“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
The more that I read, study, and pray about this wonderful chapter in the Book of Proverbs, the more I get the sense that in addition to describing the godly woman, this chapter is also describing the attributes the Lord wants his people to display to a watching world.
The godly woman represents the church.
As I frequently emphasize in these devotionals, the Lord creates and redeems a people for himself, and then sends his people into the world to be agents of his kingdom. In the OT, the nation of Israel was created and called by God to be the agents of God’s kingdom. In the NT, the Church is created and called by God to be agents of the kingdom.
Here is how the NT describes the church: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people …” (1 Peter 2.9-10)
The qualities and characteristics of the godly woman in Proverbs 31 are the qualities and characteristics the Lord wants his people to display in the way they live and work. Today’s verse tells us that the godly woman speaks with both wisdom and kindness.
In other words, she speaks with both truth and love. She doesn’t compromise one for the other.
The combination of wisdom and kindness is enormously powerful.
This is something we addressed earlier in our study of Proverbs. In the authentic Christian life, truth and love work together. As Paul says in Ephesians, “Speak the truth in love.” The authentic Christian withholds neither truth nor love. If we speak the truth without love, we are not being truthful. If we love without speaking the truth, we are not being loving. Truth is harsh and damaging if not tempered by love. Love is weak and damaging if not directed by truth.
Truth is the “what” of our lives; love is the “why and how.” The combination of real truth and real love should be our guide at work and at home. Not the fake stuff the world promotes, but the real stuff the Lord gives. Again, truth is harsh and damaging if not tempered by love; love is weak and damaging if not directed by truth.
Trust God, and speak with wisdom and kindness.