Proverbs 31:1 - THE WORDS of Lemuel king of Massa, which his mother taught him...
Proverbs 31:30 - Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!
Proverbs 9:10 - The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning (the chief and choice part) of Wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight and understanding.
Proverbs 31:27 - She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.I believe as women, when we read Proverbs 31:10-31 and we begin to understand a little bit of the depth of this godly woman, our first instinct is to want to work on ourselves. As we read down through the verses, we want to work on becoming all we can be, striving to mirror the attributes of this Proverbs 31 woman, this Ultimate Woman. I think that is the first and most obvious take away as we read this chapter. One that may not be quite as obvious is one that takes us back up to verse one in Proverbs 31. Who is the speaker & who is directing these thoughts & descriptions of this woman? It is a mother speaking to her son. The obligation of a mother to share with her son what he should be looking for in a woman, ultimately his wife. King Lemuel here has taken heed the advice of his mother, he has obviously recalled it because he is able to recount it, so his mother must have made it a priority to teach & re-teach the godly characteristics that he should be looking for in his wife. The message here to us? The obvious, work on ourselves and becoming this godly Proverbs 31 woman. Secondly and often not practiced as much, teaching who this woman is to our sons. Teaching who this woman is to our daughters. Taking the time, as we raise up godly little warriors in our boys, to teach them what exactly they are looking for in their mate. Sure, it may be 20-25 years before they will really be applying the things they have learned, or looking for these qualities, but as with King Lemuel being able to easily recount what is mother had taught him, repetition in who "she" is will allow our sons to one day marry a strong partner, a godly woman, a woman who does "excel them all" (Proverbs 31:29).
Who is she? She is a woman who fears the Lord, respects the Lord, worships the Lord. As we look at Proverbs 31:30, we can see that, but more importantly, we can go back to Proverbs 9:10 and see the significance of it! Reverent & worshipful fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of Wisdom! The chief part of Wisdom! This reverent & worshipful fear of the Lord leads our Proverbs 31 woman to gain Wisdom. To gain the most important attribute that essentially leads to almost all other things, decisions & outcomes. The fact that she has attained Wisdom, allows us to know in her daily dealings with purchasing real estate, working with people, planting a vineyard, whatever she is doing on that day she is proceeding with Wisdom. Wisdom attained by fearing/respecting the Lord.
I remember hearing a quote that is pretty powerful by Eleanor Roosevelt, one that I'm sure our Proverbs 31 woman also abides by, it says: "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people." Proverbs 31:27 tells us that this Ultimate Woman does not take part in gossip, in talking about other people. She does not take part in idle chatter, but steers clear of it. She does not even allow herself to wallow in self-pity or discontentment. She straps on her boots & just "gets over it!" Surely she addresses situations that need addressed, but self-pity is not something that she allows herself to take part of. She changes her situation. By Wisdom, she allows herself to be directed to make the necessary changes so that self-pity & discontentment does not have to be a part of her life. She is led & directed by Wisdom. The outcome? A life that she loves. A life that she can enjoy. A life that she can "taste & see" that it is good (Proverbs 31:18)!
Wherever you are at today, take an evaluation. Are you a mother? Are you single female? Single male? Father? Single women, married women, take the time to daily work at becoming this woman. Take the time to seek out and attain the reverent fear & respect of the Lord so all your dealings can be done in Wisdom. Take the time to work on becoming this Proverbs 31 woman, not just for success but to be an example. If you have children or plan to, one day your son will be looking to you for an example in what he wants or does not want in his wife. Mothers, it's never to early or to late to begin teaching your sons & daughters who this Proverbs 31 woman is. What a son should one day look for in his wife, and what a daughter should aspire to duplicate. Fathers, you're not off the hook. You can equally teach your sons what they should be looking for in a wife and teach your daughters the values in striving to become all God has called her to be. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, aspire to excel them all! With Wisdom ALL things are possible. With God, ALL things are possible! Today, begin to teach your children the qualities of a godly young man or a godly young woman. It's never to late to teach them the godly way to excel!