Praying for the Women in Your Church – A Simple Guide

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION FROM PROVERBS 31
1. Make them women of noble character (31:10— ‘An excellent wife, who can find? For her  worth is far above jewels.’) Make our women virtuous and morally excellent. May they hate sin and love Jesus more each day.

2. Develop our women into diligent workers (v.17— ‘She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong.’) Give them strength for their tasks and the ability to discern the best from the good (Philippians 1:9 – making the excellent choice).

3. Sensitize them to meet the needs of others (v.20— ‘She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy.’)

4. Give them a proper perspective of the future (laugh and smile at it) (v.25— ‘Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.’) Free them from undue anxiety and slavish fear.

5. Develop our women into faithful, wise and kind teachers (v.26— ‘She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.’) The word ‘kindness’ is the Hebrew word ‘hesed.’ It means covenantal, steadfast, loyal, unfailing, and persistent love.

6. Make those who have families faithful wives and godly mothers whose children bless them: ‘Many have done nobly, but you excel them all.’ (vv.28-29)

7. Cause our women to grow in their knowledge and fear of the Lord (v.30b – ‘But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.’) Give our women an affectionate reverence for You that would cause them to delight to do what you command.

8. Help our women to have a proper perspective on their outward appearance (v.30a— ‘Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain.’) Free them from the tendency to compare themselves with other women. Liberate them from an undue focus on externals for God does not look on the outward appearance but on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

Is Beauty the Beast? What does the Bible say?

Key Verses: Proverbs 11:16, 22; 30:18-20; 31:30

In the hearts of women and men, there is a God-given longing to be seen and enjoyed as beautiful or handsome without being used. However, ever since the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive (Genesis 6:2) and came into them (v.4), physical beauty has been just as much a curse to bear as much as a gift from God.

Christians have long been of two minds about physical beauty. We tend to vacillate between a monkish contempt of physical beauty and a worldly addiction to physical beauty. Many emphatically declare that inner beauty is all that matters. They emphasize that “the LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Chronicles 16:9). They exhort us to follow the One who “had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2).

However, if you have ever attempted to go to church or get a job in a major metropolitan area or find a spouse in your local singles group, you know that most tend to overvalue physical beauty. People do judge books by covers. For this reason, the world is full of people who suffer pains of rejection because they feel undervalued because of the way they look. All of us want to be admired for our beauty.

The way through this maze is to fully embrace the two things that the book of Proverbs says about physical beauty. The wisdom writer of Proverbs challenges us that…)

  • Physical beauty is the gift of God. Therefore we must not undervalue it. Physical beauty is not the beast. The father who writes Proverbs prays for the Lord to give his son an exquisitely beautiful and graceful wife (Proverbs 5:19).

Biblical Examples of God using physical beauty to accomplish His eternal purposes. Acts 7:20 – Moses “was beautiful in God’s sight.” Joseph was handsome in form and appearance (Genesis 37:6). Esther 2:7 – “The young woman had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at.”

But, why do we tend to undervalue physical beauty? Physical beauty is an alluring temptation. We undervalue physical beauty because it serves as a cause of much sin and evil in the world. Proverbs 6:25-27 – Lust after the physical beauty of a prostitute.… the alluring enticements of the immoral woman.

Physical beauty can become a vehicle for sin. Note 2 Samuel 11:2 – “One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful…”).

“If men never succumbed to the attractions of women, then the human species would have died out a long time ago,” the neurosurgeon brother of Eliot Spitzer, Daniel, told The Wall Street Journal.

However, “rejecting beauty can be as serious a sin as worshiping it. Listen to the testimony of Karen Lee-Thorp…

“I was stunned a few years ago to realize that my self-control around food was anorexia, a fruit not of the Spirit but of a compulsion to control something in my chaotic world. My alleged humility turned out to be merely spiritualized shame and cloaked pride. Beneath my drab clothes lived a woman who hated her body and who hated and feared beauty as the cause of evil. Like many children who are victims of rape and incest, I had believed that my feminine attractiveness had invited the abuse… I carried into adulthood a deep conviction that attractiveness was both dangerous and out of reach. Looking like a boy felt safe and achievable…”

We err when we distinguish too sharply between inner and outer beauty. The outer is part of what makes the inner available to others and the way we respond to someone’s outer person affects the person inside. Clothes, hair, and makeup can be an asset without becoming an addiction.

