by Jonathan McLeod

This content is part of a series.

Marriage (7 of 8)
Series: Wise Steps
Jonathan McLeod
Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised (Prov. 31:30). The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction (Prov. 1:7).


Have you noticed that the book of Proverbs talks a lot about women? When you become aware of the book's target audience, you'll understand why. Tremper Longman writes, ''Proverbs dis-cusses women and wives and not men and husbands because in its original setting the book was addressed to young men. However, modern women can certainly read the proverbs and apply them to their relationships with men.''

This means that Proverbs 31:10-31-the passage about the ''excellent wife''-was written for the benefit of young men. Earlier in Proverbs they were warned about the kind of women to avoid (see 6:24-29). Now at the end of Proverbs they are shown what kind of women to pursue.

[Read Proverbs 31:10-31.]


Marriage requires lots of wisdom, which really is skillful living. After a few years of marriage, a man learns a few things.

''I'll be ready in five minutes'' doesn't actually mean what it should mean.
A husband should be very careful how he answers the question ''How do I look in this dress?''
Instead of directly stating what they want, women will often give subtle hints.
When a wife tells her husband about a problem, she wants him to listen to her talk about the problem, not necessarily solve the problem.


Proverbs 31:10 says, ''An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.'' The Hebrew word translated ''excellent'' is hayil, which means strength. She is a strong and able woman (as seen by all of her strengths and abilities listed in this passage). Hayil and the Hebrew word for wife/woman are found together two other times in the OT: ''An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, bu ...

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