EveryMans NLT Proverbs - Page 42

Proverbs 30 | page 868
+ + + Men, Women, & God
The Ultimate Wife
Proverbs 31
IF YOU’VE EVER TRIED TO IMAGINE the ultimate wife, your fantasy may have combined the physique of a
Hollywood starlet, the wealth of a successful stockbroker, and the housekeeping and cooking skills of
dear old Mom.
King Lemuel, on the other hand, wasn’t prone to flights of fantasy. In this description of the ultimate
wife, he paints a picture of a woman who excels at practical skills.
And surprisingly, his perfect wife is a strong, successful woman. Instead of focusing on superficial
attractions that can fade over time, the writer concentrates on the unchanging, internal characteristics
that make a woman virtuous and noble.
This ultimate wife is trustworthy. She helps her husband in what he does, and she enriches their
married life.
She’s a sharp businesswoman who works hard, knows a bargain when she sees one, and uses her many
skills to make her family happy and healthy. She gets up early in the morning, works into the night, and
feeds her family while negotiating complex real estate deals.
She cares for her family’s physical needs, but she also cares about those outside her home, extending
compassion to those less fortunate than she is.
And all the while, she has the internal character that her children and husband praise: strength, dignity,
wisdom, and a sense of humor.
According to King Lemuel, the perfect wife isn’t a showpiece fashion plate or a meek and timid servant.
Instead, she’s a strong, industrious woman who brings a touch of grace to all she does.
Never slander a worker to the employer,
or the person will curse you, and you
will pay for it.
Some people curse their father
and do not thank their mother.
They are pure in their own eyes,
but they are filthy and unwashed.
They look proudly around,
casting disdainful glances.
They have teeth like swords
and fangs like knives.
They devour the poor from the earth
and the needy from among humanity.
The leech has two suckers
that cry out, “More, more!”*
30:15 Hebrew two daughters who cry out, “Give, give!”
There are three things that are never
no, four that never say, “Enough!”:
the grave,*
the barren womb,
the thirsty desert,
the blazing fire.
The eye that mocks a father
and despises a mother’s instructions
will be plucked out by ravens of the valley
and eaten by vultures.
There are three things that amaze me—
no, four things that I don’t understand:
how an eagle glides through the sky,
how a snake slithers on a rock,
30:16 Hebrew Sheol.
30:11-12 It is easier to blame others for our problems than it is to admit them. Some of our problems do
have roots in the failures of others. Our parents may have failed to love and discipline us as they should
have. But these problems have been compounded by bad decisions that we have made. Our sufferings are
usually caused by a combination of factors, including the sins of others and sins of our own. We cannot
change the failures of others, and blame does nothing to speed our spiritual growth. We can, however,
change our own attitudes and actions that have perpetuated the suffering. Maturity comes as we take
responsibility for our problems by forgiving those who have wronged us and by seeking forgiveness for
our own sins.

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