10A truly good wife
is the most precious treasure
a man can find!
11Her husband depends on her,
and she never
lets him down.
12She is good to him
every day of her life,
13and with her own hands
she gladly makes clothes.
Contemporary English Version. Copyright © 1995 British & Foreign Bible Society. Used by permission.
We all want others to think well of us. As this famous passage in Proverbs points out, being a good wife is less about what a woman does and more about who a woman is. Yet, it’s easy to fall into a trap of believing that doing the right things will cause others to think well of us.
As a woman, I find these verses truly daunting. Who can do all these things? No one can. In fact, as we read down in the passage, we see that some of the examples given are mutually exclusive. That’s because good women are called upon to do different kinds of good things in the various seasons of their lives.
Being a good wife is about having a good character. That kind of wife is hard to find. Husbands, if you have one, value her! You can depend on her not merely because she can gladly make her own clothes, or looks after your needs, but because her character is good and given over to the Lord. The good wife is a godly wife, not merely an industrious wife.
This picture of the good wife as defined by her character runs countercultural to our world’s values, where women are judged by external features and what they can accomplish. This is because God’s purposes for men and women are countercultural.
As we look ahead in this passage, it is tempting for us wives to assume that the more we do, the more good and noble we become. But the opposite is true. The more good and noble we become – by turning more of our lives over to God – the more doing good will come naturally to us.
Father God, you are merciful and compassionate. I praise you for sanctifying me through your Holy Spirit. Please fill me with your grace and peace so I may be a person of noble character. May I be and do what pleases you to honour you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.