THE WIFE, MY WIFE!

( PROVERBS 31:10-31 )

WHO CAN FIND A VIRTUOUS WOMAN? FOR HER PRICE IS FAR ABOVE RUBIES. THE HEART OF HER HUSBAND DOTH SAFELY TRUST HER, SO THAT HE SHALL HAVE NO NEED OF SPOIL. SHE WILL DO HIM GOOD AND NOT EVIL ALL THE DAYS OF HER LIFE. SHE SEEKETH WOOL. AND FLAX, AND WORKETH WILLINGLY WITH HER HANDS. SHE CONSIDERETH A FIELD, AND BUYETH IT: WITH THE FRUIT OF HER HANDS SHE PLANTETH A VINEYARD. SHE GIRDETH HER LOINS WITH STRENGTH, AND STRENGTHETH HER ARMS, SHE PERCEIVETH THAT HER MERCHANDISE IS GOOD:HER CANDLE GOETH NOT OUT BY NIGHT. SHE LAYETH HER HANDS TO THE SPINDLE, AND HER HANDS HOLD THE DISTAFF. SHE STRETHETH OUT HER HAND TO THE POOR; YEA, SHE REACHETH FORTH HER HANDS TO THE NEEDY. SHE IS NOT AFRAID OF THE SNOW FOR HER HOUSEHOLD: FOR ALL HER HOUSEHOLD ARE CLOTHED WITH SCARLET. SHE MAKETH HERSELF COVERINGS FOR TAPESTRY; HER CLOTHING IS SILK AND PURPLE. HER HUSBAND IS KNOWN IN THE GATES, WHEN HE SITTETH AMONG THE ELDERS OF THE LAND. SHE MAKETH FINE LINEN, AND SELLETH IT; AND DELIVERETH GIRDLES UNTO THE MERCHANT. STRENGH AND HONOUR ARE HER CLOTHING; AND SHE SHALL REJOICE IN TIME TO COME. SHE OPENETH HER MOUTH WITH WISDOM; AND IN HER TONGUE IS THE LAW OF KINDNESS. SHE LOOKETH WELL TO THE WAYS OF HER HOUSEHOLD, AND EATETH NOT THE BREAD OF IDLENESS. HER CHILDREN ARISE UP, AND CALL HER BLESSED; HER HUSBAND ALSO, AND HE PRAISETH HER. MANY DAUGHTERS HAVE DONE VIRTUOUSLY, BUT THOU EXCELLEST THEM ALL. FAVOR IS DECEITFUL, AND BEAUTY IS VAIN: BUT A WOMAN THAT FEARETH THE LORD, SHE SHALL BE PRAISED. GIVE HER OF THE FRUIT OF HER HANDS; AND LET HER OWN WORKS PRAISE HER IN THE GATES.

If you will notice this, I didn’t write the first ten verses of this chapter. I feel that I should write them now to begin to make my point.

THE WORDS OF KING LEMUEL, THE PROPHECY THAT HIS MOTHER TAUGHT HIM. WHAT, MY SON? AND WHAT THE SON OF MY WOMB? AND WHAT, THE SON OF MY VOWS? GIVE NOT THY STRENGTH UNTO WOMEN, NOR THY WAYS TO THAT WHICH DESTROYETH KINGS. IT IS NOT FOR KINGS, O LEMUEL, IT IS NOT FOR KINGS TO DRINK WINE; FOR PRINCES STRONG DRINK: LEST THEY DRINK, AND FORGET THE LAW, AND PERVERT THE JUDGMENT OF ANY OF THE AFFLICTED. GIVE STRONG DRINK UNTO HIM THAT IS READY TO PERISH, AND WINE UNTO THOSE THAT BE OF HEAVY HEARTS. LET HIM DRINK, AND FORGET HIS POVERTY, AND REMEMBER HIS MISERY NO MORE. OPEN THY MOUTH FOR THE DUMB IN THE CAUSE OF ALL SUCH AS ARE APPOINTED TO DESTRUCTION. OPEN THY MOUTH, JUDGE RIGHTEOUSLY.

