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The Perfect Woman

Okay, maybe the title should be "The Perfect Model For A Woman." Because believe it or not, there is no perfect woman - just like there is no perfect man. We all have flaws, we all sin, and relationships take work when flawed, sinful people are involved. But the Bible does offer a pretty good picture of the godly wife and mother.

Read Proverbs 31.10-31.

Though most of the Proverbs were written (or recorded as spoken) by Solomon, no author is named for this acrostic that ends Proverbs. Written in a similar format to Psalm 119, each verse begins with the successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

"Excellence" is the theme. Verse 10 begins, "An excellent wife who can find?" and the poem begins to wrap up in verse 29, "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all." By starting and ending the description with "excellence," the author creates a framework for all the virtues to fit and blend into. In other words, her excellence comes from her having (or being) the whole package!

As the author describes the perfect (model for a) woman, he fairly consistently alternates between her virtue within her own household and her involvement in economic matters. In verses 11-13, 15, 17, 19, 21-22, 25, and 27, she is extolled for how she manages her house and her family. She has her husband's trust and is good to him, she works hard, fixes dinner, dresses everyone warm when its cold, has a good sense of humor, and isn't lazy. Then in verses 14, 16, 18, 20, and 24, she is praised for her wisdom and financial savvy. She is wise financially, she's a good steward, she is entrepreneurial and works hard for financial reward, but she's not greedy - she helps the poor and needy.

All of which lead the author to conclude in verses 28-31 that her children see her effort and her husband also, and it inspires praise from them. A woman who "fears the LORD" is worthy of praise - her godliness outweighs her charm, beauty, and all of these other qualities. This model is presented in the light of her fear of the LORD. And that's the key - this is a model.

Something for all women to aspire to.

And something for all men to look for.