Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 125/260: Lemuel

Read Proverbs 31:10-31

The Virtuous Wife

The Bible has for years been attacked for what is perceived to be an unflattering view of women. There are many who claim that Christianity is too restrictive and misogynistic. It is true that some have misconstrued and misapplied passages in such a way, but a true understanding of God’s revelation paints a much different picture.

Even in Old Testament times, when much of the world did have a negative view of women, God showed that they should be respected. In King Lemuel’s proverb concerning the “virtuous wife,” he describes a woman who is industrious and independent while still family-oriented.

The virtuous wife of Proverbs 31 is one who takes initiative. “She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands” (Proverbs 31:13). She provides for her family’s needs at home. “SH also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants” (Proverbs 31:15). She is shrewd in her business dealings. “She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard” (Proverbs 31:16). Does that sound like a woman who is oppressed?

The virtuous wife is also generous toward others. “She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy” (Proverbs 31:20). We could all learn a lesson about benevolence from this woman.

The virtuous wife is not lazy. “She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27). There are many women (and men!) who are far too concerned with the lives of others when they should be focused on their own household.

Women, does Proverbs 31 describe you? What is holding you back from being the woman God intended you to be? Men, are you helping your wife to be virtuous and God-fearing? Children, do you honor your mother the way you should?

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.’ Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:28-31).

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