Proverbs 31 is seen to represent a picture of a good wife. Many women read it and seek to be the type of wife that if revealed in these verses. We see here that it was actually a man, a king that wrote this chapter. He, the king was taught this by his mother seeking to prepare him to one day find this type of a woman to be his wife. Therefore, although it was given in scripture by a man, the wisom we see here was given by a mother; one that was concerned for the kind of woman her son would one day marry.

The question is asked, who can find a virtuous woman? I might add to that, is there any men that are truly seeking one? Can’t we; first of all give some credit to this mother for at least teaching her son what to actually look for in a wife. Not only teach it in words but, live those words in her every day life. It also says in this verse that ( her price is far above rubies ). Do we teach our daughters their true value today? Do mothers in general teach their sons what to look for when they begin to look for a wife? If not; why?

Not only did the mother teach this to her son but, he is now teaching it as well. Most women never stop to consider that ( a man ) wrote ( Proverbs 31 ). As far as I know, this king ( King Lemuel ) is not mentioned anywhere else in scripture. However, can you see just how powerful the words of this king and his mother became over time?

I personally admire any woman, any wife that desires to set her standards by the attributes we see in this chapter. ( I believe ) time as we look at it today becomes a problem. ( I believe ) our ability to have ( rubies ) rather than to be one is the mindset of often both, men and women. Within that mindset is where we spend the time in our lives that we should be spending becoming ( a ruby ) ( a pearl of great price ). That is for both men and women.

We seem to forget when boys and girls become men and women. We desire to push that age far beyond when it actually happens and, therefore we focus on the aspect of education that our children might have rubies rather than being one. In a lot of things I write I make this point about both men and women. We are born what we are; either a boy or girl. We have no choice in the matter. One day around the age of twelve or thirteen we become men and women, that is something else we have no control over. However, with both young men and women, whether we are ladies or gentlemen is completely up to the individual.

When we consider this time frame that means that a mother and father have just twelve or thirteen years to teach their sons and daughters to be ladies and gentlemen. That fact doesn’t mean they will marry at that age but, rather that they will be prepared to ( become rubies ) at that age. They’ll understand how to be rubies and, how to look for rubies. I’m using that word in reference to both men and women.

I’d say that my wife and I could be considered as perfect examples in one form or another of the average setting for children today. The only thing I might add is that it’s gotten worse over the years. As a man, a husband I was probably in my late thirties or even early forties before I realized that if I desired to have a ( ruby ) for my wife, I must first be someone that would attract such a lady. While I had been raised in Church I was never taught anything about the real responsibilites of keeping myself pure for one woman, my wife. The focus, while a little different was on work and earning a living. My wife, if she were speaking could tell you somewhat that same thing maybe with a little different slant but, still being abscent from the real understanding of what to be and,what to look for in a life long mate.

As usual, it’s always a spiritual education and something to be learned if we are willing to seek those things out. For instance; did you notice that it’s the mother teaching her son here? I’d like to build on this concept, even on the spiritual topic. Most people realize that young women mature quicker than the young men will. In every respectable sense of the word, the young woman has complete control. That is; until she freely yields that control to the man she will call her husband.

So, let’s put this into a Church setting on a local level. I’m going to use a verse I see in ( Acts ) to make my point here.

( Acts 4:19-20 )

BUT PETER AND JOHN ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM, WHETHER IT BE RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD TO HEARKEN UNTO YOU MORE THAN UNTO GOD, JUDGE YE. ( 20 ) FOR WE CANNOT BUT SPEAK THE THINGS WHICH WE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD.

If you will continue to read below these verses you will notice that when thay shared their stand within their own company, they all agreed with one accord with their stand. Let’s consider Peter and John as being pastors in a local Church, standing against ( established religion ) and the rest of the people being part of their congregation. That Church is the ( bride ) the ( wife ) of Jesus Christ. Therefore, wherein is the true power revealed? Is it not within the ( stand of the wife )? What if every local Church stood in unity and demanded that their pastor preach only what God spoke to his heart?

( The Church ) just as any young woman has the power within her to make any man be all he is suppose to be for Jesus Christ! She has the power to demand that a standard be set because she refuses to bend to anything less than what God expects from her or, the man she will call her husband. In this respect that man would be the pastor of the Church. The pastor of every Church stands where only Jesus Christ would be standing if he were here. If ( the Church ) is to be seen as a ( Proverbs 31 ) wife then she will except nothing less than the pastor of the Church to say and demand of her all that Jesus Christ would demand if he were here.

