She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Many of us have heard of the “Proverbs 31 woman.” Many ladies have gone through bible studies about her. Many ladies’ conferences have focused here. And now, many have pushed back, finding there to be a lot of law in many of those teachings without, perhaps, much grace.
Without jumping into that discussion, I think it is safe to say that we can see godly attributes, good characteristics, in Proverbs 31:10-31. The 22 verses each begin with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet—it’s an acrostic. This section offers us the A-B-Cs of a godly lady.
When reading through these things, verse 26 grabbed my attention. Honestly, it did not grab my attention as anything particularly feminine. Instead, it grabbed my attention as something particularly godly and something particularly needed today.
The woman of noble character speaks with the two attributes of wisdom and kindness. Wisdom indicates a lady with a right love of and fear of God. She speaks true things, applying the knowledge of God to daily living. She can look at a situation and bring the truth of God to bear in a way that is right, accurate, and helpful.
The noble woman also speaks with kindness. Please let us never forget that kindness is a fruit of the Spirit of God in our lives. While many on-line have mocked those who question a person’s tone when they speak about issues, the truth is that godly people have kindness as a fruit. And here, as we study the woman of noble character, kindness is an attribute of her speech and her application of godly wisdom.
As I already mentioned, I see nothing particularly feminine here. It is not as if the word of God does not wish for godly men to speak with wisdom and kindness. It just so happens that this particular piece of wisdom in godly character is found in our passage about the woman of noble character. I would suggest to you that all believers could benefit from a dose of both wisdom and kindness as we speak. This is not a call to softness or compromise. It is merely a call to believers to display the fruit of the Spirit in how we speak and how we write.
Dear friends, we need the grace of Jesus here. Who has not spoken unwisely? Who has not been guilty of unkind speech? Who has not laughed when sharp, even mean-spirited, snarky lines have put others in their place? May we lean on the Lord for mercy. May we ask Jesus for help and wisdom. May we seek that the Lord would fill us with his Spirit and that his Spirit would bear the fruit of kindness in us. May we never compromise. Kindness is not allowing sin to go unchecked. May we not tolerate evil. But may we not look like the world in our attitude. Instead, may our lives reflect this noble lady of Proverbs 31 in wisdom and kindness.