Human persons, not merely spirits, reflect God’s image. And I will never tire of telling you that you are loved both body and soul until you can look into the mirror and see imago dei. I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

Let’s examine a more common temptation that we all face in our youthful-oriented culture!

  • Physical beauty is a fading vanity (Proverbs 31:30). Therefore we must resist the prevailing tendency to overvalue physical beauty. Beauty can be a beast!

How do we know this from the book of Proverbs?

The key verse in Proverbs 31:30 clearly states that physical beauty is a fading vanity. “Charm (hen) is deceitful (Charm deceives because it promises a lifetime of happiness that it cannot deliver) and beauty is vain (breath, vapor, gentle breeze), but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” Physical beauty is temporary, superficial, and deceptive.

The wisdom writer of Proverbs uses a graphic word picture to portray a woman whose beauty is only skin deep and physical. Proverbs 11: 22 – “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” The Scriptures view this indiscreet, beautiful woman not as a little disappointing, but as a monstrosity. It’s a disgusting and offensive portrait. A beautiful ring and you reach for it and it is attached to a pig that rolls around in the dirt and its own feces.

Overvaluing physical beauty dehumanizes women and damages their self-image. One way of translating Proverbs 11:16 – Charming women obtain glory. Glory means importance, honor and significance… Men use coercive and ruthless power to gain prestige. Women tend to use their physical charm.

We dehumanize women. Women are treated as sex objects. Child prostitution. The eating disorders of anorexia and bulimia. They are three to five times higher in industrialized nations. Twice as high in college age women. There are presently at least one million Americans with anorexia and 95% of them are women. Between 60,000 and 150,000 of them will die as a result of their obsession.

Why should they care about their character when nobody else does?

Overvaluing physical beauty dehumanizes and debases men. Because of this addiction to beauty, we have all manner of sexual immorality, especially pornography. Here’s a summary statement from an article in the October 20, 2003 edition of New Yorker Magazine: “It (pornography) utterly damages a man’s ability to have healthy, intimate relationships in marriage. An escape… false intimacy – undermining the ability to have real intimacy.”

It also dehumanizes and debases men because it affects the way men determine whom they are going to date and marry. You tend to write off 80% of all the women you meet saying she’s shallow or she’s ugly.

If you tend to overvalue physical beauty:

  1. Embrace the reality that “outwardly we are wasting away, but inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” Fix your eyes on that which is unseen!
  2. Befriend and spend time with people for whom designer fashions are not a priority or an option. This will keep your pride in check.
  3. Pursue the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that is of great worth in God’s sight (1 Peter 3:4). Augustine declared that we love only that which is beautiful, but the beauty may be hidden. Proverbs 11:16 highlights a woman’s charm that is not just skin deep. “A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches” (11:16). Character will determine what a person is like and what everybody else’s life is like around him or her. The Scriptures praise Abigail for her discretion and godly judgment (1 Samuel 25:33).
  4. Women, help us out. We men are visually stimulated. We need you to follow the Apostle Paul’s counsel in 1 Timothy 2, to dress modestly.

Where do we get the power to rightly value beauty?

  1. Acknowledge that we have not prized the Lord and His beauty with anything like the fervor He deserves. Augustine confesses: “Late it was that I loved you, beauty so ancient and so new, late I loved you!”
  2. You can’t rightly value physical beauty unless you see and experience the glories of redemption. Ephesians 5:25-27 – Jesus Himself is your lover who died to make you beautiful – a radiant bride without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish. The Lord made us to be his lovers, not just his subjects or his sheep. When you are in love, you think about the person all the time. He wants us to be in love with him. He wants us to see him as the ultimate beauty.
  3. Illustration: Remember the Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast. It is only when the Beast discovers that Beauty really loves him in all his ugliness that he himself becomes beautiful.

