She’s trustworthy. She’s good. She’s hardworking. She’s smart. She takes care of her family, and of herself. She’s generous. She does charity work. She manages her money well. She’s always prepared. She married a good man. She can look at the future and smile. She’s wise, kind, and actively working for God. Her family loves her.
Don’t we all want to be her? She is the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31.
Verse 10 of Proverbs 31 asks the question, “An excellent wife, who can find? She is far more previous than jewels.” Granted, we’re all teenage girls, right? None of us are wives yet… why do we have to worry about this? Two reasons: first, most of us WILL be wives someday, and second, don’t we all want to be good “would-be” wives? We commonly think of virtues as things like goodness, honesty, and trustworthiness, and these things are certainly virtuous. However, a lot of the virtues exhibited in Proverbs 31 are also very practical, matter-of-fact sort of tips as to how to be on top of your life. Here are a few practical tips from the woman of Proverbs 31 on how to lead a less stressful life.
Work hard, and work happily.
Take a look at verse 13: “She looks for wool and flax, and works with her hands in delight.” I love the “in delight” part. How often do we complain about chores to help out around the house? If you’re anything like me, probably a lot. But this woman works in delight. She’s excited at the chance to work and provide for others. If you’ll skip down to verse 27, the text reads “She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Idleness. Are you idle? How much time a day do you spend on useless things (cough cough FACEBOOK cough cough cough)? I’m the pot calling the kettle black here. I’m probably the biggest Facebook addict there is. Things like Facebook, Twitter, and other sites can really detrimental if you allow them to become time wasters. However, they can also be used to God’s glory. Post Bible verses as your status. Encourage your friends. Just don’t sit “idle” for three hours scrolling up and down the home screen.
Stay in shape!
Verse 17 says “She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.” We know from several passages in God’s Word (1 Peter 3:3-4, Prov. 31:30) that inner beauty is far more important than outer beauty, but it’s also important to take good care of the beautiful body God’s given you! Anyone who counts will think you’re beautiful no matter what you look like on the outside, as long as you’re living a Christian life (1 Samuel 16:7), but taking care of your body tells God you appreciate the gift of life he’s given you.
“She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet” (v. 21). Scarlet, before it was a color, was a kind of woolen cloth made with a special weaving technique. Whether this woman made the cloth herself or bought it for her family, the idea is that she thought ahead. She knew it was going to be cold, so she acquired warm clothes for her family. How much easier would life be if we were always prepared? Try to get places early. Don’t procrastinate. Most of all, we need to be prepared to tell somebody about Christ (1 Peter 3:15) and be prepared for the judgment day (1 Thessalonians 5:2). If we’re prepared, we’ll be able to “laugh at the times to come” (vs. 25).
So why bother? Why is it important to be on top of things? Matthew 5:14 tells us that we are to be lights in the world, like cities set on hills that cannot be hidden. In a world full of drama, chaos, and confusion, shouldn’t we as Christians be calm, cool, and collected? What better way to demonstrate the beauty of Christ and His peace?
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” – Colossians 3:15