4 characteristics of a godly wife taken from Proverbs 31
What does a Godly wife look like?
In this series of Becoming a Godly Woman, I need to ask myself something. Is my Christian identity tied to my role as a wife, or do I stand alone before God, responsible for myself in this “becoming” process?
Can I get by with passing the blame of spiritual laziness or conforming to the world onto my spouse because he is supposed to be the spiritual leader? Do I independently hold any responsibility?
I remember when Jeff and I lived in Indiana. We had only been married about four years, but were actively involved in church, leading in the ministries of youth and worship. Unfortunately, our time devoted to God’s Word and prayer were not as active. Early one morning before leaving for work, I was giving God my excuse for not studying His Word – Jeff. Yes, Jeff was my excuse. I told God that Jeff was supposed to lead our little family of two in Bible study, and he wasn’t doing it. Therefore, I wasn’t doing it either.
I didn’t like the response I got from God, but I never forgot it. It’s deeply impressed within my mind and heart. He didn’t speak aloud, but it was very clear in my spirit His advice. I was responsible for my relationship with God – not Jeff. Of course, he was (and is) the leader of our home, but I was to have an individual, intimate relationship with my Lord and Savior. There was no one I could pass blame to except myself for neglecting my spiritual disciplines of prayer and Bible study.
I made changes that day. I continue to embrace changes as God perseveres in twisting, molding, and shaping me into a resemblance of a godly woman…and wife. It’s painful at times, but I pray He never stops!
So, my short answer to the above question is – we are responsible for our personal walk with Christ. As I look at Proverbs 31, I see that we are responsible in several areas.
Let’s look at 4 characteristics of a Godly wife found in Proverbs 31
1. Her personal walk with Christ – “…a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31: 30 We shouldn’t be surprised by this verse. If we look back to the beginning of the book of Proverbs, we find the first several chapters are devoted to understanding wisdom and knowledge, and the consequences of living independently from them. The godly wife will seek God’s wisdom through His Word, and then apply this wisdom in all her decisions and actions. This personal relationship with Christ is the reason for her many accomplishments. We learn in scripture that her fear of the Lord brings knowledge (Proverbs 1:7), fearing God and keeping His commands is her whole duty (Ecclesiastes 12:13), and her fear and hope in God brings delight from her Lord (Psalm 147:11)
2. Her honor and respect for her husband – The wife with godly wisdom wants only the best for her husband (Proverbs 31:12). I’ve often read and shared with others that love values the other – never devalues. The godly wife understands that. Her upstanding reputation and achievements have been an asset to her husband, as he also is revered in the city (Proverbs 31: 23). I have often discussed the vital role we play in our marriage as we honor our husband, never shaming, ridiculing, or rebuking him in public. Our words are powerful.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
3. Her diligence in caring for her family and home – As you read Proverbs 31 you will grasp that this wife is not lazy. She is up early, and her lamp is still lit after dark as she works, providing for her household. To be honest, it makes me a little tired just reading it! Ladies, though we might not be buying fields and planting vineyards, we have a responsibility to our family that doesn’t fade. There is not a season of idleness. We accepted the responsibility of diligently caring for those in our home when we repeated the words, “I do.” But please remember, though the world might not praise your work, or know your name, the scripture encourages us with the reminder – “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:29 What more could we ask for?
4. Her perseverance to help those in need – “She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20 I love this verse! It’s another reminder that we should practice hospitality and generosity as a lifestyle. As we seek to become a godly wife, we will always look beyond our circle of friends and family. We will become intentional, asking God to provide opportunities to be a blessing to those in need. The possibilities and variations of assisting others are endless. We might all open our hand in a different way – let’s just make sure our hand is open to someone.
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
Jeff and I have come a long way in our spiritual journey since Indiana. We have both learned the grave necessity of prayer and Bible study. We have also grown together more by exercising these disciplines together, as well as individually. But your story might look different. Your husband might not be as far along in his spiritual walk as you. Even if your spouse doesn’t seek wisdom through the Word or show obedience by following God’s commands, I still encourage you to follow Proverbs 31 in becoming a godly woman.
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him…” Psalm 103:11
Shake off any spiritual laziness! Fight the desire to conform to this world!
Start today embracing the changes God has for your life!
Time to Unfold
- Have you struggled with your spouse’s spiritual walk? If so, replace grumbling with prayer. Faithfully pray for your husband’s walk with Christ.
- Now take a look at your personal spiritual disciplines. Does your prayer and study time need reviving? This is a good time to start fresh!
- Take a second look at the 4 characteristics of a godly wife listed above. Choose one to concentrate on this month. Then, add another to your list next month. Keep adding and working as God molds and shapes you.
- Read Proverbs 31 throughout the month. Study her various attributes and the blessings she receives from her efforts.
Debbie Earnest, a writer and speaker, is passionate about encouraging women as they deepen their walk with Christ. She especially loves to inspire women as they seek to enrich and strengthen their marriage unfolding God’s Word. For more information, check out Meet Debbie.