Benediction: May the LORD satisfy you in the morning with His unfailing love, that you may sing for joy and be glad all your days and may the beauty of the LORD our God be upon you…. Psalm 90:14,17

One Dad’s Counsel to a Young Man Dating His Daughter

My daughters frequently remind me that they believe that their daddy has control issues when it comes to their relationships with young men. It is probably true due to remembering well my own gorilla-like heart as a young man. You may have heard the analogy that Chuck Swindoll uses when giving away his own daughters in marriage. He compares it to entrusting an exquisitely beautiful and expensive Stradivarius violin to a gorilla. Thus…

Over the past few weeks, I have been thinking about this question: What should parents of a young woman expect of a young man who is dating their daughter? Here’s my attempt to speak to any young man who has interest in seriously dating one of my daughters.

1.    I expect and hope that you will truly and fervently love Jesus more than you love my daughter. An important question to continue to ask yourself is: Do I love Jesus more than I love her? My prayer for you both is that you will maintain a simple, pure, and undistracted devotion to Christ (1 Corinthians 7:35). I desire more than anything for my daughter to find a man who fervently loves Jesus more than he does her. I do hope and pray that the gospel will be the fixed center of your relationship. Continuing to learn how to proclaim the gospel to your own hearts and model the gospel with each another will make for a beautiful relationship. Loving Jesus more than her will enable you to lead her well.

2.    I expect and hope that you will delight in and cherish her and never try to change her, but leave that task to the change-agent of the Holy Spirit. I see many couples – young and old -working hard to change one another in fundamental ways. However, I do want you to think about how you will make her a better person and servant of Christ. I will challenge her to consider the same for you.

3.    I expect and hope that you will serve as her loving leader… and that you will avoid the two extremes of passivity and heavy-handed authoritarianism…. This means that you will protect her from her emotions and your passions. She will need a strong leader who also knows when and how to be tender. I believe all of us men struggle with balancing tough love with tender love.

4.    I expect and hope that you will initiate guarding the physical purity of your relationship.  This is what I mean by “protecting her from your passions.” Many godly young couples for whom we do premarital counseling typically come to their wedding day pure only because of the moral standards and vigilance of the bride. As men, we must take the initiative to lead in the pursuit of purity and holiness.

5.    I expect and hope that you will not tell her that you love her until you are emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and financially ready to ask for her hand in marriage. I realize this is a stretch. However, it is very tempting to woo a girl with words that you know she wants to hear. The Song of Solomon reminds us not to awaken love before it’s time. If I would have heard all this as a young man, I am sure that I would have thought my girlfriend’s dad was crazy. However, biblical agape love is a sacrificial commitment of the will to serve the interests and needs of another. I don’t really believe that you can know that you love someone until you have sacrificed yourself, your resources, and your time for them. Honestly, you can’t truly love someone until you have studied them long enough to know their interests, passions, gifts, weaknesses, and needs. This will take you both a significant amount of time together. I would encourage you to enjoy the journey and adventure. These are exciting days to savor.

One important discipline in serving as a loving leader is praying for her. Here’s a guide that I have developed from Proverbs 31 that I use in praying specifically for my wife and daughters. I offer it to you as a helpful tool.

  • Make her a woman of noble character (31:10 – “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.”)  Make her virtuous, morally excellent. May she hate sin and love Jesus more each day.
  • Develop her into a diligent worker (v.17 – She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong.)  Give her strength for her tasks and the ability to discern the best from the good (Philippians 1:9 – making the excellent choice).
  • Sensitize her to meet the needs of those around her (v.20 – “She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy.”)
  • Give her a proper perspective of the future (laugh and smile at it) (v.25 – “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.”)  Free her from undue anxiety and fear.
  • Develop her into a faithful, wise and kind teacher (v.26 – “She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”) The word “kindness” is the Hebrew word ‘hesed.’ It means covenantal, steadfast, unfailing, persistent love. The Apostle Paul would say that the goal of all Christian instruction is “love” (1 Timothy 1:5).
  • Make her such a godly wife and mother that her children rise up and bless her; that I bless and praise her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” (vv.28-29).
  • Cause her to grow in her knowledge and fear of the Lord (v.30b – But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”)  Show me how I can encourage her spiritual growth.
  • Help her to have a proper perspective on her outward appearance (v.30a – “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain.”) Free her from the tendency to compare herself with other women.  Free her from an undue focus on externals for God does not look on the outward appearance but on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
  • May she become a woman who loves others well. (truthing in love – Ephesians 4:15)

