Boletim dos Obreiros

The excellent wife

Proverbs 31: 10-31

May highlights the importance of the picture of the woman in the context of the family, especially by her unique condition of wife and mother. It is true that the celebration, in course of time, has turned to the petty and selfish satisfaction of commercial interests that the event propitiates, to the detriment of the appreciation of the important role of the woman, as an excellent wife, which is the primary reason of the positive reality in the social scenario.

The last chapter of the book of Proverbs contains precious text about the qualities of the excellent wife. It is a text that is constituted an "Appendix" of the book, distinct and autonomous. It is a beautiful acrostic poem about the excellent wife. The first letter of the first verse begins with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, while the other twenty-one remaining letters appear successively, at the beginning of the complementary verses. In contrast with all that the proverbs, in the context of the book, expose about the "strange woman", the teaching about the true mother, about the honour and the dignity of the woman and the excellent wife are widely hailed in this last chapter of the book. So, the book ends appropriately with the constant praise made to the wife and perfect mother by her husband and her children (vs. 28-31).

Let us see how the subject of the excellent wife is expounded:

Aleph –SHE IS OF GREAT VALUE (v. 10)- This verse describes the woman, not easily found, as a housekeeper who is loyal to God in daily chores. She makes her home a very comfortable place, like the house in Bethany, where the Lord Jesus liked to stay (Luke 10:38 -42, John 11: 1-44). The adjective "virtuous" has a very ample concept, including references to the strength, capacity, efficiency, value and wealth. In all these areas she is the excellent woman, exceedingly valuing herself ("for her worth is far above rubies"). This contrasts with the immoral woman, mentioned in several passages earlier on. The VB translates the v. 1 thus: "If you find a faithful and dedicated wife, you will find a treasure more valuable than gold and precious stones".

Bayth –SHE IS FAITHFUL AND DEDICATED (v. 11)-The husband of a faithful and dedicated woman will always be calm and confident because she will never let him lack anything. This essential attitude of the excellent wife constitutes an efficient support for the success of the accomplishments for which the husband is responsible.

Gheemel –SHE IS ALWAYS KIND AND READY TO HELP (v. 12)-She only gives satisfaction to her husband and never displeasure, all the days of her life, trying always to help him in anything. It is worth remembering in this matter what the Lord stated that the woman should be when he created her as a wife: "a helper as his (Adam`s) counterpart”. Her always present "goodness" and her "readiness to help" makes her the excellent wife.

Daleth and Hay-SHE IS ECONOMICAL (vs. 13-14)-The VB translates v. 13 as: "she buys cloth and makes the clothes of the family". With goodwill she works with her own hands to relieve the financial burden of the husband. She searches untiringly for the best food for the family, looking for the best food for the family, always seeking the lowest price. An efficient domestic economy always brings profit to the family. This is undoubtedly an exceptional qualification of the excellent wife.

Vawv, Zayin, Khayth, Tayth, Yode and Sawmek -SHE IS LABORIOUS AND DILIGENT (vs. 15, 19, 24) –She works tirelessly. Even before the sun rises she is already up preparing the first meal of the family and planning the work of her servants and distributing them their tasks. She knows how to negotiate with diligence and vigilance in the respective operations, applying well the profitable result of her work, whether in acquisition of real estate, or in agricultural activity. She is always prepared to work, even when it is heavy, being aware that her work helps to support the family, which is the reason why she does not excuse herself from working until late at night.

Kaph, Lawmed and Mem- SHE IS GENEROUS, HELPFUL AND ON THE ALERT (vs. 20-22)-She is always ready to help the poor and unhappy, providing also for no lack of warm clothes for the cold season, including for family members. She herself makes the bedclothes, tablecloths, carpets and curtains for her home. She makes her own garments, with the best quality fabrics. Unfortunately, this is not quite what we see in the modern days in the attitude of the married woman, which becomes the inexorable reason for family bankruptcy.

Noon –SHE PROMOTES THE RESPECT OF SOCIETY TO THE HUSBAND (v. 23) – Her husband will be known and respected in your city and will always be indicated for important positions and activities of collective interest in society and will be well considered when participating in their meetings. The expression "among the judges" refers to locations (doors) of the city, where the elders would sit to judge and discuss local affairs.

Ayin -ENERGY AND DIGNITY GIVE HER SECURITY FOR THE FUTURE (v. 25)-Her great virtues are energy and dignity, which bring her total and permanent security, never getting worried about old age. So, she always smiles to think about the future acting with expectation of a good result.

Pay- WITH A WISE WORD SHE INSTRUCTS KINDLY (v. 26) – She always speaks with wisdom and gives advice, teaching and correcting her children with love. In this way she participates efficiently of her duty to comply with the precious teaching of Paul in Ephesians 6: 4 ... "Bring them up (the children) in the discipline and admonition of the Lord".

Tsadêy –SHE IS ALWAYS ATTENTIVE AND ACTIVE IN THE HOUSE (v. 27)-She knows very well everything that happens in her home and never feels lazy or gets tired to the needs that may arise. To administer the home well is a commendable quality in the attitude of the excellent wife.

Cofe and Raysh –SHE IS PRAISED BY THE FAMILY (vs. 28-29)-Her children compliment her and exalt her to colleagues and friends, declare her to be the best mother in the world. Her husband proclaims proudly that "there may be many good wives in this world, but that surely, none of them will be better than his".

Seen and Tawv -HER SECRET (vs. 30-31)-all her charm and her success do not happen by accident, but have a solid foundation and their reason for being in the "fear of the Lord", which is the beginning of all wisdom. The charms of a woman can be just an illusion and her beauty does not last forever. The true beauty and true honour of a woman are in loving and obeying the Lord (1 Peter 3:1-6). The key to beauty of the woman's character is her spiritual life. The woman who does so should be praised before all, greeted and honoured by society as a whole.

Conclusion: May the reflections about the family, to which the month of May leads us, cause us to meditate over this precious teaching about the excellent wife, so the home may be valued and be useful in carrying out her sublime mission according to the solemn plans of the Lord.