Any wife that is a ( Proverbs 31 ) wife desires her husband to be the very same way. She desires for her husband to be completely submissive to God’s will as the Spirit of God leads him. I’d like to add here that there is no such thing as any husband, wife, Church or pastor being perfect. A pastor or husband perfectly being ( like Christ ) is impossible. For any Church or wife to be perfrctly ( like Christ ) would have them to be is also impossible. It all has to do with ( will ) and God sees the desires of the heart.

In my heart; my wife truly seeks to be a ( Proverbs 31 ) wife. She, as my wife causes me to seek to be more like Juesus Christ. We both completely understand that neither of us can be perfect nor will we ever be but, the will is present in both of our hearts. She drives me to be more like Christ and, as I seek to do that it causes her to be more conformable to the will of God.

I’d like to take a moment here to share something personal in my life. The last brother on in my dad’s family died just a few weeks ago. He was also the youngest of my Grandmother’s children. There was something that my Aunt Christine and my Mother had very in common. Of course, they married brothers. However, neither of these men were in a family that attended Church on a regular basis. My mom and Aunt both were raised in Church. When they married both of these men were men that drinked alcohol on a regular basis. My dad really had a problem with it but, my Uncle, not so bad.

As time moved foward both of these women never gave up or sacrificed their walk with Jesus Christ. When their children were born they both made sure that their children were raised just like they were; in Church. They both went alone with no support from their husbands other than the fact that the men didn’t stop them from going. I’m sure it was from very trying times, I know it was for my mother but, as time moved foward both my Uncle and my Dad came to know Jesus Christ as their personal savior. I often tell this story. I told this at my dad’s funeral. Although my sisters and I seen a bad side of my dad, not one of his grandchildren or great grandchildren ever seen him as anything less than a saint of God. When my dad died, he was a deacon in the Church he attended, well respected as a born again believer. My Uncle, as far as I know was never a deacon nor did he have a desire to be. However, he was highly respected and loved by the members of his Church and in the community he lived in. Guess what? he was a deacon at heart! What people don’t often realize is this. You don’t have to have a ( title ) to be seen as a leader, first of all by God the Father and also, by the people around you.

I’m sure there are other stories to be told but, these two women were ( Proverbs 31 women ). They planted a garden. they gave to the poor, they were constant their whole lives in their will to walk with God. The wives, while they faced adversity, led their husbands to Christ, seen each of their children come to Christ. As far as I know, each of my Aunt and Uncle’s children, my cousins are born again. As far as I know all my sisters are born again, that includes me, the only son.

As a ( Proverbs 31 ) wife ) a ( Proverbs 31 ) Church seeds are sown, the fruit of those seeds are seen and, as our lives move foward we can look back and see where the real, true strength is, where it comes from. I realize that the Bible says that the woman is the weaker vessel. However, a ( Proverbs 31) wife and Church is the completion, the real strength of the men that they say they love.

I’ll go as far as to say this. I know this is a very hard saying but, any Church that will allow their pastor to be lass than what God desires for him to be actually doesn’t love him. That Church should, like the two women I spoke of, live a life that demands a change toward perfection, forcing the hand of the pastor to become all he should be in Christ. Any wife that conforms to the will of a husband that is less than what God expects rather than setting a Godly stand to the best of her ability neither truly loves her husband or her children. I’ll also say this, any man that treats his wife in an abusive maneer, being less than ( loving his wife as Christ loved the Church ) is , more than likely not saved and, he is very ( self centered ). He will never be pleasing to God the Father as long as he acts in that way.

What we often fail to understand is that the world has its way of defining ( love ) just as the Word of God defines it. Many people that say they are saved use the world’s definition of love to define their actions. That’s toward their children, husbands and wives.

If you will notice in ( Proverbs 31 ) it says that the husband of a ( Proverbs 31 ) wife is recognized in the gates among the elders. Don’t we have to give her some credit for that fact? As I say that, we must understand that in a Godly marriage relationship the husband and wife become ( one in Christ ). That means that they both are seeking to be pleasing to God and, have left the cares of this world far behind as a couple.

