Here is the portrait of an excellent wife. The standard of her character has been set so high that it is impossible to attain apart from God. Even those of her household struggle to attain it until its purpose is understood. In all areas of life she is the expression of the wisdom taught throughout Proverbs. Thus, while the book of Proverbs is written predominately for a cast of males its instruction is intended for alł people. Additionally, the profile put forth is an ideal of complete wisdom to which the faithful are willing to be molded. This excellent wife prefigured the excellence of the church, who is the bride of Christ (cf. Ephesians 5:25–27; Revelation 19:7–8).
This wisdom poem is an acrostic, in which each verse begins with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The intent is likely to show that this woman’s character runs the full range of excellence. From alpha to omega she is the portrait of wisdom. Thus, verse 10 indicates that the good wife is from the Lord (cf. 12:4; 18:22; 19:14) because her wisdom is from above. Her devotion is to the well-being of her house and household (vv. 11-13) and she contributes by her participation in outside economic concerns (vv. 14, 16, 18, 24). At the same time she makes her home the center of ministry by her generosity to the poor and her kindly instruction of her children and household workers (vv. 20 and 26). Because of her industrious nature her husband and children enjoy their station in life and praise her for it.
Like the natural characteristics this godly woman portrays in her home and community, so the church is to model godly wisdom in the world. This is not intended to be just a portrait of the good wife, as well it is an expression of the nature of Christ’s bride. As members of His church, we are to demonstrate the full range of wisdom by our industry, generosity, kindly instruction and influence toward one another (home) and in the world (community). As the world benefits from our wise participation in all its affairs it acknowledges God and seeks inclusion in His church in stead of separation from her.
Has the wisdom of God so permeated your nature that His love pervades all your activities? Is your ministry to others characterized by industry, generosity, and kindly instruction that cause them to acknowledge God and seek inclusion in His church? Is your ministry to others initiated at home then extended to your community? Remember, the godly woman is not just a portrait of the good wife; it is the expression of the church, Christ’s attractive bride. Who are you attracting by the demonstration of wisdom from the Lord?