Pro 31 describes the character of the ideal wife or mother. So
wonderful are the characteristics of this woman, that sisters despair of ever
being able to attain unto her standard, whilst brethren live in hope that they
may find a wife that comes somewhere near the character described.
There is no doubt that the Virtuous Woman was no single
personality, but the wise man's estimation of the ideal woman, on account of
which he elucidates the positive virtues of such a woman. It is also equally
true that the woman in question was not as the ordinary housewife of today, but
more the supervisor of a large household wherein she exercised control over her
"maidens" (v 15), who would assist in the daily tasks of such an house, making
possible her achievements as described.
Sisters in today's society must learn to cope almost
single-handed in the daily round of household chores and need not despair if
they cannot reach unto the ideal spoken of here. Even so, ideals are set that we
may aspire to be like them. If sisters give up in their attempts to emulate the
virtues of this woman, there is little hope that they will ever aspire to be
"like him" who is our heavenly Bridegroom.
In order then that sisters may better understand the virtues
set out in Proverbs 31, we list them under various headings, and couch them in
language more familiar to our generation.
As A Wife
As A Mother
- She is faithful: Pro
- Her influence is for good: Pro 31:12.
- She enhances her husband's name: Pro 31:23.
- She earns his love and respect: Pro 31:29.
Her Home Management
- She controls her household: Pro 31:27.
- She gives careful regard to her children's
health: Pro 31:21.
- She labours at night for her
children: Pro 31:15.
- She is a light sleeper ever
ready in an emergency: Pro 31:18.
- Her children
love and respect her: Pro 31:28.
Her Economic Sense
- She is a good knitter: Pro 31:13.
- She is skilful in all the domestic arts: Pro
- She dresses her family sensibly not
fashionably: Pro 31:21.
- She dressmakes for
others as well as herself: Pro 31:24.
- She is
attentive to the need of others, earning her every meal: Pro 31:27.
Her Personal Character
- She takes trouble to buy well: Pro 31:14.
- She only buys quality goods: Pro 31:18.
- She puts her purchase to good use: Pro 31:16.
- She uses money wisely, and does what she can to
improve her return: Pro 31:16.
Where among these virtues is there room for the demands of so
called Women's liberation? Where indeed? All the virtues here listed are opposed
to that degrading spectacle of women trying to ape the opposite sex, and
achieving nothing more or less than that which JT said would be the tragic
result: "In proportion as they rise in assurance they sink in all that really
adorns a Woman" (Elp 122).
- She is not a weakling: Pro 31:17.
- She has a firm, reliable, honorable character:
- She dresses neatly and attractively:
- She extends her kindness outside of
her household: Pro 31:20.
- She speaks with
wisdom: Pro 31:26.
- She speaks with kindness: Pro
- She fears Yahweh, her greatest asset: Pro
Sisters who pattern their lives on the God-given ideal of Pro
31 will in no way feel degraded by their loving submission to their husbands,
but will find in that subjection is the crowning fulfilment of God's purpose
with them. Indeed by their submission they will share the dominion allotted to
the man in whom they lovingly and willingly lose their own identity. Again to
quote JT: "They will then rule in the hearts of their rulers, and so ameliorate
their own subjection, as to convert it into a desirable sovereign obedience"
"A sovereign obedience." What a wonderful expression. Queens
by their very submission, and so to be enthroned by their influence in the
practise of humility. May the ideal set forth in Pro 31 have its fruit in the
lives of Sisters, by being translated into actions, so that it may be said of
them: "Let her own works praise her in the gates" (Pro 31:31). (JMn)