Devotional

Lady Wisdom (26 September)

How hard it is to find a capable wife! She is worth far more than jewels! Her husband puts his confidence in her, and he will never be poor. As long as she lives, she does him good and never harm. She keeps herself busy making wool and linen cloth. She brings home food from out- of-the-way places, as merchant ships do. She gets up before daylight to prepare food for her family and to tell her servant women what to do. She looks at land and buys it, and with money she has earned she plants a vineyard. She is a hard worker, strong and industrious. . . . She is generous to the poor and needy. She doesn't worry when it snows, because her family has warm clothing. . . . Her husband is well known, one of the leading citizens. She makes clothes and belts, and sells them to merchants. She is strong and respected and not afraid of the future. She speaks with a gentle wisdom. She is always busy and looks after her family's needs. Her children show their appreciation, and her husband praises her. He says, "Many women are good wives, but you are the best of them all." Charm is deceptive and beauty disappears, but a woman who honors the Lord should be praised. Give her credit for all she does. She deserves the respect of everyone.
Proverbs 31:10-31

The positive image of women in the book of Proverbs is not confined to rhetoric only. Proverbs also insists that women can be a blessing in the context of marriage. Rather than preaching celibacy, the Old Testament urges men and women to get married and to remain faithful to their wives and husbands.

A number of verses in this description of the "woman of worth" correspond closely to what (Proverbs 1-9) says about wisdom. She is more precious than jewels (3:15); (8:11), she surpasses all (3:15), and she speaks with wisdom (31:26). The woman portrayed here is a mature woman, carrying many responsibilities, successful in all she does as a wife, as a mother, and in business. The woman of worth embodies the fruit that wisdom produces. For her children she has provided invaluable instruction (6:20) such that they consequently can arise and recognize her to be blessed (31:28). This wife's wisdom derives from the same "fear of the Lord," in which all true wisdom has its roots.

Where will a man end up if he does not follow the path of wisdom? Firmly in the bosom of folly. In order to find happiness, the student of wisdom needs to build a strong family, starting with a wise wife. In the same way, in order to build a strong life, one needs to be married to Wisdom herself. Lady Wisdom becomes a symbol of how much God desires to communicate his wisdom to human beings through the wise words and behavior of women who are to be loved and respected, women who become mothers, teachers, and home- builders. Let us look for wise women, women with these qualities, to be leaders in their homes, families, churches, and societies; women who fear the Lord and shun evil.

- 26 SEPTEMBER -

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