Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Proverbs 31:28-29 ESV
I’ve never met anyone who does not like to be praised. I know I sure do. It feels good. It spurs me on to do even better. It makes me feel loved and valued and I am guessing it makes you feel the same.
In this weeks verses we see the Proverbs 31 woman receiving praise from her husband and her grown children. She is being praised for living well, for being a cheerful servant to those around her and for caring well for all the material things that God blessed her with. The praise she receives stems from her being generous with her time, talents and treasures. For being a level headed woman whose words are laced with wisdom and who speaks kindness from a sincere heart. She is a woman whose heart beats first and foremost for God and her family see this. Her love and her faith pour themselves out in all the different facets of her life.
Here are 3 things I see in the Proverbs 31 woman that elicit praise from those around her.
1. She is honest
It is not good to pretend that everything is okay or that we have it all together when things are otherwise. It is deceitful and not something that others will admire in us. I know the temptation in wanting to pretend that life is great and everything is easy, but the truth is that it reveals a heart filled with pride and not humility. It is okay to say that we are having a bad day, or that we are struggling with certain things while at the same time working on having a godly attitude in the midst of our struggles. It is fine to admit that having 4 kids under the age of 5 is stressful or that your teenager is keeping you up late at night worrying. By being honest we allow others to pray for us, we can seek wisdom from those who have gone before us and we can get encouragement from those around us.
2. She is consistent
Consistency seems to be a very important part of living life well. If you want to be a strong Christian you need to be consistently in the word and in prayer. If you want to have a strong marriage you need to be consistently spending time with your spouse and consistently working on your relationship, if you want happy, obedient children you need to be consistent in your parenting and if you want to be a Proverbs 31 woman you need to be consistently striving and working on the godly character qualities that she exhibits. It is consistency that others notice and value.
3. She is dependent
We must all come to a point where we see and accept how weak and frail we are and become completely dependent on God. Apart from him we can’t even breath. But Christ is full of power, strength and life. He is our true knight in shining armor. He needs to be our one true love.
Tell yourself today that you are surrounded by other lovers seeking to woo you away from the one central love that should shape your life – Paul David Tripp
The proverbs 31 woman is completely dependent on Jesus and we should do the same. We must find our joy in him. He is a stronghold, a fortress that cannot be shaken and when we are close to him we find strength during temptations and comfort during hardships.
If we can come to see how very small we are compared to Christ’s greatness we will find ourselves clinging to our Redeemer for every breath and every decision. We will run to him for all of our wisdom, comfort and encouragement.
These qualities affect those around her. They can’t help but see Christ in her and it will bring about her praise.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that
you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel
Let’s live in a manner worthy of the gospel. Let’s make sure that we are unashamed of the things we say we believe. Let our faith and the word of God affect every area of our lives so that people see that we are different. It can bring scorn from those who do not understand, but it will lead to praise and encouragement by those who love Christ.
Looking to Jesus,