil.

  • She is Strong, Dignified, Hopeful and Confident.
"She maketh linen garments and selleth them, and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.  Strength and dignity are her clothing; and she laugheth at the time to come."  
(Proverbs 31:24-25)

"She maketh linen garments and selleth them, and delivereth girdles unto the merchant."  This efficient, hard-working, and industrious woman is enterprising.  Apparently, she runs an amazing home business. She makes, sells, and delivers quality goods.  She weaves fine linen garments to sell.  Linen garments are mentioned in Judges 14:12-13 and Isaiah 3:23.

Not only does she weave fine linen but also manufactures belts (girdles) or sashes (ESV) which had high value on the trade market.  It seems like this excellent woman provides a source of income for her family through her business. She is capable of doing this because she is disciplined, she manages well and is dependable.

"Strength and dignity are her clothing."  Her clothes adorned her inner man, her heart which is renewed day by day, 2 Corinthians 4:16.  The LORD provides these garments to those who are diligently seeking Him.  She knew the LORD was the strength of her life, Psalm 27:1.  The word "dignity" means honor, majesty, splendor.  In Psalm 8:5 the word "honor" is used to describe God's majesty and honor upon Adam and Eve.  In Psalm 21:5 it is used of David's majesty given by God as a king.

"And she laugheth at the time to come."   Even though she is entrepreneurial, she is a faithful and godly woman full of strength and hope for the future.  This is the kind of godly woman we read of in I Peter 3 referred to as not "frightened by any fear."  "She laugheth at the time to come (the future)."  She is not overburdened with the future's cares because she trusts in God.  She is not swayed or upset by her circumstances.  She is valiant and steadfast.  She knows she can face the future with great confidence and optimism.  She knows Who holds the future, Philippians 1:6.

  • She Speaks Wisdom with Words of Kindness.
"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And the law of kindness is on her tongue."  (Proverbs 31:26)

"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And the law of kindness is on her tongue."     In Matthew 12:34, the Lord taught that "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."  This means that what comes out of our mouth indicates what is in the heart.  Our speech reveals our heart.  Out of a heart of wisdom, wise words come out.  Out of a kind heart, words of kindness come out.  Out of a loving heart, words of love come out.  Therefore, let us be careful how we speak to others since our heart is showing.

The word "kindness" occurs 200 times in the Old Testament:  Exodus 20:6; Ruth 1:8; Psalm 23:6; Psalm 100:5; Psalm 1007:8,15,21,31; Psalm 107:43; Psalm 136; Lamentations 3:22; Jonah 4:2.

The word is used in other translations as "mercy," "lovingkindness," "love," or "steadfast love."

This godly woman is characterized by her kindness and steadfast love.  The words that come out of her lips are as a law giving guidance and instruction to those that hear them.  She is thoughtful and sensible with her words.  She shows silence and subjection as a godly wife.  She applies herself to acquire wisdom in order to learn to govern her tongue.  She is known for speaking wisdom and for doing it with kindness instead of ill nature.  She shares her wisdom and knowledge in order to help others.  She is pleasant and loving in the way she does it because of her discernment, thoughtfulness and gentleness.

  • She is a Diligent Overseer.
"She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness.  Her children rise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her, saying:"  (Proverbs 31:27-28)

"She looketh well to the ways of her household."   She "looks well" or "keeps watch."  It means to look out or about, to spy, to keep watch.  It is used in 2 Kings 9:17 and Ezekiel 3:17; 33:7 as the watchman.  In the case of this godly, excellent wife, she is alertly watching over her household.  She is vigilantly watching or looking for any danger that might hinder and hurt her family:  evil companions, vile entertainment, internet dangers and many of this kind.

This godly woman is engaged in her children's lives.  She is watching over everything that is taking place (their activities) in order to be able to best help her children, discipline them, keep them under control and direct them into healthy and profitable ones.  Parents must bring their children in all the ordinances of God.  They must watch over all their manners, habits and connections.  This verse does not mean she is taking all matters into her hands, being their leader of her home.  She is just very diligently vigilant of her home, supervising her children well.  She is conscious of her responsibilities.

