The Marks of the Noble Mom Proverbs 31:10-21
There are certain days in life that are just not good to miss. Tax day; who of us does not know the significance of April 15? Then there is the first day on the job. Ever experienced missing that one? It is so embarrassing. How about birthdays and anniversaries, especially when it’s the birthday of the one you celebrate the anniversary with. Important business meetings, your daughter’s recital, your son’s ballgame, and the day you leave on vacation. These are must to be remembered days. So is tomorrow. Men, this may be the big one.
If you are a married man with children and you mother is still around, you cannot afford to miss tomorrow. What’s so critical about tomorrow? If you need to ask you may already be in the barrel and going over Niagara Falls. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day is not a new idea. There is evidence that for thousands of years motherhood has been honored. However, it was President Woodrow Wilson who first nationalized the observance in 1914, setting aside the second Sunday of May as the official day of observance.
It is interesting to note that in the 1920s and 1930s Anna Jarvis, a proponent of the celebration almost ten years before Wilson, fought against the commercialization of the day. This came as a result of the floral industry wanting to exploit the observance.
Nonetheless, here we are and tomorrow is the day. Such being the case, what does the Bible say, if anything, concerning mothers and Mother’s Day? The answer is found in the book of Proverbs. The last chapter of the book has a lengthy section which describes the characteristic of a wise and excellent wife and mother. Take a moment and read Proverbs 31:10-31. As you read note the two relationships addressed.
Before continuing on, know that this passage is not neglecting or negating the role of single moms. Single parent homes are part of our society. There may have been one or many factors that led a woman to be a single mom. What this passage is speaking of is what God considers the norm. It may not be political correct but in Proverbs 31, the writer extolls what should have been the norm in his day and, if the truth be known, should be in ours.
This segment of Proverbs 31 begins: “A wife of noble character who can find?” (v.10). The writer is not saying that is impossible to find a woman of noble character but rather uses the phrase to raise the question of what makes a wife a woman of noble character. The wife with this attribute is said to “be worth far more than rubies.” Rubies are among the most rare of precious gems; far more rare than diamonds. So if a man is looking for this rare gem what should he be looking for?
First, the writer notes that this woman “brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life” (v.12). In other words, her desire is to make her husband’s and children’s lives better. This is a woman who thinks of her family’s needs before her own, does not consider it a burden, and does so willing and with joy (v.13).
Next, the noble wife and mother is one who works hard for the benefit of her family, and others, that live in her care: “She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks” (vs.15-17).
It is not surprising that a woman who loves and helps her family will also help others; “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy” (v.20). In seeing this it is easy to understand that the love of the noble wife is not self-centered or self-serving. She is not running a personal agenda to better herself but rather desires to better the lives of others.
The noble wife and mother works hard to be sure her family is safe. The writer mentions, “When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple” (vs.21-22). Why does he mention scarlet, fine linen and purple? It could be that the noble wife and mother desires to more than just meet her family’s needs. The materials mentioned were costly; but that did not matter to her. She will do whatever it takes to see that her family is well cared for.
The noble wife and mother cares about the reputation of her husband (v.23), lives a life of dignity and joy (v.25), and is careful about the words she speaks (v.26). This woman is not lazy (v.27), takes care of the important things in her life, and lives with in deep, reverent fear of God (v.30).
Looking at the above list might tempt one’s head to spin. How can anyone one be or do all these things? The answer is in the last attribute. She is “a woman who fears the Lord.” The characteristics of the noble wife and mother are characteristics derived from a close walk with the Lord. Thus the first step in being a noble wife is to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ.
One might also ask what they might gain from all this, though a noble one would not. Here’s the abbreviated list: her husband has full confidence in her (v.2), “her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’” (vs. 28-29), and they “honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate” (v.31). Not a bad list of benefits.