Sermon Notes May 14, 2017, FBCam
An Ancient Text for Modern Moms
Proverbs 31:10-31

God created moms and affirms their worth and importance!
IMPORTANT because:
– Gender roles are attacked as sexist. This is a rebellion against God as Creator!
– Feminization of our culture. Boys are told to repress their competitiveness. Children are told to discover whether they are a boy or a girl.
– Alternative views of the home (2 daddy’s, 2 mommies, etc).
We will never IMPROVE or REPLACE God’s plan for the home!

I. God Created and Exalts Motherhood! Proverbs 31:10-31
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 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. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 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. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” (Proverbs 31:10–31, NIV84)

It is important to realize that this passage about a woman of noble character is the Conclusion to Proverbs. Notice other feminine distinctions found in the book of Proverbs:
Proverbs 1:8. WISDOM is personified as a WOMAN. “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” (Proverbs 1:8, NIV84)
Wisdom CALLS. (Proverbs 1:20) “Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares;” (Proverbs 1:20)
PROVERBS written to Solomon’s son…
SEEK wisdom
AVOID the adulteress
SEEK a godly wife. YOUNG MEN: Most of you will be get married. It is a GOOD THING! DON’T BE A PLAYER! Treat women with kindness and dignity.

The Structure of Proverbs 31
It is an Acrostic proverb (A, B, C, D….)
It is written in Chiastic form. In this form, each point has a mirror counter point. You can see this best in the following chart:
A: High value of a good wife (v. 10)
B: Husband benefited by wife (vv. 11–12)
C: Wife works hard (vv. 13–19)
D: Wife gives to poor (v. 20)
E: No fear of snow (v. 21a)
F: Children clothed in scarlet (v. 21b)
G: Coverings for bed, wife wears linen (v. 22)
H: Public respect for husband (v. 23)
G´: Sells garments and sashes (v. 24)
F´: Wife clothed in dignity (v. 25a)
E´: No fear of future (v. 25b)
D´: Wife speaks wisdom (v. 26)
C´: Wife works hard (v. 27)
B´: Husband and children praise wife (vv. 28–29)
A:´ High value of a good wife (vv. 30–31)

Duane A. Garrett, vol. 14, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001), 248.

This is not a TO DO list for moms or for women. It is the INSPIRED words of a FATHER to his SON
The FATHER is telling his SON about MOM!
The FATHER is instructing his SON so that he can find a GREAT WIFE one day!
This does not diminish the importance of this passage for women!
The Theme of Proverbs is Wisdom – Consistent from chapter 1-31
The priority of the FAMILY is testified.
The CREATION order is emphasized
The HOME is the centerpiece of human relationships
The HOME is not complete without a GODLY WIFE
Garrett (NAC): Proverbs has, in effect, come full circle. It began by saying that the young man must embrace the imaginary ideal of Woman Wisdom in order to have a fulfilling life, and it ends by saying that one needs a good wife to achieve this goal. …He cannot attain wisdom without the good wife because she creates the environment in which he can flourish. …Wisdom is not simply a matter of learning rules and precepts but is a matter of socialization, and a man is socialized first by his parents and then by his wife. (Garrett, NAC)

The Characteristic of the Woman of Noble Character
1. 31:10. “A wife of noble character, who can find?”
2. 31:29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all”
a. NAS, ESV= “the excellent wife”
b. KJV = “the virtuous wife”
3. Meaning. “Usually military strength, or wealth.”
4. HERE, “excellence, virtue”
5. USED in
a. Ruth 3:11 “And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character. ”
b. Proverbs 12:4 “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. ”

B. CARE for her HUSBAND.
1. 31:11 Her husband has full confidence in her
2. 31:12 brings him good not harm

C. CARE for her FAMILY
1. 31:15 she provides food for her familiy
2. 31:21 when it snows, sheh has no fear for her household
3. 31:27 She watches over the affairs of her household
4. 31:28 Her children arise and call her blessed. “As far as they are concerned, she is the greatest wife and mother in the world.” (Garrett, NAC)

1. Most attention in the poem
a. 31:13 selects wool and flax
b. 31:14 brings food from afar. She is good at shopping!
c. 31:16 She considers a field and buys it
d. 31:17 She sets about her work vigorously (Lit. “girds her loins” KJV = “she girds herself with strength”)
e. 31:27 she watches over the affairs of her household

A. This is not a CHECKLIST.

B. Young men: this is the KIND of woman you ought to be seeking for

C. Young women: this is the KIND of woman you should strive to be

D. HOW? Proverbs 31:30 “A woman who fears the Lord will be praised”
1. Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. ”
2. Psalm 147:11 “the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. ”

E. JUST like the SON who is instructed to FEAR THE LORD, daughters are also to FEAR the LORD.

F. A woman who puts GOD FIRST:
1. Her HUSBAND is respected. Their home is honored
2. Her CHILDREN rise up and call her blessed.
3. Her HUSBAND praises her
4. 31:31 “give her the reward she has earned”

G. Mothers, we honor you today.

H. The SCRIPTURES honor you today.

I. Not in a secondary role to men, but as equal partners in fulfilling God’s plan for human relationships.
1. You have the power to direct your husbands toward godliness.
2. You have the power to direct your children toward the Lord.
3. Fear the Lord, and love your home.