I have always been obsessed with shows about royalty. Victoria, with all its romance and beauty was one of my favorites. So, when I think of nobility, visions of Queen Elizabeth resplendent in her crown and finery fill my head. However, as the Bible was written long before the queens of today’s television dramas were ever conceived, I know that this is not what the author had in mind. No, the queen mother of King Lemuel, author of this particular proverb, wanted her son to choose a suitable bride. One deserving of a kingdom.
And while we all like to think of being regal as being in one endless procession of fine gowns, eloquent dining and fancy balls, this chapter reminds us that noble character is so much more than the external decorations royals are known for. It means taking care of one’s husband, staff and children, building businesses and investing, public service and charity.
I have always been interested in this chapter. Early on in my marriage I’d jokingly say that the wife of noble character sounded tired. She seemed, to me, to be an impossible ideal. But, I’ve come to see that these character traits are not just something we should try to become, but something we must become. I found that these traits do not simply have to describe the woman we ought to be, but on a deeper level, it is the mandate of every believer to become the pure and spotless bride of Christ. That we, as the church, must also make ourselves ready for the bridegroom.
Proverbs 31: 10 says:
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Indeed, as the bride of Christ, we are worth far more than rubies. Truly, our Lord Jesus paid a great price for us. Ask yourself, how much are you worth? You can tell what something is worth by what someone is willing to pay for it. Jesus paid far more than rubies for you.
To be honest, there are days when I don’t feel very valuable. My job as a stay-at-home mom can mean hundreds of tiny, unnoticed acts of service. I’ve been angry when my kids have left things lying around. I’ve taken it personally when they don’t hurry to the dinner table after I’ve “slaved away in the kitchen.” I’ve done all this in exercise attire with a messy bun–none of which has felt very noble. And I’ve wanted to quit on more than one occasion. I’m pretty sure queens aren’t quitters.
And yet we have such tremendous value to God. He moved heaven and earth for us. What would it be like if we lived every day like we were the betrothed of Christ? I, for one, know that this truth changes everything. As the future wife of the king, there are some things in my character that need strengthening and things in my nature that need changing. And if this life is preparation for the life to come, then I need to do a better job. And I can revel in the hiddenness, in the countless acts of service, knowing that my Lord sees me. And when I live like that–like eternity is what truly matters– I am wearing my crown, building character, preparing for my Lord’s arrival.