Proverbs 31: Noble Character


Noble character… Reading Proverbs 31 this morning has left me wanting to be like this woman of noble character.  The excellent wife.  Who can find her?  better yet, who can find such noble character in man or woman in the land?  Let’s see why it’s worth pursuing…

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Proverbs 31:10-31

I know… I’m supposed to write about how my wife is like this woman, and all women should be like this woman.  And it’s true: she is a force to be reckoned with.  So much so that I am not thinking about my wife.  I’m thinking about me. I’d like to be like the wife of noble character…

No, I’m not gender-bending and merging the roles and responsibilities of men and women in the home.  I like blue jobs as much as the next guy.  I don’t even know how to do some of the pink jobs Lucy does…

My point is that noble character is gender-neutral. I want to have good and noble character, which follows my God, who is spirit.  Noble character is worth more than rubies.  And I think she is worth this much, not because of the activities she completes, but because of her character as she completes them.

Accomplishment without values and character tends to leave a trail of bodies in its wake.

She is focused on bringing good, and not harm, to her family.  When I make decisions do I think about the impact on my wife and my kids?

She has a keen work ethic, willing to do what it takes to make ends meet and provide for her family (notice that she is part of providing for her family – it’s a pink and blue job in this story).

She practices careful stewardship in the use and building of wealth, and she is generous with the poor and needy. Those two concepts go together in noble character…

Her character extends to her spouse.  Notice verse 23 and consider that her husband is respected in town.  I think her character reflects well on him.

She has and shares wisdom with others.

She fears the Lord…

Wrap all this noble character up in a person and be encouraged by what happens in verse 25:  She can laugh at the days to come.  When we have solid character which is based on fearing the Lord, we can laugh at the future.  That doesn’t mean it will always go our ways.

It does mean that we are so solid in our contentment and relationship with God that the future doesn’t determine our joy.

I want to be like the woman of noble character.  Don’t you?

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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