To try and put this in perspective as a marriage relationship. both of these people in a ( born again marriage relationship ) can be seen as a couple that are Ambassators of one country, living in a foriegn nation. While they are living in that country, they are still citizens of the home country. They might do things with the people they live among and try to be a part but, their mindset and heart is to show those citizens of that nation what their country is all about, trying to show a better way.

A born again couple; while that couple might live in this world they seek to show ( this world ) a picture of how the God of the universe would have them look in love, living and every aspect of their spiritual life.

So, Lemuel”s mother. The woman that taught her son this in ( Proverbs 31 ) was seeking to teach her son to look for such a woman to be his wife. KIng Lemuel never forgot the teaching as he began to grow and understand. I personally believe that as we consider this chapter, the responsibility of the husband and wife in the natural relationship and how it all relates to the need of true spiritual growth as we begin to grow in our natural lives, we will quickly learn how the weakness part of us will always become our strength ( spiritually speaking ) which is the actual only strength that will ever truly matter in the end.

I want you to notice these verses as it relates to this thought.

( 2 Corinthians 12:10 )

THEREFORE I TAKE PLEASURE IN INFIRMITIES, IN REPROACHES, IN NECESSITIES, IN PERSECUTIONS, IN DISTRESSESS FOR CHIRST SAKE: FOR WHEN I AN WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG.

( 2 Corinthians 13: 4 )

FOR THOUGH HE WAS CRUCIFIED THROUGH WEAKNESS, YET HE LIVETH BY THE POWER OF GOD. FOR WE ALSO ARE WEAK IN HIM, BUT WE SHALL LIVE WITH HIM BY THE POWER OF GOD TOWARD YOU.

Reading these verses we notice that true strength comes through our weakness. It’s all realative whether we are speaking of ( a Church ) being the bride of Christ. ( A wife ) being the strength of the husband through weakness or, ( an individual ) being strong in Christ through the weakness of their own flesh.

The ( Proverbs 31 ) mindset is a choice! It’s a spiritual choice! It takes spiritual knowledge to understand the concept that is being taught. The education or teaching of this concept has to begin in our homes, demanded to be taught in our Churches and stood up for by those that have the opportunity to do so.

I’ve already stated that ( the members of the Church ) and ( young women ) must demand this mindset instead of selling out for ( worldly popular ) mindsets. Could we name a few of those mindsets?

Let’s first look at a verse:

( Matthew 6:16 )

MOREOVER WHEN YE FAST, BE NOT, AS THE HYPOCRITES, OF A SAD COUNTENANCE: THAT THEY MAY APPEAR UNTO MEN TO FAST: VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THEY HAVE THEIR REWARD.

A ( proverbs 31 ) mindset spiritually understands that this world is not home. There is something far more important to work toward and build on than just what we can ever have in this life. If! And I do say if a wife has a husband that is a ( spiritually minded man then, while she is helping him while on this earth to have all the necessities of this life, they are both working toward a reward far above this earth.

So, let’s start with the Church, ( the bride of Christ ).

( 2 Corinthians 11:2 )

FOR I AM JEALOUS OVER YOU WITH A GODLY JEALOUSY: FOR I HAVE ESPOUSED YOU TO ONE HUSBAND, THAT I MIGHT PRESENT YOU AS A CHASTE VIRGIN TO CHRIST.

The Apostle Paul looked at himself here as the father of the ( bride of Christ ). He taugtht the Church from the very beginning to keep themselve pure from the cares of this world, to seperate themselves from the things of this world. In essence, he was teaching them to be ( proverbs 31 ) wives. To focus on the desires and needs of her husband, to be mindful of his desires and dreams. He was teaching them that although they were weak, to become his strength, standing on the principles he built that his house might be full.

A spiritual man desires the same for his daughter which will become a young woman. His wife will seek to teach his daughter that very mindset and to keep herself for one man, a man worthy of her and, that she is worthy of. While the wife is teaching this girl, young woman this, she is also teaching her what she needs to teach her children.

Therefore, worldly what have we seen? We see Churches that while they speak the name of Jesus Christ; they sell out his very principles for popularity and the love of money Those Churches commit ( spiritual fornication ) against the very man that truly loved them. Can you imagine Jesus Christ ( the Church’s husband to be ) sitting at the right hand of ( God the Father ) and hearing ( a Pastor ) standing and saying things that he never said! Sitting there and proclaiming, ( that’s not what I said )! You’re teaching, allowing things that are causing fornication! I don’t know these people!

