“Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.”
The husband of the virtuous woman is a respected leader who has a strong voice of influence with other leaders. The public credibility of the husband is strengthened by the wife’s character and competence. Indeed, part of the husband’s reputation is due to his wife’s faithfulness, diligence, and resourcefulness. Together they are pillars of their community.
Once again, I see a metaphor in this verse. Are we, as the bride of Christ, behaving in the world in a way that enhances the credibility of our Lord and Savior? Do people in American society listen to the voice of Truth because of the example set by the Christian church? Do Christians publicly display such character and competence that it motivates people and leaders in our culture to listen to the teaching of Jesus?
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.”
Scripture often uses clothing to symbolize a person’s spiritual state. For example, Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves not only to physically cover their nakedness, but also to symbolically cover the shame that gripped them after they had disobeyed God (Genesis 3:7-8).
We, as Christians, know we can spiritually put on the full armor of God to “suit up” for battle against the world’s many temptations (Ephesians 6:10-17). Revelation tells us that those who go to heaven will be dressed in white to signify their spiritual purity (Revelation 7:9-14).
While the Proverbs 31 woman has clothes of “fine linen” (Proverbs 31:22), it is strength and dignity that are her most beautiful garments. It is her inner beauty and strength that distinguish her. She understands the importance of living life with courage and virtue, and she “wears” these qualities in the way she carries herself and interacts with others.
It is very inspiring to read that this godly woman looks into the future — with its unknowns, uncertainties, and challenges — and simply laughs. And this laughter is not a doubt-filled, Sarah-like laughter of unbelief (see Genesis 18). This laughter flows out of a strong, resilient, resourceful woman of wisdom who fears the Lord.
In other words, she walks by faith, not by sight. And because of that, she lives courageously. This is Paul’s message in Corinthians: “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage …” (2 Corinthians 5.6-8)
Is this not how we as the church — the bride of Christ — should carry ourselves in the midst of a watching world?
- Fearing God
- Clothed in scarlet
- Strong and courageous
- Resilient and resourceful
- Laughing at the future, irrespective of the circumstances
And that is why this incredible vision of a laughter-filled, courageous, God-fearing woman is so beautifully convicting and inspiring. We know we are prone to anxiety and cares, and yet we desire to glorify God by overcoming those burdens with steadfast trust in the Lord.
When we laugh at the days to come, we are resting in the goodness of the Father regardless of what may be happening in our circumstances.
When we laugh at the days to come, we are trusting in the sovereignty of our God who has kept every single promise he has ever made.
When we laugh at the days to come, we are believing that the blood of Jesus truly covers our sins and that one day we will see him face to face.
When we laugh at the days to come, we are relying on the strength that God gives in our weakness.
When we laugh at the days to come, we are depending on the sufficient grace of God that will meet us in each and every hard season of our lives.
Trust God, consider the days that are to come, and smile.