"And does not eat the bread of idleness."  Idleness is not part of her life.  She does not indulge in slothfulness.  She does not waste her time or the time of others.  She is reliable and not idle.  The word "idleness" means sluggishness, laziness.  This word is used in Proverbs 6:6-9; 10:26; 19:15; 24:30.

This excellent woman is known for her diligent hard work.  She works willingly with her hands.  She rises up while it is yet night.  She grasps her hand to the spindle.  She makes fine linen and sells it.... She reaps her pleasant fruits.

"Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her."  She has developed and maintained a good and loving relationship with her children and her husband.  She is praised by those who know her best, her family.  They recognize and honor her as well. 

The praise of her husband and children is a reward that surpasses all her material gain.  They call her "blessed" meaning happy.  This expression was used by Leah when she pronounced herself blessed:  "Then Leah said, 'Happy am I! For women will call me happy.' So she named him Asher.'" 
Genesis 30:13.

Godliness and happiness go hand in hand.  It is the godly woman, that is the happy one.  She is blessed.  This happy woman yearns to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Those who seek the Lord and His righteousness find in Him true happiness.  He is their portion.  He satisfies their heart because they are devoted to Him.  Psalm 2:12; Psalm 34:8; Psalm 84:5; Psalm 94:12; Psalm 112:1; Psalm 119:1-2.

  • She is Known for Her Strength of Character and Fear of the LORD.
 "Many daughters have done worthily, But thou excellest them all.  Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; But a woman that feareth Jehovah, she shall be praised.  Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her works praise her in the gates."  (Proverbs 31:29-31).

"Many daughters have done worthily, but thou excellest them all."   This verse is different from the rest in this section.  All the other verses speak of this excellent woman (wife) in the third person.  For example in verses 12-22, they all begin with "She."  She will do him good... She seeks wool... She is like the merchant's ships...She rises also.... etc.  But in verse 29 we notice that the second person is mentioned for the first time. "But thou excellest them all."  This expression is more intimate, personal and familiar.  Her husband is apparently the one who is speaking of her with these praising words.

Her husband is praising her toward the end of verse 28.  In verse 29, her husband is praising her in his own words:  "Many daughters have done worthily, but thou excellest them all."  She was praised for her creative and hard labor thus calling her the most worthy, excellent, virtuous woman of all.  Virtue is "acting power."  It has the strength to affect or improve all that is around it.

The word "virtuous" used in some translations means strength, efficiency, ability.  In this verse is referring to her strength of character, moral strength and firmness.  Her husband acknowledges that his wife was not the only godly, excellent, virtuous woman but that there were others who were God-fearing women:  morally strong and of excellent character. Such women are rare to find.  May we be women of excellence who live godly in Christ and who reflect Him in our day to day walk and speech.  May the beauty of our LORD be upon us all.
"Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands."
Psalm 90:17.

"But thou excellest them all."   Her husband is directing his praise to his godly wife.  It means that she has raised herself above them all.  That she is excellent and incomparable!  "But thou excellest them all."  Do you think this husband had found a priceless gem (compare to verse 10)?  Does he consider his treasure better than all others?  YES!  To him, she is the most precious wife a man could ever have.  No other woman can measure up to her.  In his heart, she excels all others.  She has won the right to be where she is and to have what she has acquired with her hard work:  honor, appreciation, esteem and love.

"Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain."  The word '"favor" is the Hebrew word for "grace."  In this verse it is used to speak of a woman's outward appearance.  It is paralleled with the word "beauty."  Both words conveyed the same idea.  The word "beauty" describes that which is upright and pleasing to the eyes.  It is used to describe Sarah's outward appearance, Gen. 12:11, of  Tamar, 2 Samuel 13:1.

In verse 30, we are told two things about outward gracefulness and external beauty:
  1. Grace is deceitful.
  2. Beauty is vain.

External beauty deceives and disappoints.  What you see is not really what you get.  Be careful!  A woman's outer charm disguises her inner imperfections, deformities.  Likewise, external beauty is vain.  It is prone to vanish like vapor.  The word "vanity" is used 31 times in Ecclesiastes.  External beauty is not long lasting since it is here today and gone tomorrow.

