All of us know about the truly excellent woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31. We hope we can achieve this ideal, but few of us believe deep down it’s possible. For a long time, I thought my sister-in-love, Judy, may come close. While we wait for our new house to be done, we’re living with Judy and her husband, David. I get to see Judy up close and personal, day in and day out. I know in my heart, she exemplifies the truly excellent woman.
An Excellent Woman Cares for Her Household
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking. (Proverbs 31:13-19 MSG)
Judy is one of the rare women I know who sews. Years ago, she made my maternity clothes. Now, she’s sewing a quilt, dust ruffle, pillow shams, and curtain for my king-size bed.
Every morning, after her time with God, Judy prepares a beautiful breakfast for us. Rarely does she pour cereal; instead, we have variety each day. Scrambled eggs and bacon, oatmeal and grapefruit, blueberry pancakes. Every day, something different, and always delicious. The same is true for lunch and dinner.
But it’s not just for us. If someone in Judy’s life group or a neighbor down the street needs a meal because someone is in the hospital or a spouse is away, Judy prepares beautiful meals and delivers them.
She keeps her home spic and span, but without fussing. Somehow, in the day-to-day business, she manages to quietly make the sink and counter sparkle, carry items carelessly strewn throughout the house to their proper place and fold a load or two of laundry. At the same time, she chats and makes me feel loved and welcome, gets her dog to sing happy birthday to me, and prepares dinner.
An Excellent Woman Encourages Others
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive. (Proverbs 31:25-26 MSG)
Judy studies God’s Word faithfully. And then, she lives it. She shows compassion and kindness to others without hesitation. A friend needed a car, so Judy and David loaned them theirs for several weeks. Van and I need a place to stay for a month while our house is still under construction. Judy and David gave us the guest room and bathroom. We’ve rearranged, moved things out of cupboards to make room for our stuff, taken over half of the garage, and their response, “Do you need anything else?” Every day for three months, Judy and David went to our house, took pictures of the progress, and emailed the pictures to us. If they thought something was exciting, they called to say, “Look! You’re going to love what they did today!”
She gently gives her thoughts about problems or concerns. If I worry about something or am unsure about anything, Judy offers wise counsel. Her friends call for advice because they know Judy’s words will be kind, thoughtful, and full of grace.
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises! (Proverbs 31:30-31 MSG)
Judy exemplifies a woman to be admired and praised. She lives in the Fear-of-God. God blessed me when He chose her to be my sister-in-love. I hope I follow her truly excellent example.
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