She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honour are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. -Proverbs 31:21-27
When asked who the greatest influence in their life was, most would say it is their mother. A mother takes care of the household, raising the children, and working, whether it is in the home or outside the home. “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life” (Abraham Lincoln).
The woman portrayed in this portion of scripture is a mother and a wife who is not afraid of work. She takes care of her household, and herself. She works to raise money. Strength and honor clothe her. When she speaks others listen because she is a woman of wisdom. She pleases her husband and is his glory. He is known throughout the city gates. The elders of the land respect him.
The wife is to be the glory of her husband. She reflects her husband’s leadership in the family. They are one in body and in spirit. She should carry herself in such a way that would make him proud. She is his right hand. The wife’s duty is to take care of her husband and to love and nurture the family. She is to be kind and teach her children the ways of the Lord. She is to only speak good things from her lips, not gossip or slander. When others see the way she lives, they see a reflection of her husband as the head of the household.
Christ is the head of the household known as the church. The way we live is a reflection of our relationship with Him. “We are called to passionately embrace our God at every turn, through every minute, and in very way possible” (Author Unknown). The more that we are in relationship with God, the more we will reflect him in everything we do. We will be busy working for the Lord. It will come naturally as we grow closer to Him. We will not worry what comes against us; we know that our hope is in Christ. He is our shield, our protection. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’ Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday” (Psalm 91:1-6).
Strength and honour are attributes of the Holy Trinity. “Honour and majesty are before Him; strength and gladness are in His place” (1 Chronicles 16:27). If we are in right relationship with Him, strength and honor will clothe us. We will want to do everything and anything to please Him. This is how we should live… “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. and those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:16-26).
We are to die to self and be alive in Christ. Everything we do and say should mirror Christ. Our words should uplift, not tear down. The book of James teaches us a lot about the tongue. We need to be careful about everything we say because we can never take our words back…. “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:5-10).
What we say reflects what is in our hearts. Words are powerful. We have a choice of how we speak. Are we going to speak positively or negatively. Others can tell a lot about us by our words. We can ask God for wisdom to take control of our tongues. God wants us to bless others not curse them. He wants us to speak truth not gossip. A question to think about, would we share the same gossip or negative words with Jesus? “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:12-13). God wants us to be positive and encourage each other. We cannot show others tender mercies or kindness if we are slandering them.
What are we reflecting, ourselves or Christ? “I think that most Christians would be better pleased if the Lord did not inquire into their personal affairs too closely. They want Him to save them, to keep them happy, and to take them off to heaven at last, but not to be too inquisitive about their conduct or services” (A.W. Tozer). Oh, church, why are we so afraid? If we want others to see Christ, we must start reflecting Christ in everything we do and make Him known throughout the nations. Let us let go of ourselves and be totally changed and radical for Him!