We live in a culture that focuses mostly on external beauty.  Make up is overly used in such abundance that Jezebel would feel right at home in our society, 2 Kings 9:30.  Men and women seem to be overly obsessed with looking young and attractive.  They seem to want to slow down man's natural deterioration.  Many surgical procedures are offered.  Diet and exercise programs are offered for those who want to look beautiful and feel good.  Television propaganda is devoted to deceiving many into transforming the person outwardly into an attractive appearance by means of makeup, hair styles, weight loss, exercise, surgery and so on.  There is no end to man's vanity to preserve external beauty.

What they don't take into account is that true beauty in the eyes of God is not external.  It is the beauty of Christ dwelling in us.  

"But a woman that feareth Jehovah, she shall be praised." 

A godly woman is not caught up in looking good, attractive or seductive.  She is conscious of fearing God in her life above everything else.  She knows that inner beauty comes from a right relationship with the LORD.  It is impossible for true beauty to exist apart from the fear of the LORD.  When the LORD is enthroned in our heart, His glory will shine in us.
"Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands."
Psalm 90:17

In I Peter 3:1-6, Peter speaks of that inner beauty that ought to direct the life of every Christian woman:
"In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.  Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.  For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear."

In order to cultivate inner beauty, there must be a fear of the LORD.  Without the fear of God, it is impossible to radiate the beauty of the LORD.  We are to fear and revere God.  Fear of God is the beginning of WISDOM.  It is this righteous fear that draws us near to Him. When one fears God one knows that God deserves the utmost reverence and honor.  He is afraid to disobey Him and displease Him.  Abraham feared God.  That is, he believed and obeyed Him.
"He said, 'Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."
Genesis 22:12.

So often men choose to fear men rather than God.  What they don't realize is that the fear of men is a great snare, Prov. 29:25.  Choose the fear of the LORD, Proverbs 1:29.

The woman who fears God will be praised.  Her husband and children will praise her and speak well of her.  Moreover, her maidens and all her household servants also praise this godly woman because of her upright walk on a daily basis.  She will surely receive the only commendation that really matters:  "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."  Matthew 25:21

"Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her works praise her in the gates." 

A godly, excellent wife will be rewarded.  She will get back what she gives out.  She lives every day in order that she may reap what she sows.  Her good deeds will bear good fruit.  She steadfastly labors and abounds in the work of the Lord.  She knows that her labor is not in vain.  I Cor. 15:58.  God very generously rewards those who diligently seek Him, Heb. 11:6, Eph. 6:8.  The Lord knows all of our labors and will reward us faithfully.  It pays to fear the LORD and live in righteousness.

The “fruit of her hands" proves the result of her labor.  Her hands have been very busy in doing good (verses 16, 19, 20). She bears an abundance of good fruit.

"In the gates" means a public meeting place where all manner of business was conducted like our city hall.  This godly woman's works, deeds praise her in the gates.  It means she was publicly recognized for her righteousness, her good works and accomplishments.  She ate the fruit of her doings, Isaiah 3:10.  She was judged by her fruit and her excellent reputation which was known in the highest assembly of important leaders of the community.  The men who sat at the gate.

Today, there are some godly and excellent Christian women who adorn the doctrine of God and our Savior by their good works of righteousness, Titus 2:10.  They are zealous of good works.  They are fervently seeking to please God in all they do.  Titus 2:14.  They should be worthy of praise, compliment, approval, admiration, applause and recognition.
"A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches."  Proverbs 11:16 

May our light shine before all men that they may see our good works and glorify our God in heaven, Matthew 5:16.  May we be women of excellence who live godly in Christ and who reflect Him in our day to day walk and speech.  May the beauty of our LORD be upon us all.  May we also fear the LORD in awe and reverence in order to reflect His glory to all men.  May we enthrone the LORD in our hearts as godly and excellent women and wives in order that all might see His glory shining in us. Let our righteous deeds and our godly lives as excellent women of God speak for us.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 5:16

Our next study will be part two of this ongoing study of the excellent wife.  It will be an examination of Titus 2:5.


Luci