“She is not great because she seeks to promote herself; she is great because she seeks after God.”
My mother left the United States in her 20s to do missions work. She has spent a lifetime serving Jesus and loving people overseas. She and my dad, both faithful to the calling God placed on their lives, have had a deep and lasting impact on my life.
My mother is known for her resilient spirit, generous hospitality, compassionate heart for the neglected, deep love for God, rooted faith, strength of character, and joy in serving others. Last fall, my wife Dee and I traveled to northern Spain to spend time with my mom and celebrate her 84th birthday. My mom wanted to keep the gathering simple, casual, and meaningful with family and friends. What a blessing it was to spend time with her and to listen as she shared some words of wisdom with us. Her advice was all about Jesus and living with integrity.
At the close of the book of Proverbs, the author describes a woman who is of great value in the eyes of God. She is a person of “noble character” (31:10), a devoted wife, a hardworking provider for her family, and a respected member of her community. She is charitable and wise, much like my own mother.
We can all learn from this detailed description of a life well lived. The Proverbs 31 woman was known to many for her strength (v. 17), dignity, and honor (v. 25). She can “laugh at the days to come” (v. 25) not because she exudes confidence in herself and her accomplishments, but because she is well acquainted with the One who holds her future. She not only speaks and acts with wisdom but also teaches it to others (v. 26). Her devotion to God spills over into every relationship. She is not great because she seeks to promote herself; she is great because she seeks after God.
This kind of life does not go unnoticed. Living a godly life begins at home. “Her children arise and call her blessed” (v. 28). “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all” (v. 29). What an amazing thing it is to leave that kind of legacy, to be praised as someone who always puts God first, who consistently loves others well, and who then shares that wisdom with the next generation. Thank you, Mom, for living out this example for me and our family.