Proverbs 31:28-31 say of the Proverbs 31 woman:
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." NIV
When we study the Proverbs 31 woman - we find that this woman worked her tail feathers off! From caring for her husband, children, servants and even the poor to rising early, staying up late, planting a vineyard, sewing her own clothes, her family's clothing, the tapestries and the beddings - this woman never seemed to stop!
In the end, what did she get for all of her hard labor? A prize, trophy, or a plaque?
No, Proverbs 31:28-31 says she received praise.
Let's reflect for a moment on the above list. She had to be exhausted! I mean where are the spa days? Disney Land vacations? The raise with the corner office and bonus checks? Proverbs 31:31 says - "Give her the reward she has earned." So what has she exactly "earned"?
Proverbs 31:28 says "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also and he praises her." Her reward is the praise of her closest loved ones.
Some may say, "Praise is not much of a reward." But truly, how many wives do we know who loooooooong for their husband's appreciation and acknowledgement of what they do. How many parents do we see struggling with the rebellion of their teens. The Proverbs 31 woman does not face these struggles. Wouldn't we take the peace, love, and harmony of a warm cozy home over a free family vacation filled with strife?
Let's switch gears, I have said many times on my blog at Women Living Well "Who you are at home is who you really are." But I want to add - we cannot be warm to those inside our home and cold to those outside our home and be like the Proverbs 31 woman.
Her character was clearly seen by those outside of her home. Verse 31 says: "Her works bring her praise at the city gate." Not only is she praised by those INside her home, but now we see her being praised by those OUTside her home! Double bonus!
So, at the end of the day, do we pity or praise the Proverbs 31 woman? I suppose it matters what we value? Money, status, power, or people?
Life is empty without the people in my life. And though I never want to selfishly seek praise from others - we see that it is the natural outcome of a woman who lives her life poured out for her family and friends.
Does God pity or praise the Proverbs 31 woman?
He praises her. It is God I ultimately desire to please. And though this world may be confused by our dreams, visions and goals, one day when we stand before God's throne on judgement day it will all be clear.
Proverbs 31:10 says, "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." Indeed sweet Christian sister, you are rare and your worth is beyond any earthly treasure. Now go treasure the people in your life and pursue pleasing God.
Walk with the King!
This post is an excerpt from Courtney's free eBook titled "The Proverbs 31 Woman~One Virtue at a Time." This eBook has been chosen by the Good Morning Girls to be their summer book club. This book club begins May 14th and will run through August 15th. To find the Bible reading plan, how to get your free copy of the eBook and all the other details click here.