This passage of scripture is famous for the qualities of a noble woman. In fact, the Bible headings itself would label this passage as “A Woman of Noble Character” (NIV) or “A Woman Who Fears the Lord” (ESV).
But in this post, I want to focus on the 3 verses that describe the husband, which seemingly is part of the characteristics of a woman who fears the lord. I call this the Proverbs 31 Man.
‘An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 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.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.’ ~ Proverbs 31:10-31 (ESV)
If you’re married, your wife is God appointed (no matter what happened in the past). If you’re not married but want to, then seek a wife that’s aligned with God’s will.
Having said so, have full confidence in your wife as by not fully trusting her but by fully trusting God. To have full confidence requires strong faith in God. Since we trust God and His sovereignty, we can trust in others.
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And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
~ Rom 8:28 NIV
This is why Paul said this: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
~ Rom 15:13 NIV
It’s because he knew that when we trust God, we can easily attain peace with others.
The husband is a leader.
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.”
This speaks of humility and thanksgiving. Humility, because we know that she is the better half.
“The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” ~ Gen 2:18 NIV
It is us men, who needs a helper. But they don’t really need us. This is probably why there’re more single women than single men. A lot of women can wait forever for the right man and can live with being single; but most men are too desperate and impatient, they just need to be with a woman. This verse also speaks of thanksgiving and affirmation. Thanksgiving which leads to satisfaction.
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. ~ Prov 90:14 ESV
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. ~ Ps 107:8-9 NIV
This is why v30 says: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Nothing will satisfy you more than knowing that you have a wife who loves and praises the same God as you.
This verse also speaks of what we should teach our children. We should teach our children to love and always be grateful to their mom. They shouldn’t take her for granted but treat her with the love and respect that she deserves.
In summary, we saw that the husband has a part in making the wife “noble”.
- The husband is confident, a man of faith
- The husband is respected and influential, a man of leadership
- The husband is humble and thankful, a man after God’s own heart.
This is a tall order, but it is not impossible. So to close, let me give you a last word of encouragement:
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. ~ Prov 31:31 NIV
A man of God does not only honor God and bring praise to God, but also also to his wife. I hope that this motivates you to pursue God even more; because your wife (or wife-to-be) will also be honored as you honor God.