Welcome! Today we are going to begin examining what it means to be Excellent, the first characteristic of the biblical wife found in Proverbs 31. I want to begin this series by first saying that a biblical wife is NOT a perfect wife!
My goal with this series is not make any woman feel badly about where she is at in her journey, nor should she feel as though she will never measure up! Jesus loves us right where we are and offers an abundance of grace and empowerment for the areas in which we need to grow as His beloved bride, wives and mothers.
The excellent wife: an unattainable goal? Not quite.
It has taken me YEARS to write about the Proverbs 31 woman. For someone like me, who has had a sinful past and rocky sanctification journey with Jesus, I never felt like I could measure up to such a standard! But here she is, this beautiful, wise and godly woman that I so want to be like.
At a young 20 years of age, she was an impossible goal for me. Now, in my 40s, I see her much differently now and can say that if we keep seeking the Lord and obeying His Word, we just might catch a glimpse of her in our reflections as the days go on.
I’ve realized that this woman is someone we can grow into with time, maturity and the fear of the Lord. She’s not impossible, but rather, she is the result of a lifetime of living for God with biblical priorities set in place.
Beginning in verse 10 of Proverbs 31, we find the opening line of this passage:
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.”
As I began to dig into the meaning of the word excellent, I came across the Amplified Bible’s version of this verse and it is pretty accurate concerning the meaning of the original text of the bible:
An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her? Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls.
Isn’t that good? An excellent wife is a woman who is spiritual, capable, intelligent and virtuous. Let’s dive deeper:
The excellent wife is Spiritual
She is a woman of faith. She knows who her God is and she belongs first and foremost to Him. The excellent wife is not just a hearer of the Word, but a doer of the Word.
The excellent wife is Capable.
The word capable is defined as: ‘able to hold, contain, to receive.. Endued with power. Possessing mental powers; able to understand, to receive into the mind. Qualified for, having legal power or capacity. ‘
The Proverbs 31 wife receives information and the Word of God into her mindset and stands securely in her identity. She is capable and endued with power to sift through this world’s information and measure it against God’s Word. And she knows by Whom she is qualified.
This quality is available to each one of us who believe in Christ. Our minds are capable of receiving the truth and deciding to walk in it.
The Excellent Wife is Intelligent
Another quality God created each of us with is intelligence. In this verse, intelligent means: ‘Endowed with the faculty of understanding or reason. Knowing, understanding, well-informed, skilled.’
The wife of noble character capitalizes on her mental ability to learn and she studies to become well-informed and skilled in whatever is needed to live her life to please God and fulfill her purpose.
If we look at a biblical standard and we think we are not capable of lining ourselves up to it, I would like to say that that is a lie that we have chosen to believe.
It may seem harsh to say that, but the truth is that God gave you an intelligent mind and the ability to learn the things He wants you to know and walk in.
Is it overwhelming sometimes? YES. Does our flesh want to rise up and not do what we know we should? YES. Do we feel like we will never develop a needed skill to be fruitful in an area of our life sometimes? YES! But my sister, all those are feelings, they are not the truth at all!
We CAN grow in our knowledge and understanding and skills and disciplines to become the women of God we are meant to be. But it requires a willingness on our part and a commitment to learn unto fruition.
I have a been a horrible housekeeper most of my adult life. I have had to study and learn how to keep my house cleaner and more organized, how to manage finances better, how to manage our schedules better so that projects would get done and important tasks would not be forgotten. Years ago, I knew God wanted me to do better in this area, and so, I chose to learn and take that information I learned and put it into practice.
I’m still not the kind of home keeper I want to be, but I am well on my way because I was willing to change my old ways and learn new ones.
Finally, the excellent wife is Virtuous
She dies to sin and lives unto the Spirit of God.
Virtuous. This was a really tough word for me when I first began walking with Jesus. I came to Jesus heavy-laden with sin and it took a while for me to begin to transform into anything I would consider “virtuous”. I had a lot of shame attached to my past and the enemy made sure to send plenty of people my way to remind me of that past! But then, one day, I looked up the original meaning of the word:
Virtuous means, ‘ Morally good, acting in conformity to the moral law; practicing the moral duties, abstaining from vice. Having great or powerful properties. Chaste- Pure. Free from obscenities. ‘
In the original language it is the Hebrew word, chayil, and means strength, efficiency, wealth, army, force.
Reading the words, “acting in conformity”, “practicing” “abstaining” in the definition of virtuous gave me hope! I might not have been a virtuous woman when I met Jesus, but I sure could BECOME one by conforming to His Word, practicing His Word and abstaining from sin! For someone like me, this knowledge birth gratitude and relief in my heart. I did not have to STAY an unclean woman!
Now, please understand, when you give your heart to Jesus, you are indeed a NEW creation, the old has passed away, and the new has come. I want to be clear that I know my salvation was never in question and neither is yours. But knowing that with God, I could grow gradually in Christlike morality was a big deal for me. I could learn how to live a clean life, free from the temptations of the world and walk in purity for Jesus. My past did not have to define me any longer! Praise God!
She is a force to be reckoned with.
As a woman operates in intelligence, becomes capable and virtuous she is a force to be reckoned with. God created us to be powerful in our identities as His daughters. We are an army for Him when we walk in those identities.
We are capable, intelligent and virtuous beings that have the power to bless not only our families, but also our communities and all within our realm of influence.
Becoming the Biblical Wife begins in the mind
I find it interesting that the first characteristic listed in this famous passage has to do with engaging our minds. So many times we look at all the tasks that this woman accomplishes but really, those tasks came from where she stood in her faith and her mindset. That is where we must also begin.
How do we view ourselves? Are we willing to align ourselves to what His Word says about us? We must line our thinking with His Word and be willing to open ourselves up to His Way of doing.
I hope this inspires you to reach for excellence in your own journey to become who He has called you to be- Excellent!