An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:10-12 (ESV)
In an interview with Vogue, Miley Cyrus is quoted as saying, “I definitely don’t fit into a stereotypical wife role. I don’t even like that word,” she added. “‘Husband and wife’ sounds like a cigarette commercial from the 50’s to me.”
In contrast, if someone were to ask me, Holly, who are you? I would answer that I am a woman who fears God. I am a wife, a mother and a grandmother—and I count all my roles as a privilege.
In Proverbs 31, we are introduced to the excellent wife and her effect upon her husband. Even though her life may not fit everyone’s circumstances, her productivity, her selfless goodness and the qualities of her relationships are beautiful examples of fulfillment and purpose.
Since an excellent wife is rare, she must be “found,” like a rare jewel. This implies a careful search. Solomon discovered that in his harem of a thousand women, he could not find a virtuous woman. Because he was living in open defiance of God’s law, he could not find the pure affection and undivided love he so longed for in a relationship. He was searching in the wrong places—and the result was bitter disappointment.
To the contrary, the diligence of an excellent wife blesses her household and her husband. His good—literally his “spoil” or “booty” —is a military image that seems out of place in this portrait of domestic life, but it reflects the variety of good that she brings him. Just as the spoils of war might include cattle, slaves, precious metals and valuable clothing, her bounty provides many benefits. This is how she has won his trust and his adoration.
Nothing in daily life, whether business transactions or providing the necessities of life, is free from the need to depend upon God’s wisdom and counsel. This awareness transforms every aspect of life from merely mundane to truly spiritual. The fear of the Lord makes all the difference!