This is the second-to-last devotion on Proverbs 31 that I will be sharing with you this year, one this week and one next week. I hope you have enjoyed looking with me at the characteristics of the Proverbs wife and seeking God in what He would have you be as a woman.
Let’s look at verses 25 and 26. “Strength and dignity are her clothing and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
I love that after talking about this dear woman literally making clothing for her family and others, the writer of Proverbs also makes a spiritual application about what we ‘put on’ ourselves. In Galatians 3, Paul speaks of “clothing yourself with Christ” when we become children of God through faith. Strength and dignity come through growing in our faith when we submit to the Spirit and ask Him to work in us (Galatians 5:16-26).
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah refers to being clothed as putting on beautiful garments (Isaiah 52:1). It is God’s desire for us as women, wives and mothers that we wrap ourselves in honor, inner beauty and strengh. How can we do this? I think the best thing is to read the Word each day because this is the best way to know who God is and how he wants us to live. We can seek out Godly counsel and choose wisely the influences and worldviews we are exposed to each day.
When this woman “smiles at the future” it implies that she is not anxious or afraid of what will happen tomorrow. She lets “tomorrow worry about itself” (Matthew 6:34). A few weeks ago, I found myself consumed by fear of the future. I was terribly worried about my children, my unborn baby and God’s plans for our family. Even though I still struggle with this some days, I discovered that God does want me to smile at the future and trust that His plans for me are for good and not for evil.
The teaching of kindness and words of wisdom come forth from this Proverbs wife. These words are passed to her friends, children and probably her husband. She is wise and loving in the way she speaks and thinks carefully before she offers someone advice, making sure that it is words of the Lord and not only her opinion. I believe she also is careful when she speaks and uses her wisdom to discern whether or not the person to whom she is speaking has an open mind and heart.
I have found that I am not as wise as I once thought I was. In discovering that sometimes my well-meaning advice was probably unnecessary and even judgmental and legalistic, I am learning that it is sometimes the wisest thing to keep my mouth shut :)
“Please help me to put on Christ, dear Lord, in my day to day moments even when I think no one is watching. Help me not to fear but to smile at the future. Give me wisdom and discernment so that when I speak words they are shared with love, humility and kindness. Amen.”