A Wise Woman: A rare find, the fixed center, and focused commitments,

Most ancient and modern cultures demean and treat women as inferior to men…objects to be used, not people to genuinely love and cherish. Not so with Jesus and not so with the wisdom writer of Proverbs. Jesus treated women with courtesy and honor and allowed women into his most intimate group of followers. In fact, Jesus befriended women who had been used, abused, and treated poorly, and transformed them by His grace into willing workers in His kingdom.

It is eminently fitting, in a book devoted to wisdom, that a woman of noble character should have the last word. Wisdom is personified as a woman. This beautiful acrostic poem elevates womanhood to a position of supreme honor and paints a vivid picture of a wise woman. I focus today on three facets of her life from Proverbs 31:10-31: The rare find, the fixed center, and the focused commitments of a wise woman.

Caveat: Husbands, this passage is not written for you to hound your wives about their shortcomings. This passage like all passages of Scripture serve in three ways: A mirror…a whip… a lamp. A mirror tends to show us our flaws. The swiss cheese effect of God’s Word – it shows us the holes and how we don’t measure up to God’s standard of perfection. This passage demoralizes most women because they use it strictly as a mirror. It is easy to view this passage as a harsh yardstick by which to measure your shortcomings. Many cringe at the mere mention of this woman.  Secondly, this passage serves as a whip that drives us to Jesus who is the wisdom of God. Thirdly, it serves as a lamp and a guide for living. Proverbs 31 serves as a pictorial mentor for womanhood much like 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 serve as a pictorial mentor for manhood.

Becoming this type of woman is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit and is a lifelong pursuit. Let me assure you: This portrait of a wise woman looks at the finished product. It reflects the cumulative effect of a life lived wisely. Here’s my counsel to you: Rather than becoming overwhelmed by this beautiful portrait of a  godly women, why not focus and think about one way that the Lord wants to weave her character into you.

  • The Rare Find of a Wise Woman: (v.10)

Proverbs 31:10 asks the rhetorical question: Who can find this ‘wife of noble character,’ whose value is ‘far more than rubies.’ Proverbs 3:15 and 8:11 describe the value of wisdom as also being “more precious than jewels.” Thus the search for wisdom and for the noble wife are both worth the time and effort.

The word “noble character” or excellenthas several shades of meaning – moral goodness and physical vigor and activity. She’s a woman of virtue… a woman of physical strength and moral excellence…It is the same word that is used of the mighty men of valor.

The description of this wise and virtuous woman serves as a challenge for young women and wives as well as a guide to young men in seeking a wife.

  • The Fixed Center of a Wise Woman: (See v. 30)

Women, what is the fixed center of your life?  Do you have a tendency to look to other things as the fixed center of your life? Physical beauty, your children, your family, financial security…

The fixed center of a wise woman’s life is her relationship with the LORD.

The wise woman anchors her life on the “fear of the LORD” (v. 30). One cannot be wise without entering into a personal relationship with God.

The text says that she fears the Lord.  Meaning what? The fear of the LORD is that God-given affectionate reverence by which the child of God bends himself humbly and carefully to his Father’s will. The life she lives is one in which worship and the study of God’s will have no small share. Psalm 33:18, “The eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his mercy.”

All that she says and does is governed and guided by the Word of God.  Exodus 1:21 – The [Hebrew] midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them.

Exodus 20:20 – Moses said to the people, ” Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.”

According to verse 30, why is it important that she fears the LORD?  Physical attractiveness is deceptive and temporary. 

  • The Focused Commitments of a Wise Woman: She orders her priorities.

To liberals who are focused on liberating women from the demeaning straight jacket of domestic slavery, Proverbs 31 shows the dignity and eternal value of domestic focus and excellence.

