Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Excellent Wife of Proverbs 31

While studying to lead a discussion on the Proverbs 31 woman, I found these excerpts in A MODERN STUDY IN THE BOOK OF PROVERBS by Charles Bridges (updated by George F. Santa), copryright 1978, Mott Media, Michigan.

"Perhaps one reason for the rarity of the 'virtuous woman' is that she is so seldom desired or searched for."  (p 732).

About verses 11-12:  Her character as a wife is one of "faithfulness," "oneness of heart," "affectionate dutifulness."  These characteristics cause the heart of her husband to trust in her.  "He feels his comfort to be regarded, his burdens relieved, and his mind freed from vexations.  He is at ease in constrained absence from home having left his interests in her safekeeping, while he is sure that his return will be welcomed with a gladdening smile" (p 732-733).

"A faithful wife and a confiding husband thus mutually bless each other.  With such a jewel for his wife, the husband has no misgivings....Ruling in sphere without, he encourages her to rule in her sphere within.  This would reduce or even eliminate any desire for him to be selfish, or to look greedily at other women.  Her faithfulness encourages his faithfulness.  Instead of abusing confidence, she seeks constantly to make herself more worthy of it" (p 734).

"One half, at least, of the picture of the virtuous woman is occupied with her personal, domestic work" (p 734).

She is not a recluse; here we find no "habits of monastic self-denial" (p 735).

Her industrious ways are a rebuke "to self-pleasing inactivity" (p 735).

She possesses "praiseworthy and genuine simplicity of manners," "practical, yet liberal thrift," economy without a miserly spirit" (p 735).

She is full of energy, an early riser, enthusiastic, ready to work, an efficient manager.  Her ways speak of godly self-denial and quiet dignity.  "Instead of murmuring @some inconvenient demand, she sets a worthy example and delights in the works of her hands" (p 735).

Bridges gives more commentary on this admirable woman.  His book is chock full of valuable insights into the whole book of Proverbs.  Each morning at breakfast, after he reads the Proverbs chapter corresponding to that date, David reads from Bridges about one of the verses he just read.  Rich stuff.

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