BEING GOOD AND DOING GOOD
Character counts. Character makes a difference. Character can be measured. Character is the difference that God brings to our lives. Character matters because God matters. When He is present and in control of our lives, everything changes because He changes everything. We view life differently because we view life through His eyes, hear voices through His ears, feel pain as He feels pain, and He gives willingly as He willingly gave us His Son.
This “wife of noble character” has an impact on every aspect of her husband’s life: “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Imagine an obituary that included that statement, and ended with the words that included “whatever he accomplished in life was because of her homemaking talents and dedication to the well-being of her family.” Certainly a stretch in today’s environment. But, that’s the implication and message.
An important message in this verse is that the wife is focused on the career of her husband and her home. If the wife has a career outside of the home, it is secondary to everything else. This is far different from what we see in society today. The career of the husband and the management of the home is first and foremost according to Solomon.
Notice one small, three-letter word: her. It may be a subtle implication but the burden for managing the home seems to shift from the wife to the husband if she is called home before him. Husbands and fathers need to be “in training” to assume her tasks if necessary.
Prayer: We pray Lord, for husbands and fathers who willingly become involved in caring for their wife and their homes. May they accept their responsibility. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 31:12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
Character breeds confidence. When we cannot have complete confidence in others, doubts arise and questions surface. We worry and wonder, watch and wait for things to go wrong. We sense an uneasiness and do not know what to expect. Perhaps that is why Solomon wrote, “Her husband has full confidence in her (this wife of noble character) and lacks nothing of value.”
“Full confidence” is a broad, sweeping term and covers all of the activities in a home. It includes raising children, managing the family’s finances and the reputation of the family – whatever is included in developing the image of the family in the community. Everything is included in the term “full confidence.”
“Full confidence” is a remarkable term because it is the same term that is used or applied to the term “confidence in the Lord.” Throughout the entire Old Testament, it is only used twice in reference to having “confidence” in another person.
This value of having such “confidence” in one’s wife is important because it frees up the husband to become involved in occupational, civic, and religious duties. The husband of a “wife of noble character” can commit himself to what God has called him to do because his household is in good, competent and safe hands.
Notice, too, that the husband “lacks nothing of value.” The home is in “good hands” and the “resources,” – financial, reputation or character – will increase because of God’s blessings!
Prayer: Lord, there is a great need in Kingdom work for wives to know You, love You and serve You faithfully. Bless them for their service and the sacrifices they make. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 31:11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
THE SEARCH CONTINUES
Consider this: there are twenty-one letters in the Hebrew alphabet. In Proverbs 31:10 there are twenty-two letters, forming an acrostic. It begins with a succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet in the final chapter of Proverbs. Obviously, believing that the Holy Spirit is the infallible author of each verse in the Bible, this did not happen by accident. Certainly, there is a significant message contained in these few verses. The use of the acrostic model was used by teachers and scholars of the laws and prophets to make the message easy to memorize.
First, the acrostic was used to provide a helpful way to organize information for future use. A wife of noble character, as pictured in these few verses, includes items that young women would want to include in their resumes as they matured. It is also the criteria for men to apply to women when seeking a wife. The traits that are presented in these verses are both goals to be achieved and traits to be sought in a wife.
Second, the term noble implies capabilities, character, and efficiency. It is the same term used when a wife is spoken of as the crown of her husband.
Third, “who can find?” The noble wife is rare and not easily found. However, it does not mean that the search is not worth the effort. Quite the contrary.
Ruth was described as a “woman of noble character.” Her story echoes throughout history. How fortunate we are that God gave an example for women to follow and men to search for in a wife.
Prayer: Lord, how blest we are that You provide us with detailed instructions on what matters most in life! May we align our minds and hearts with Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 31:10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
We all inherit the same sinful nature at birth. It is very evident in the way we think and act. We have an “inbred” dependence on our subjective, self-focused, self-centered, or perhaps might we be more honest and say “sinful” selves. We tend to rely on our God-given gifts as something we have accomplished on our own apart from Him. It is as though we took a lump of clay from the ground and fashioned a person, endowed him with skills and abilities and said, “Now, let’s do something that we can be proud of!”
“He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.” This statement reminds us of the wisdom contained in another proverb: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Once again in his wisdom and our lack of it, Solomon took time to remind us of how we easily turn to ourselves rather than God. Trusting in ourselves is normal and natural but not without proving to ourselves, others and God that we are fools.
Notice this: “A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.” This theme, flowing throughout Proverbs, is so very important when we relate it to our sinful nature. To “trust in” is difficult because it signals to the world that what we do is not of ourselves but is a gift from God and to God be the glory for that gift!
Greed is who we are. It’s not a word that we want to be identified by. It is something most of us try to deny. The solution? Give credit to God for who we are and what we have!
Prayer: Lord, thank You for seeing who we can be in spite of who we think we are. Make us willing to be willing to let go and let God get the glory, honor, and praise! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 28:26 He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.
FAITHFULNESS IS MUTUAL
Memories are a gift from God. However, what we do with them, how they affect us or the difference they have on our way of living is what matters most.
When we recall the many gifts that God grants to us each day, do we take enough time to pause and thank Him and share the fact of His love, grace, and mercy with others?
When He brings healing and wellness to us and our loved ones, do we give Him the credit He deserves or do we think that He is obligated to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves?
When our financial needs are met and we have a surplus, do we give a “thank you offering” to God and praise Him for blessing us and giving us more than we deserve?
“A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished,” is a proverb worth noting carefully. God does indeed bless those who are faithful – often much more than can be imagined or deserved. Unfortunately, there are those who believe they have earned what they have accumulated and therefore do not need to give God credit or praise, thanksgiving or respect. How sad.
We have what we have because of God’s grace. Whatever we have is a result of Him showing us His favor. The strength and abilities I have come from Him and the opportunities I have to use them come from Him. If we use them to “get rich” without recognizing it’s all because of Him, we can expect a tragic ending. We must use God’s gifts for God’s glory.
Prayer: We pray, Father, for grateful hearts. May we never cease to recognize Your goodness and faithfulness are to be used to bring honor and glory to Your Name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.