27She takes good care
of her family
and is never lazy.
28Her children praise her,
and with great pride
her husband says,
29“There are many good women,
but you are the best!”
30Charm can be deceiving,
and beauty fades away,
but a woman
who honours the LORD
deserves to be praised.
31Show her respect—
praise her in public
for what she has done.
Contemporary English Version. Copyright © 1995 British & Foreign Bible Society. Used by permission.
What makes a person – a woman, a man – good and noble is their character, not how much money they have in the bank or what designer clothes they wear or even what other people say about them. Let’s let God change the way we think – then we can please him (Romans 12:2).
Proverbs 31 is a long list of examples of fruits that a good wife may bear. Just as a good and healthy nectarine tree bears sweet but tangy nectarines – good fruit – so too does a wife with good character bear many of the fruits that are provided in this chapter.
In life, there is a constant tension between things of worldly value, and things of eternal value. Being in the world, there is no escaping it. Should we make ourselves look good for our spouses? Yes! In part, because we are to “treat others as you want them to treat you” (Matthew 7:12). We want others to look nice for us. But there is a limit; we don’t go past the point where we are doing it for ourselves alone, and not for them.
Our charm, our looks, things of this type will begin to fade away. They are a blessing from God for some seasons of our lives – but honouring God is something that never fades.
When we take care of our family, and bear the fruit of hard work, they praise us as women of good character. Their praise may point to the hard work as an example, but we know it is the goodness inside that produces that hard work outside.
Wives, seek after good character. Pursue God – he will do the rest. We show you respect because of the great work God has done in you! You deserve to be praised (31:30–31)!
Father God, you pour out your Spirit and your blessing. Please help me to receive your goodness and to do good to others in turn. Lead me to praise you for the success you bring from the work of my hands for your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.