This sermon was based on Proverbs 31.
Proverbs 31:10-31 (ESV)
10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
If you are to get married, then who you marry is really important. Whether you get married or not, who you are is really important.
- Consistent, Godly Character Proven Over Time and it is Given/earned.
- Trust is the fundamental building block of a relationship. Slowly earned … quickly broken.
- What happens when trust is there and rightly? – Guardedness can be necessary but can so quickly become wearisome… Someone you can be vulnerable with is incredibly precious.
- Industrious. She works really hard and can make things happen.
- This matters in a marriage. Life is complex and hard – and marriage does not make it easier. There’s a whole host of new challenges that multiply …e.g. kids.
- Imagine one partner is ready to work hard, but the other is lazy … will lead to resentment, arguments, etc – not a healthy thing.
- It’s possible to go the other way on this and never rest … Some of us need to hear the challenge to pull our fingers out, others to slow down!
Heart for the Poor
- It is good to be hard-working … but the essence of a wise life isn’t just how much you go at something, but what it is also going at the right things.
- Wise life is not tight-fisted … open handed.
- It is easy to get complacent on this… but it is crucial to the life of wisdom.
- This is about a particular attitude towards the future. None us know what will happen in future … Sometimes it can be intimidating…Do you ever run the ‘What If’ script in your head
- JESUS – “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
- Easier said than done. Part of wisdom is looking ahead and being prepared for what eventualities come up. Wisdom would be to start preparing now so that you can handle different things that might come your way.
- She has character. Strength and dignity. Even if the preparation fails. Found in relationship with God. Who you are is ready for whatever may be.
- When she opens her mouth, wisdom comes out. Some people open their mouth and out comes just like a verbal onslaught of everything on their mind – not all of it is good or helpful.
- In this case there’s a considered wisdom and a kindness. She has the right thing to say at the right moment. Not about Intelligence – this same insight that run right through the book.
- Thinking in marriage … I saw a stat that said the average person speaks 860 million words in a lifetime. Guess who is going to hear more of them than any other?
- Find somebody who talks wisdom!
- Be somebody who talks wisdom!
- She is called ‘blessed’ by her husband and children … and her husband praises her. The wise life – those closest praise her.
- Some look good at a distance, but when you get to know them … Sometimes people have a public façade – everyone thinks they are great … ask the kids, the spouse. Christian leaders … Family is a big part of qualifications
- As a foundation in marriage this mutual praise is so important. Sometimes you hear a couple … putting each other down or being disruptive and undermining. Other times someone can’t stop talking about all the things they like – That it a really good sign. People who have been married for a while doing the same – A beautiful thing.
- You can have everything else … You miss this you miss everything else.
- Relationships – People who aren’t Christians … Not the path of wisdom. A married life is a life of pursuing God together… You would be pulling in completely different directions.
- Number one. Front and Centre. FEAR OF GOD. For your own life and for your marriage partner.
- How seriously do you take God? – His word. His presence. Is he an afterthought or is he the most central reality?