Last year the film “Wonder Woman” was released. But the Bible talks about a real wonder woman: the woman of Proverbs 31.
The woman described in this passage is the longest description of any family member in the Bible. That should tell us a lot about what God thinks of mothers and how important they are.
The chapter is an acrostic, which means that each verse begins with the succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet. What we’re given is an A-to-Z description of what a wonder woman – a woman of virtue – is like.
Verse 1 introduces this proverb as “the sayings of King Lemuel – an inspired utterance his mother taught him” (NIV). We don’t know a lot about this king, but we do know that he had a mother who gave him some great wisdom, which he wrote down.
According to verse 10, a real wonder woman is priceless and quite rare: “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” (NIV). We live in a time in which worth, especially for a woman, is determined by outward appearance. The more beautiful she is, the more valuable she is in the estimation of modern culture. The less beautiful or older she is, the less valuable she is. But that is the exact opposite of the way God sees things. In fact, pretty girls are a dime a dozen, but a woman of virtue, honor and character is priceless.
In Proverbs 31, we have a description of a woman of character and integrity. I can say, without any doubt, that my wife, Cathe, fits this description of the woman of virtue. A word to single guys: This is the kind of woman you need to be looking for. Start with Proverbs 31 and look for a woman who fits this category … or is at least is seeking to live this way. This is your standard, because the most important decisions of your life are: 1) the Lord you serve; and 2) the woman you marry. The first decision will determine whether you have heaven or hell in the afterlife. And the second decision will determine which one you’ll have in this life.
And a word to single women: This is the woman you want to be. Forget the magazines, their articles and their emphasis. They are so out of sync with what the Word of God says. Forget what you see on television and in commercials and instead look at what the Bible says about the real wonder woman, because this is God’s plan – and it’s better than any other plan. This is the perfect balance of beauty, brains, and spirituality. The woman who lives this way will be a happy woman because she’s a godly woman.
The wonder woman of Proverbs 31 is also trustworthy: “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value” (verse 11 NIV). Trust is so important in a marriage. So is communication. You need to be honest with your mate. You need to tell the truth to your mate. If you have a trustworthy wife, then you have a wife of such great value.
Also, the wonder woman loves her husband: “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life” (verse 12 NIV). She is his greatest cheerleader. She encourages him. She doesn’t tear him down in public. She doesn’t tell an embarrassing story about him in front of their friends. (And to the point, a husband should not do that to his wife, either.) Build up your spouse in public. If you have something critical to say, then say it privately.
The wonder woman of Proverbs 31 also loves her family. We see from this proverb that she finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plans the day with her servants. Wool would speak of clothing for the winter, and flax would refer to clothing for the summer. In this day, they wouldn’t buy clothes; they made them.
I think the emphasis here is not that a woman has to start making all the clothes for her family (though some do that very well). Rather, verse 13 says that “she works with eager hands” (NIV). It speaks of a delightful willingness. She enjoys this calling God has given to her. She is also a shrewd investor. She goes to inspect a field and buys it with her earnings. This woman is an entrepreneur, a businesswoman.
Another thing we see about the wonder woman of Proverbs 31 is that she’s wise: “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue” (verse 26 NIV). The words of a mother are so powerful, and they will stay with her child throughout his or her life. My wife taught our sons the Word of God and helped them with everything from manners to being tidy and so forth. If we were to look back over our lives, we would realize there are a lot of things our mothers taught us.
For example, our mothers taught us about anticipation when they said, “Just wait until your father gets home.” Our mothers also taught us about genetics when they said, “You’re just like your father.” They taught us about justice when they said, “One day you’re going to have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you. Then you’ll see what it’s like.”
There’s something about the bond of a child with his or her mother that is so special. When little children fall down, who do they call out for? Mom. Now if mom is not around, then dad is distant second. But they really want mom. When a football player scores a touchdown, he turns to the camera and says, “Love you, Mom!” And stories have been told of young men who, as they lay dying on the battlefield, they were calling out to their mothers.
We thank God for mothers, and we bless them. Let your mother know today that she is appreciated. Yes, a gift is fine. A card is good, especially if you write something in it. But she needs to know that you love her and notice all the things she has done. The best thing you could say to your mother or your wife who’s a mom, “You’re doing a great job.” If you thought of giving her some flowers on top of that, it’s even better. Verbally say to her, “I love you. I appreciate you. Thank you for all that you do.” It’s an important thing to do for the wonder woman in your life.