She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. . . . Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
The book of Proverbs begins by stating its intent: “for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight” (Proverbs 1:2). In our reflections this month we’ve considered many proverbs, and we’ve applied their teachings to living as followers of Jesus Christ. Repeatedly we’ve recognized Jesus as the example of wise living.
Proverbs 31 closes with a word picture of a wife and mother who “fears the Lord” and is thus wise, diligent, compassionate, a hard worker, financially astute, insightful, and much more. Like Lady Wisdom, she makes sensible decisions and lives according to God’s Word. Such a mother and wife is worthy of her husband’s praise and her children’s blessing. She’s the example to be followed.
And yet, if anyone could do all that she does, she’d be superhuman. Her example is virtually unattainable. We’re best served by seeing her as the full compilation of Proverbs’ characteristics for wise living as followers of Jesus Christ.
With this intriguing twist, Proverbs, written in a time of male dominance, closes with a picture of a wife and mother as an embodiment of Lady Wisdom, whom we’ve been encouraged to seek and know. Wisdom is God’s gracious gift showing us how to live as his children. It’s the way of the full life that Jesus has provided for us!
God of wisdom, thank you for all you teach us in Proverbs. Help us to live by your wisdom in faithful obedience, following your Son. In his name, Amen.
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