  • Her Domestic Diligence, Focus and Faithfulness. The good management of a household is a sacred duty by which women please God.

This domestic diligence is seen in her role as a faithful wife.

 “The heart of her husband trusts in her.” (v.11). “Her husband has full confidence in her” (v.11).

Jill Briscoe observes: “We know that this marvelous couple were good friends because it says they could trust each other.  You can only trust one you know” A virtuous wife enhances her husband’s standing and reputation outside the home (31:23).  Question:  Does the way that you conduct yourself outside of the home denigrate or honor your husband?

“She does him good, and not harm” (v.12). She brings him good can be a fuller word; ‘deal bountifully’ (Ps. 13:6) conveys more of the glad goodwill with which the good is done.

She interacts with him by supplying his needs and giving him grounds for trusting her (Prov. 31:11). Have you made it your constant business to do him good (31:12)?

“Her husband is respected in the city gate where he takes his seat among the elders of the land: (v.23) Her husband arises and “praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all” (vv.28-29).

This domestic diligence is seen in her role as a loving mother.

Some of you are already attempting to be super mom and I do not want to add fuel for this fire. Many of us have had the priceless advantage of a mother possessed of Christian virtues and graces. This passage ought to serve as kindling for renewed gratitude to God.

A wise woman diligently manages the affairs of her household (v.13 and 27 – “She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”) The text says that she “works with eager hands.”

A wise woman faithfully and kindly teaches her children (v.28). The last phrase of v. 26 literally says “law of kindness” (torah hesed). All that she says is governed by the law of kindness. She does not rule by the “constant droppings” of censure, but by the never-failing stream of kindness. The kindness of God has led her to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Therefore, she uses kindness to shape the hearts and lives of her children. The children of the Proverbs 31 woman do not have an unpredictable mother.  They call her “happy.” She cares for and establishes a good relationship with their children.

The most important ministry mothers and fathers have is the spiritual training of their children. See 2 Tim. 1:5 and 3:15. Lemuel’s mother boldly warns him of some of the dangers he will face in life: sinful companions, strong drink, and a temptation to disobey the Word of God.

Application: Do you take pleasure in the position/place that God has assigned to you? Wives and mothers, what would your husband and/or children nickname you? Compare with Titus 2:3-5 – “Workers at home.”

Work to make your home a haven…  a place of peace and quietness (absence of an argumentative spirit). Remember that a happy lived-in home is much more appealing than an unhappy, sterilized one.

Danger: Putting your family above your LORD. Placing your children above your husband in terms of your time and your affections.

(To conservatives who say that a women’s place in strictly in the home, Proverbs 31 serves as a hand grenade going off in their laps. For now we see that a wise woman’s fear of the Lord inspires her towards excellence in her business enterprises.)

  • Her Entrepreneurial Enterprise (Read 31:16-18; 24)

She is involved in the textile industry, planting and cultivating vineyards and purchasing real estate. This passage teaches that woman can exercise their gifts widely – in the home and in the workplace. The wise woman does expand her horizons beyond her home, but all her outside business endeavors do not hinder her fundamental commitment to meet the needs of her family.

KEY:  Her husband is not threatened by her initiative and apparent success even in ventures outside the home. Question: Is your marriage marked by competition or cooperation?

Danger: Thinking that you can have it all.

(Next, we see the end of entrepreneurial enterprise is not to hoard, nor to waste it on self-indulgence, but to invest it in relieving the needs of others.)

  • Her Generous Giving and Philanthropy (v. 20 – “The noble wife also provides for the poor.” The text literally says that she “opens her palm” to the poor; i.e, she gives to the poor with liberality.

A wise woman proactively serves those in need (v.20). Do you willing serve needy people in your sphere of influence and welcome them into your home with all of their mess?

2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

Conclusion: What is the end result of becoming this type of woman? She, as well as her works, are praised by all whom her life touches: her husband, her children (vv. 28-29), and her community (v. 31).

Husbands, let me challenge you to what Kenneth Blanchard, in his book One Minute Manager, calls “one minute praising”…find her doing something right and praise her today!

