An excellent wife who can Find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
I love a good heist movie. I love seeing all the high tech gadgets and the intricate plans that the crooks use to break into a highly guarded safe. Most of the time the thieves are after a bunch of cute shoes. Not really. They are after gold, money, or jewels because these things are worth a lot in our world.
Proverbs tells us that as precious as jewels may be, an excellent wife is worth even more. What could an excellent wife possess that makes her more precious than diamonds or rubies? It is her character, or as John A. James puts it, the “ornaments of the soul”.
I am sure I am not the only one here who likes jewels. I would love to spend an afternoon going through the Queen of England’s jewelry box, trying on her rings, necklaces and tiaras. Jewels are not only valuable but also beautiful. My eyes are drawn to them. Their color and sparkle can captivate our attention. I think it is great that God created them, but sadly our world worships these stones instead of their creator.
When the queen passes away, the pearls and sapphires that hang around her neck will fall into the hands of someone else. But, as John A. James wrote, death has no dominion over woman’s immortal spirit and those who belong to Jesus should decorate their soul with godliness “for the jewels with which it decorated itself on earth are as indestructible as its own nature and go with it to shine in the presence of God.”
What are these indestructible jewels? What names do they go by? There are many, but a few are truth, holiness, knowledge, faith, obedience, hope, love, joy, humility, wisdom, prudence, fortitude, gentleness, patience, kindness, calmness, diligence (as in not lazy), discipline, and compassion.
A good and godly woman is “more precious than jewels,” so we need to do some soul searching and find out where our character is lacking, what jewels are dulled due to neglect or are missing altogether. It is easy to end up feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. Believe me, I know, I have those feelings a lot. I have found some help from a lady who lived at the turn of the century named Charlotte Mason.
Charlotte dedicated her life to figuring out the best way to teach children. I am sure those of you who homeschool are aware of the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education. One of the things she emphasized was habit training (or character building). Charlotte believed that it made up ⅓ of a child’s education. It wasn’t something that was only to be taught to children though, this was something that was to be a lifelong project.
So how do you train yourself (or your child for that matter) in godly character traits?
1. Find it in Jesus.
Your hope and confidence before God is Jesus’ holiness, not your own. You must first see that you lack the godliness God desires, and must see that Jesus’ righteousness is yours as a gift. Secondly, you must realize that your growth in godliness is also wholly dependent on Jesus. Your growth in these areas will not come about by mere will-power. You must look to Jesus and depend on him for all of this, working in the power he supplies.
2. Deal with them one at a time.
Examine your life and see which jewel you would like to polish. Pick one at a time and then devote yourself to it by praying, studying and working hard and praying.
3. Pray about it - a lot
Did I mention that you should pray? Pray that God would send you encouragement. Pray that he would change you as you work on developing these Christ like ornaments for your soul. Pray for perseverance and wisdom.
4. Read all you can about it
Read every Bible verse you can find, brainstorm with friends or look online for practical ideas. Find books that cover that particular character trait and read. When we read a book (I’m not talking about Harlequin Romance books here ) it is like having someone come alongside you to help, to teach, to encourage, convict and train. We can have the voice of someone long dead help us grow in our walk with Jesus. That is exciting and great grace.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
We have all seen little babies learn to walk. It is not easy for them. They wobble, trip and fall but over time and with much practise, walking becomes second nature. When we start working on some of the character qualities described in Proverbs 31 it may seem awkward, slow and frustrating but don’t give up. Maybe you are going to work on getting up early, being more patient, speaking kindly or being more organized. The more you put into practice the more second nature they will become. Don’t let a bad day (or even a bad week) get you down.
A woman whose worth is far above precious jewels is a woman whose soul is dripping with the jewels of godliness. Pick one ornament and dedicate yourself to making it a part of your godly character.