“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.”
– Proverbs 31:10
Over the years I have received lots of (unsolicited) advice on how to be a good wife…even long before I ever was one!
One of the first instances came when I was only a teenager. I can clearly remember the woman that had stood before me; sporting perfectly pressed clothes, flawlessly curled hair, and much too strong of perfume. Even more clear was how much I hated her. Especially when she began to speak on the importance of looking good for your future husband. I can remember her words exactly as she drove home the point by saying, “get out of your sweat pants, brush your hair, and put on some lipstick before your husband gets home!” And it’s quite likely that I rolled my eyes…
Or maybe, like me, you have heard a good christian wife described as being both passive and agreeable… and YOU rolled your eyes!
Even my favorite cookbook offers advice by promising that landing a man (and keeping him forever happy in your arms!) is as simple as making the recipe on the bottom of page 24 for lemon and rosemary infused “Engagement Chicken”.
And while I do find that we underestimate the super-human power of a good roast chicken and a little lipstick, my heart goes out to women! We are being tossed in all these different directions; a myriad of messages bombarding us with what kind of wife we should be!
Are we to be passive or strong? All dolled up or au-naturel? Should we strive to be a domestic goddess or a successful businesswoman?
However, in this verse it explains that the most valuable things a woman can be are virtuous and capable! This woman, who is said to be worth far more than rubies, is moral, upstanding and will do whatever is right no matter the cost! She is the picture of strength, is gifted, and well respected by others!
So how is it that we can become more virtuous? How is it that a woman can be more of a treasure in the eyes of her spouse?
In verse 30 it goes on to say… “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”
This rare woman puts God first above all else! When society puts priority on rock hard abs, hefty pay checks, and impeccably coordinated ensembles, she is wise enough to realize that such things will fade away in time! Instead, she chooses to find her significance in Christ and looks to become who He has designed her to be!
So it could be said that the better advice – according to the Bible this time – would be to BE the kind of woman (or man) who deeply loves their spouse, but loves the Lord even more!
…Because God forbid our promising chicken burns, and we forgo our ‘agreeable nature’ to give someone a piece of our mind! When our lipstick is used for much more important things like writing on the wall (thanks to a toddler that has us thisclose to losing our minds) and when our sweats, for the life of us, wont stop calling our name! Even amidst our deepest feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness, we can rest in the fact that It is our character and virtue that is the rare quality that sets us apart from the majority!
And like an irreplaceable treasure to her spouse,
A bounty worth far more than rubies,
So is the woman who above all else, loves the Lord and desires to be more like Him!