Husbands and wives, here’s a prayer to internalize and make your own as you consider the above:

Forgive us, O Lord, for the sin that so quickly spoils our life together in our families and in our church: For the moodiness and irritability that make us difficult to live with, for the insensitivity that makes us careless of the feelings of others, for the selfishness that makes life harder for others. Forgive us for the times that we have made it easier for others to sin. When we honestly assess ourselves, we thank you for Your forgiving grace and cleansing blood. Grant us today repentant hearts that grieve over our sin. At the foot of Your cross and at the entrance to Your empty tomb, may we find our burdens rolled away and resolve to live more fully yielded to You in the days to come. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.

 


Husbands: What’s the best gift you can give your wife today?

There are lots of wonderful gifts that you can give, but the best gift you can give her is to regularly pray for her and tell her what you are praying for her. This is especially crucial if you’ve experienced a recent conflict. It is very hard to stay angry at someone for whom you are praying.

Here’s a guide that I have developed from Proverbs 31 that I use in praying specifically for my wife and daughters. I offer it to you as a helpful tool.

  • Make her a woman of noble character (31:10 – “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.”)  Make her virtuous, morally excellent. May she hate sin and love Jesus more each day.
  • Develop her into a diligent worker (v.17 – She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong.)  Give her strength for her tasks and the ability to discern the best from the good (Philippians 1:9 – making the excellent choice).
  • Sensitize her to meet the needs of those around her (v.20 – “She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy.”)
  • Give her a proper perspective of the future (laugh and smile at it) (v.25 – “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.”)  Free her from undue anxiety and fear.
  • Develop her into a faithful, wise and kind teacher (v.26 – “She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”) The word “kindness” is the Hebrew word ‘hesed.’ It means covenantal, steadfast, unfailing, persistent love. The Apostle Paul would say that the goal of all Christian instruction is “love” (1 Timothy 1:5).
  • Make her such a godly wife and mother that her children rise up and bless her; that I bless and praise her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” (vv.28-29).
  • Cause her to grow in her knowledge and fear of the Lord (v.30b – But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”)  Show me how I can encourage her spiritual growth.
  • Help her to have a proper perspective on her outward appearance (v.30a – “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain.”)
  • Free her from the tendency to compare herself with other women.  Free her from an undue focus on externals for God does not look on the outward appearance but on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

Praying for Your Wife

What are you praying for right now for your wife? I have found it most helpful to pray through certain Scriptures for my wife Scottie. One passage that has served as a helpful guide through the years has been Proverbs 31:10-31. Here are several bullet points for prayer. I would urge to use this as a guide in praying for your wife. James 5:16b says that “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

One important discipline in serving as a loving leader is praying for her. Here’s a guide that I have developed from Proverbs 31 that I use in praying specifically for my wife and daughters. I offer it to you as a helpful tool.

  • Make her a woman of noble character (31:10 – “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.”)  Make her virtuous, morally excellent. May she hate sin and love Jesus more each day.
  • Develop her into a diligent worker (v.17 – She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong.)  Give her strength for her tasks and the ability to discern the best from the good (Philippians 1:9 – making the excellent choice).
  • Sensitize her to meet the needs of those around her (v.20 – “She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy.”)
  • Give her a proper perspective of the future (laugh and smile at it) (v.25 – “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.”)  Free her from undue anxiety and fear.
  • Develop her into a faithful, wise and kind teacher (v.26 – “She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”) The word “kindness” is the Hebrew word ‘hesed.’ It means covenantal, steadfast, unfailing, persistent love. The Apostle Paul would say that the goal of all Christian instruction is “love” (1 Timothy 1:5).
  • Make her such a godly wife and mother that her children rise up and bless her; that I bless and praise her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” (vv.28-29).
  • Cause her to grow in her knowledge and fear of the Lord (v.30b – But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”)  Show me how I can encourage her spiritual growth.
  • Help her to have a proper perspective on her outward appearance (v.30a – “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain.”) Free her from the tendency to compare herself with other women.  Free her from an undue focus on externals for God does not look on the outward appearance but on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
  • May she become a woman who loves others well. (truthing in love – Ephesians 4:15)