Who Is Wise?
“The crown of her head is adorned with beauty and righteousness. Faithful instruction is on her tongue. As the Rose of Sharon, she enlightens those who seek her. Her judgment is pure and trustworthy, compassion and mercy her standard-bearer. Young and old marvel in her presence. The prudent taste goodness and desire more.”
As I meditate upon Proverb 31:26, I am struck by the words, “When she opens her mouth, wisdom follows, and her instruction is always kind.” We know that as wives, mothers, daughters, siblings, and friends, excellent characteristics are not simply caught. They are taught, practiced, and lived out. Many people are not yet characterized by those as mentioned above. It is a lifelong process one learns and practices daily.
As a young teacher, I learned many valuable lessons on tempering my words and adjusting my tone. “Faithful instruction is on her tongue.” When I speak, faithful instruction is equated with not just what is taught, but how it's taught, with respect and love. I cringe when I think about how I sometimes responded to children in my early years.
Remember the old saying you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Well, I learned to do away with the vinegar and spread a table with honey. As a gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.
I am learning to walk and live a wise and prudent life. We can do this: "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him" (James 1:5). Yes, believing with our heart and will, we experience the freedom to make decisions and execute actions full of wisdom.
Teaching taught me how to be patient, kind and that children need truth and correction. However, it is better received if they can see that it flows with love and concern. As we know that love covers a multitude of sins, I couldn't just say anything or use any tone I wanted. Our words need to be measured, tempered, and given in love.
As we seek out wisdom, it closely resembles the description of the fruit from the Holy Spirit that we find in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” The Bible also teaches us in James 3:17, “The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” We have excellent teachers and mentors in the Word of God.
May we learn from these female heroines of the Bible who enthused wisdom, beauty, charity, courage, compassion, and love.
· Jochebed courageously saved her infant son, Moses, and allowed Pharaoh's daughter to raise him, which resulted in the deliverance of the nation of Israel.
· Esther put her own life on the line to save her people, the Jews ("If I perish, I perish.").
· Ruth remained faithful to her mother-in-law in a time of great personal grief, and married a kinsmen's redeemer to save the family line.
· Rahab risked her life by hiding two spies of Israel in her home.
· Deborah was a godly woman and one of the great judges of Israel.
· Abigail saved the lives of many after her scoundrel husband, Nabal, angered David, endangering them all.
· Mary, the mother of Jesus, was obedient to God, enduring slander and scandal to be the mother of Jesus.
· Mary Magdalene ministered with Jesus, and his disciples. She was the last person to leave the cross and the first person to the empty tomb.
A wise woman humbly receives wisdom, for she knows the One who provides it.
A wise woman knows who to ask for wisdom, asking with an attentive heart to obey.
A wise woman keeps the company of the wise, for she knows this serves her well as she serves others.
A wise woman is warm, courageous, compassionate, and kind.
A wise woman speaks wisdom by speaking the truth, and you can trust the words that flow through her lips.