Honoring Wives and Mothers
Proverbs 31:1-5 (Easy Read Version)
A Mother's Advice to a King
- “You should not waste your strength on women. You are a king and women destroy kings.”
- “It is not wise for kings to drink wine.”
- It is not wise for rulers to want beer.“
Proverbs 31:10-15 (Easy to Read Version)
11 Her husband depends on her. He will never be poor.
12 She does good for her husband all her life. She never causes him trouble.
13 She is always gathering wool and flax and enjoys making things with her hands.
14 She is like a ship from a faraway place. She brings home food from everywhere.
Finding the Perfect Wife
Proverbs 31:15-22 (Easy to Read Version)
16 She looks at land and buys it. She uses the money she has earned and plants a vineyard.
17 She works very hard. She is strong and able to do all her work.
18 She works late into the night to make sure her business earns a profit.
19 She makes her own thread and weaves her own cloth.
20 She always gives to the poor and helps those who need it.
21 She does not worry about her family when it snows. She has given them all good, warm clothes.
Why Talk about the Perfect Wife on Mother’s Day?
So why do we talk about the perfect wife described in Proverbs 31 on Mother’s Day?
Notice that verse 15 says, “She wakes up early in the morning, cooks food for her family, and gives the servants their share.” The perfect wife of Proverbs 31 is also a mother with a family. In verse 21 she gives her family good warm clothes. Verse 28 says, “Her children say good things about her.”
The wife described in Proverbs 31 as more valuable than fine jewels does not exist! Her complete list of virtues would be nearly impossible for any one person to attain even though many have tried. Many have struggled with feelings of inadequacy because they felt they could not measure up what they believed was a biblical standard.
My own wife, the mother of my child, struggled early in our marriage as she tried to live up to the goals set by this fictitious perfect wife. That woman does not exist. If she did exist, her value would be priceless.
Yvonne tells me that it was only after a pastor’s wife friend explained this to her that she felt relief from the anxiety of feeling inadequate. It is good to have the description of what this perfect wife accomplishes as a target to steer toward. But it is important to recognize that for one person to accomplish all that is listed in Proverbs would be an impossible achievement.
Yvonne has been my nearly perfect wife for more than fifty years. Within weeks of being married, Yvonne traveled across the country from Pennsylvania to California at great risk to herself because I ended up back in the hospital. She did it to be near me when she thought I most needed her.
I attended language school in Monterey, CA prior to being deployed to Viet Nam. Yvonne would get up early in the morning to make me breakfast, polish my brass, shine my shoes, and lay out my uniform. She worked hard, sometimes made her own clothes, and was always ready to help those in need. She hardly ever voiced disagreement with things I felt were important. However, Yvonne never looked for land to buy, never planted a vineyard, and she never worked late into the night on her own profitable business. She seemed to kill almost every live plant I ever gave her.
Proverbs 31:22-31 (Easy to Read Version)
24 She makes clothes and belts and sells them to the merchants.
25 She is a strong person, and people respect her. She looks to the future with confidence.
26 She speaks with wisdom and teaches others to be loving and kind.
27 She oversees the care of her house. She is never lazy.
28 Her children say good things about her. Her husband brags about her and says,
29 "There are many good women, but you are the best."
30 Grace and beauty can fool you, but a woman who respects the LORD should be praised.
31 Give her the reward she deserves. Praise her in public for what she has done.