“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” (Prov. 31:10)
To all the single guys reading this, do you have a picture of the type of woman you’d like to marry some day? Or fathers of unmarried sons, what type of woman are you hoping your son will meet and someday take as his wife? Have you ever considered what the ideal woman would be? Did you know that God left us a description of what he considers an excellent wife?
This is probably not a surprise to most Christian woman because a look at the woman described in Proverbs 31 is a very common topic for women’s Bible studies. But guys, you’re missing out if you’ve never really studied the ideal woman described in Proverbs 31.
Take a quick read today of Proverbs 31:10-30. Consider God’s standard of a godly woman and see how it matches up to what you’re looking for. Ask yourself how “precious” a woman with these qualities would be as a wife.
- Trustworthy (v. 11)
- Respectful of her husband and seeks his good (vv. 12, 23)
- Hard working, industrious, not lazy (vv. 13-15, 19, 28)
- Good at business (vv. 16, 18, 24)
- Keeps in shape (v. 17)
- Charitable (v. 20)
- Cares for her family, provides them food and clothing (vv. 14-15, 21-22, 27)
- Strong, dignified, and optimistic (v. 25)
- Wise and kind (v. 26)
- Respected by her children and her husband (v. 28)
Wow, that’s quite a list. I know many women who are intimidated by this mythical, ideal woman. They feel like they can’t possibly measure up to such a lofty standard. But I think there’s something worse than godly women setting their standard so high and sometimes feeling that they can’t quite reach it. What’s worse is how many Christian men set their standard of a godly woman so low and settle for much less.
I’ve seen too many guys fall head over heels for a pretty girl just because she looks good at the beach or has nice hair. We’ll assume she’s a committed Christian just because we met her at church or at youth camp. Guys will laugh off a young girl’s irresponsibility and laziness as cute and funny. We don’t bother looking for depth or character or values as long as she laughs at our jokes or likes our car. And then ten years into our marriage we wonder why we don’t respect or value our wife and why we’re not quite as infatuated as we were before we married her.
Notice a couple things not on the list God gives us from Proverbs, which the world values more than it should. You won’t find a mention of good looks, attractive build, sense of humor, or charming smile. Don’t get me wrong, these things are valuable to a point and part of what makes a man attracted to his wife, as any casual read of Song of Solomon will confirm. And those of us blessed with beautiful, charming wives are thankful and love them for those traits too. But look at the concluding verse of this chapter to see how God puts those qualities into perspective.
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (v. 30)It breaks my heart to know so many godly young women who love the Lord and strive to model themselves after the Proverbs women, who are women of character and wisdom, yet are overlooked by guys who seem to be after something else. These women are lovely on the inside and the outside, yet are still patiently waiting on God to bring them a godly man for a husband. I can only blame us immature guys for setting our standards too low and not holding out for a woman worthy to be praised.
Trust me, as someone who once valued the wrong things in a girl and overlooked glaring deficiencies, I was eventually disappointed, dishonored, and betrayed. When I was mercifully given a second chance, I set my standard much higher and have been incredibly blessed with “an excellent wife.” Guys, do yourself (and your future children) a great favor and set your expectations a little higher. Hold out for a woman of depth and character, who will be a trustworthy and honoring wife to you, a wise and hard working mother to your children, and above all, a woman who fears the Lord, not just for the first pretty face in a short skirt who agrees to go to the movies with you. Let’s trust God and hold out for a woman “more precious than jewels.”