The Ideal Woman


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Guess who is the most-hated woman in the Bible? 

Was it Eve? Or, the evil Queen Jezebel? Or, Samson’s Delilah? Surprisingly, in the Engage blog, Sandra Glahn answered, “None of the above.”
I have a hunch that the most-hated woman in the Bible is… the “woman of noble character” in Proverbs 31. One friend whined to me, “I can’t stand that Proverbs 31 lady. I feel tired just thinking about her.” Who can blame us? P-31 is so competent—so intelligent, industrious, and strong—that she intimidates your garden-variety believer. (That’s all of us, right?) She certainly challenges anyone suggesting that the ideal wife has no independent thoughts, or that she’s unintelligent, dainty, and fearful. It’s easy to shy away from P-31 because we identify so little with that kind of perfection. [1]
Who wouldn’t be intimidated with this ideal woman? Just read Proverbs 31:10-31 and you’ll know why. One gets the impression that to be a noble wife, she has to be perfect.

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But, never despair. Since this passage is from a book known for wisdom, then we already see one key to becoming that kind of woman: Wisdom. 
The virtues of a noble wife are those that are extolled throughout the Book of Proverbs: hard work, wise investments, good use of time, planning ahead, care for others, respect for one’s spouse, ability to share godly values with others, wise counsel, and godly fear (worship, trust, service, obedience). As Proverbs has stated repeatedly, these are qualities that lead to honor, praise, success, personal dignity and worth, and enjoyment of life. [2] 
Thus, the Proverbs 31 woman is a wise woman, not a perfect one. Women, you don’t have to hate her or to be intimated by her. Just be a wise person and you will be like her. 

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How does one become wise? “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,…” (9:10b, ESV) So, the starting line towards becoming a Proverbs 31 woman is to fear the Lord. In fact, verse 30 says, Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. According to the Bible Knowledge Commentary, to fear the Lord is “to recognize God’s character and respond by revering, trusting, worshiping, obeying, and serving Him).” [3]

The noble woman’s virtues are not limited to women. In fact, somebody said that, “If you want a princess, be a prince.” Husbands, don’t just look for these character qualities in your spouse. Have those qualities yourself. For those who are still single, as an oft-quoted saying goes, “Don’t look for the right person. Be the right person.” And it all starts with fearing the Lord.

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“Wise” Step

This week, read through the book of Proverbs. (If you would read about 6 chapters a day, you would finish it in 5 days.) As you read, underline the verses that would “speak” or resonate in your heart. Reflect on what those verses are teaching you about becoming a wise person.

NOTE: This is Day One of the devotional guide (Volume 1, Issue 10) of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the message on Becoming a Woman of Impact” yesterday, May 10.  In view of the Mother's Day celebration yesterday, I opted to post this series of devotional guide. Issue 9 will be posted afterwards.

[1] Sandra Glahn (2009, April 21), “The Most-Hated Woman in the Bible,” Bible.org Blogs, retrieved from http://blogs.bible.org/. Emphasis added.

[2] Sid S. Buzzell, “Proverbs” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, Eds. John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983, 1985), 973. 

[3]  Ibid, 907-908.

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