How about a wife teaching her daughter anything less than keeping herself pure for one man? Even a father not caring about what she does or, being more concerned about her education, her ability to look after herself than to be concerned about her actual ( spiritual dedication ) her ( ability as the weaker vessel ) to become the very strength of some man?

Lord, how far we’ve fallen from the very picture you desire for us to paint with our lives! Now, we put young women on birth control, worrying more about physical problems rather than teaching them ( spiritual purity ). I wonder, how many young women now wear a white dress at their weddings that truly represents their purity to the people that they stand before, the man she is marrying? Do mom and dads even consider that fact now. There was a time that most pastors, if they knew that a young woman hadn’t kept herself pure would not even perform a wedding ceremony for her if she wore a white dress!

The world and, the Church it has designed cares little about the true things of God. Folks, it’s never too late to change! A ( Proverbs 31 ) wife, in whatsoever aspect you want to describe her knows who she is, where shes been and all her imperfections. However, she is determined to go foward from who she was into the perfect wife. Let’s say you as a young woman didn’t keep yourself and, you wore a white dress when you married. Does that mean you can’t take the knowledge of what you have been, your weaknesses and now begin to teach all that God wants you to teach?

God is looking for a ( called out people ). A people that see themselves in all of their imperfections and sin yet, are willing to walk away from this world and become a ( Proverbs 31 ) wife! Do you realize that ( Jesus Christ ) when he came to this world, born of a virgin; he already knew that he would not find a pure bride. However, his desire was to set himself within each person that believed and, to have each of them ( transform themselves ) into exactly what he was looking for.

If a young man is wise he will understand this. Every young woman was raise by another man, her father, she was taught, through her mother his ways. While we can say that those ways were either spiritual or otherwise, it was still by another’s mindset. When that young man desides to take a young woman to be his bride he must understand that there will be a transformation that must take place, By God’s grace it will be a ( spiritual transformation) but it will take time. He must be willing ( through the love ) he has for her to be patient. That’s a lesson for another day!. However, if his new bride truly loves him , she will be willing ( in time ) to be transformed into his way of thinking, yielding to him.

( WHO CAN FIND A VIRTUOUS WOMAN )? This is the very first question, thought mentioned as we began this. Can a young woman also asked this: ( WHO CAN FIND A GODLY MAN )? Is not one just as important as the other? If we go back to the story of my mother and Aunt, these two women became a transforming factor in their husband’s lives.

In closing, I’d like to tell one more true story. This is a true story I heard an evangelist tell once. He shared that a Church once chose a man to be their pastor that was a very hardened sinner until he was born again. God called this man to preach and, he excepted the call of this Church to be their pastor.

One morning as he was preaching, he began to use ( curse words ) in his sermon. When he realized what he had done; he closed his Bible, offered his resignation to the Church and simply walked out. That Sunday afternoon the deacons met to discuss the matter. As they talked, they came to this conclusion. We need to go to him and asked him to come back and continue to be our pastor. Any man that will get or become that passionate and angry about sin, we need him behind our pulpit!

Far too often we are not patient enough with each other. That being a ( woman with he husband ) a ( true Church with their pastor ) ( a Pastor with his Church ) or a ( husband with his wife ). We often expect our spouse to be something we are not! It’s a very challenging thing to learn to become ( one in Christ )!

In ( Proverbs 31 ) you see nothing about the man and what he does do you! Why would you say that is? Because there is nothing more powerful than seeing yourself as being the weakest, yet using the power within you to bring about ( spiritual growth ). And that; within any person that thinks he has more power! When we begin to lean on our weakness and forget the true power we have then, God’s word and will, becomes completely to none effect in our lives! For instance, if a young woman simply gives herself to any man, is she not ( leaning on her weakness )? If a Church allows less than what God truly desires from its pastor, is she not ( leaning on her weakness )? If any young man chooses the things of this world over the will that God offers, is he not ( leaning on his weakness )?

I often asked myself this question! ( AM I HALF THE WIFE I EXPECT MINE TO BE )?

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

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