If you are like me, you have heard many people expound their opinions on the Proverbs 31 woman. This passage of Scripture is often held up as the model for women to emulate specifically in terms of what it means to be a godly wife. Yet, in all the times that I have heard this passage referenced, one part seems to be neglected. On numerous occasions I have heard the admonition to be a diligent worker (v. 13-14, 17, 19, 21-22), to bring honor to one’s husband (v. 23), to care for one’s household (v. 21-22, 27), and to be an excellent administrator of the resources God has granted (v. 16-19, 24-25) Yet rarely does this verse seem to be part of the discussion:
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”- Proverbs 31:26
One may be tempted to wonder why this part seems to be neglected. My guess is because a lot of women like check-lists and gaining wisdom isn’t something that is easily accomplished in a prescribed step-by-step process. Additionally, having the “teaching of kindness” always on our tongue isn’t easy. It requires not only that we know and do that which is kind to others, but that we are able to instruct those who are younger (in age or in their Christian walk) to do the same – while still exhibiting the kindness that we teach!
However, it wasn’t by accident that this description was included in the passage that has in many ways come to define what it means to be a godly woman. So we would be unwise to neglect it from our consideration. Let us seek to be wise with the words that we utter – opening our mouth with biblical truths applicable to a situation (which requires us to gain biblical wisdom so that we are prepared to share it.) And let us be ready to teach kindness – perhaps first through our actions but also through the instructions that we give.