“Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.” –verse 31
The end of wisdom is this verse. What is sown will be reaped. Where time was invested, a result will emerge. Where wisdom was planted, wisdom will grow.
If I invest time in prayer, I will reap peace. If I invest in seeking God in scripture, I will gain eternal perspective to equip me for this life. If I invest in the gifts God has bestowed, God will multiply whatever I have done to His glory.
If all I invest in is me, all I am left with is me.
Where will you invest today?
Image by Mihai Tamasila
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” –verse 30
As a woman in my thirties, I watch the vigor of youth leave from around my eyes–replaced by “experience lines”. A morning hair-brushing reveals the increasing numbers of no-longer-dark-brown hairs–and I laugh at the innocence of youth that prayed that, when the time came, could my “gray” hair not be gray? But white instead? Well, God gave me that one–and not only are they stark white, they stand proudly in their whiteness, refusing to allow any other color to taint their wisdom. The aches of a body remembering the injuries of an athletic youth arise with me in the morning.
We cannot stop time. All the lotions and potions and surgeries may mask true age, but the body still matures. Thankfully, if applied to the wisdom of the Lord, the spirit matures as well. Where the skin may wrinkle, the experience that created the wrinkles emerges–and wiser decisions are made.
Rather than cursing the sands of time, maybe we should welcome the crown of wisdom.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:’Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.'”–verses 28-29
Remember verse 26, where kindness was on the wise woman’s teaching? When she lives with the integrity of wisdom, those around her learn from her. And they return the kindness. People are people–and some people wander away from the way they were raised. And sometimes, in those precious miraculous God moments, they return. And they remember the kindness, the care.
Her actions belie her heart. And a heart set on wisdom will be rewarded.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her…” –verse 28
The family knows a person. They see how you are when you are sick. They see how you behave when you are tired. They hear the praises, the grumblings, and know the quality of cooking.
Wisdom ekes out every pore. It starts from within. The public arena may have fewer details of one’s life, but the family will see if the integrity rings true in private. Wisdom ensures that it does.
One cannot behave in a vacuum. Start with wisdom, and everything else will flow.
Image by Marina Avila
“She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” –verse 27
“…the ways of her household…” What an incredibly all-encompassing responsibility. From equipping workers to be able to carry out their work, to equipping children with the character they need in life, the wise woman’s work is far-reaching. In her God-given talents and gifts–and God-given weaknesses–she keeps the circus running–all three rings.
Between too-busy and too-idle, there is rest. The balance of great strengths and varying weaknesses reminds us that we need Sabbath too. Avoid the extremes, and you will find God hovering in the sweet spot.
Image by Graham Kingsley