A Woman To Be Praised

(Today is my wife’s birthday and in honor of her I thought I would re-post this piece.)

Proverbs 31:1

The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him

I did some research on King Lemuel.  I didn’t know who he was and I thought King Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs.  Some scholars think otherwise, but I guess who wrote the book isn’t as important as what is in the book.  After reading their arguments I still believe it is the work of King Solomon.

It turns out that King Lemuel was really King Solomon just using another name much like he does in the book of Ecclesiastes.  In that book Solomon only refers to himself as “The Preacher”.  And so it is likely that the advice being given to King Solomon is from his mother Bathsheba.

As I read Proverbs 31, I came to verses 10 through 31, which in the English Standard Version of the Bible is titled, “The Woman Who Fears the Lord”.  And as I read them I thought of my wife.

Tomorrow, June 16, marks the thirty ninth year of my life with this woman as my wife, and there is none other in this world with whom I want to spend my remaining days.

Verses 10 – 12:

An excellent wife who can find?

She is far more precious than jewels.

The heart of her husband trusts in her,

and he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good, and not harm,

all the days of her life.

My wife is more precious to me than anything in my life.  My trust and faith in her has allowed me to become who I am today.  She has done me good and no harm all the days of our life together.

Verse 20:

She opens her hand to the poor

and reaches out her hands to the needy.

A more caring and thoughtful woman you will not find.  She is willing to help all.

Verse 25:

Strength and dignity are her clothing,

and she laughs at the time to come.

She is a strong woman, who helps me when I am weak.  The laughter that we share is something that I never want to lose.

Verse 26:

She opens her mouth with wisdom,

and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

She understands what needs to be said or not said, and although she may not admit it, her wisdom has out shined mine and given me guidance throughout our marriage.  She shares here kindness with all.

Verse 27:

She looks well to the ways of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Family was always her top priority.  She always pulled her own weight plus the weight of others.  Never have I seen her “eat the bread of idleness”.  She has worked as many as three jobs at one time.  Not because we were in need of the money, but because she wanted to feel that she was contributing her fair share, and because she wanted to help and not disappoint those she worked for.

Verse 28:

Her children rise up and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:

Although kids will be kids, our children who have become adults realize how blessed they are to have her as a mother.  I know how blessed I am to have her as the mother of our children.

Verse 29:

“Many women have done excellently,

but you surpass them all.”

There is nothing more I can say.

Verse 30:

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

My wife has all three, charm, beauty and fears the Lord.  Her charm is not used to deceive and there is no vanity in her beauty, for she seek righteousness and God.

Here is Proverbs 31:10-31.  Mothers and fathers give this advice to your sons.   Find a woman like this and love her more than life itself.

Proverbs 31:10-31

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

An excellent wife who can find?

She is far more precious than jewels.

The heart of her husband trusts in her,

and he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good, and not harm,

all the days of her life.

She seeks wool and flax,

and works with willing hands.

She is like the ships of the merchant;

she brings her food from afar.

She rises while it is yet night

and provides food for her household

and portions for her maidens.

She considers a field and buys it;

with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

She dresses herself with strength

and makes her arms strong.

She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.

Her lamp does not go out at night.

She puts her hands to the distaff,

and her hands hold the spindle.

She opens her hand to the poor

and reaches out her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of snow for her household,

for all her household are clothed in scarlet.

She makes bed coverings for herself;

her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Her husband is known in the gates

when he sits among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them;

she delivers sashes to the merchant.

Strength and dignity are her clothing,

and she laughs at the time to come.

She opens her mouth with wisdom,

and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

She looks well to the ways of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women have done excellently,

but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands,

and let her works praise her in the gates.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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