The Ideal Woman
The Ideal Woman
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
This is Mother’s Day and I’d like to take a few moments and talk about the Ideal Woman.
What is the Ideal Woman like? You’ll get a variety of answers to that question! Some say the ideal woman is a woman who will obey your every whim, wait on you hand and foot, and literally worship the ground you walk on (I think the word for this is Male Chauvinism). Others say the ideal woman can do the work of two men, and if women were prime ministers and presidents, wars would end, unemployment would be eliminated, and world hunger would be a thing of the past (I think the word for this is Neo Feminism). The truth lies somewhere between these two extremes.
You don’t have to look very far to find a description of the Ideal Woman - if you have a Bible. Her description is found in Proverbs 31:10-31.
This Proverb is God’s description of the Ideal Woman - and God isn’t a chauvinist, He is our Creator. Ladies, He designed and created you, and He knows what will satisfy you and bring fulfillment to your life. You would be wise, if you acquaint yourself with this lady and make her your role model. And keep in mind - this proverb wasn’t written to make you feel guilty or place unrealistic expectations on your life. It was written to build you up and show you your God-given potential. Let’s notice 2 items about the Ideal Woman.
I. The Person She Is.
A. She is a Valuable WIFE.
Ladies, this isn’t to say that you’ll never fulfill your role in life if you are single. Heavens no! The Bible teaches that marriage is an honorable relationship between a man and a woman, but the Bible also places great honor on being single. In fact, 1 Corinthians 7 tells us there are some things a single person can do for God that a married person can’t. So don’t ever let any one make you feel like a second class person just because you’re single. But if you are married, or you intend to be married, then please realize that God expects you to be a valuable wife - like the woman in Proverbs 31.
Do you know what made her such a valuable wife? (Read vs. 10-12) She earned her husbands respect by working with him instead of against him. What an example to follow! Husbands and wives, moms and dads, work together as a team and don’t compete as opponents! You’re on the same team and you have the same goal: to build, provide for, and maintain a godly family! And ladies, you can be a valuable wife if you work with your husband to reach that goal!
B. She is a Vigorous WORKER.
A husband and wife should have a goal to build, provide for, and maintain a godly family and they should work hard to reach that goal. Parents shouldn’t be lazy, especially when it comes to their family. The Ideal Woman of Proverbs 31 isn’t lazy.
(1) She works hard at HOME (read vs. 15 & 27). They say that a woman’s work is never done and that’s especially true of a woman’s work at home. Do you know what the most demanding job in the world is? Being a mother and a wife! Think about it. A mother has to be a nurse, a teacher, a child psychologist, a dietician, a housekeeper, and a cook. It takes hard work to build and maintain a family! So ladies, don’t get lazy when it comes to your home.
And husbands don’t be lazy either. Appreciate the hard work your wife does at home - and give her a hand (a helping hand)!
(2) She works hard on the JOB (read vs. 18, 24). These verses describe a career woman. She is busy, buying, selling, and trading. It may shock you to realize that the Bible does not condemn a woman who works outside the home. The Ideal Woman of Proverbs 31 works outside the home and is commended - not condemned.
Ladies, if you don’t have to work outside the home, then take advantage of it and focus on ministering to your husband and raising your children. But if you have to find employment outside the home then don’t feel like a bad wife or a bad mother. You are being a good wife and a good mother because you’re helping provide for your family!
(3) She even works hard when she SHOPS (read vs. 13-16). That’s commendable! She knows the value of a dollar and she doesn’t squander the family livelihood.
The ideal woman is a valuable wife, a vigorous worker, and . . .
C. She is a Virtuous WOMAN.
Our society places a lot of emphasis on a woman’s looks, but there’s more to the Ideal Woman than her looks. She has substance and virtue.
(1) Verse 20 describes the compassion she shows.
(2) Verse 25 describes the character she has.
(3) Verse 26 describes the counsel she gives.
To sum it all up, the Ideal Woman is Christ-like! Ladies, what an example for you to follow! Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, but remember it’s far more important to be woman of substance and virtue - like the Woman in Proverbs 31.
You need to really get acquainted with this woman and make her your role model. Follow her example and she will help you find fulfillment and satisfaction.
I could close here, but there’s one more item I want to mention.
II. The Praise She Deserves.
(Read vs. 28-31). For the most part, I’ve preached to the ladies - and I don’t want the rest of you to feel left out, so let me preach to you for a few minutes.
The last 4 verses of this proverb says that a godly woman deserves to be praised. Husbands, teenagers, and children, do you know why we ought to praise the godly women in our lives?
A. Because it feels GOOD.
It feels good to be positive and to say positive thinks about the people in our lives. But there are some people who just don’t like to praise others. I’m talking about the cranks, misfits, and scrooges of the world who seldom praise. They have an inner sickness of the soul that yields criticism, complaining, sarcasm, and a general joylessness. I want to take such people (and sometimes myself) and shake them and say, "Hey wake up! Sure there is rottenness in the world. But Jesus Christ has made us more than conquerors and He gives us every reason to be positive and happy! So stop grumbling! Get yourself hooked on praise because it feels 10 times better!"
B. Because it honors GOD.
Since God made the world and is at work in it, it is possible to praise Him indirectly by praising something he made or praising something that exalts Him. (ILL: If you praise my little boy, Carol and I feel honored - and that’s the way it is with God).
C. Because it strengthens GODLY WOMEN.
There are always temptations that allure us away from God and we all need encouragement from time to time. We all need to hear a saintly person say, "You’re doing a great job." When you praise the godly women in your life, you are strengthening their walk in the Lord.
Teenagers and children, God forbid this to happen, but suppose your mom was killed in a car wreck this afternoon and you had to go to her funeral on Wednesday. What would you wish on Wednesday you had told her today? Tell her before today is up.
And what about you husbands? You know what I would say if I lost my wife this week? "Why did I get upset over such stupid little things? Why didn’t I encourage her more? Why didn’t I build her up and let her know how much I love and appreciate her?" O how we need to live in the light of our dying! Death puts everything in perspective!
Husbands, teenagers, and children, praise her while you have her. And you will strengthen her, honor God, and add great joy to your own life (v. 28, her children arise and call her blessed, her husband also,
and he praises her).