When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Read this familiar passage slowly and carefully. Abandon your preconceptions from sermons and books. Imagine you are friends with this woman; what might she be like and how would these descriptions play out in reality?
If this passage is a list of things to do, it is completely overwhelming and arguably impossible. Running a household and simply living as adult woman’s life in our culture is more hectic and weighed down with “shoulds” than ever before—and this proverb does not even include exercise! The key to understanding this passage, however, is in the last words—this is about a woman whose strength and character are not made up of the things that she is doing, but instead the personal God that she trusts in. None of the things she accomplishes would be possible without viewing her life as an act of service to a holy and powerful God who is always in control. All the rest is a natural outpouring.
Ask God to help you understand in your heart what it means to pursue the fear of him in your daily life. Confess if you have been seeking charm, beauty, and productivity divorced from a worshipful attitude. Pray for the courage to not be overwhelmed by your tasks, but instead, seek to do them with a strength that comes from knowing who you are in relation to who God is. Ask for God to develop you into a woman who is worthy of praise, not for yourself, but to bring praise to the God who makes all of your efforts fruitful.
Journal about how you want to become a woman who fears God today, specifically with the way you approach your daily tasks. Write reflectively about how knowing God reframes your to do list.
Enjoy this devotional? The Message: Solo Devotional contains 180 entries designed to open your heart to God’s Word. Topics include trust, hope, forgiveness, patience, and joy. The devotions found in Solo are based on the classical method of lectio divina: reading, thinking, praying, and living Scripture with the intention of inviting an infinite, omniscient God into your life. Absorb and meditate on the Word, rather than skim over it.