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A Closer Walk

"An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain...She extends her hand to the poor; and she stretches out her hands to the needy...Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her saying; 'Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all'," Proverbs 31:10-11, 20, and 28-29 NASB.

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 12. This day is a National Holiday our country has set aside to recognize the contributions mothers make to their families, their churches, and their communities; as well as their state and nation. From a purely secular perspective, the country and the individual states are well served by moms who raise up the next generation of productive taxpayers. We know that the family is the foundation of any successful society. From a spiritual or Christian perspective, the family is well served by a mom's involvement in the lives of her children. She feeds and clothes her children, and keeps a roof over their head. Her husband helps with all these things, of course, but today we are focusing only on wives and mothers. She guides, directs, teaches, and even reprimands her children when necessary. All is done with love. She leads her children so they grow up to be loving, caring, helpful, and faithful adults.

This passage from the Old Testament Book of Proverbs offers us a picture of an excellent wife and mother. Her worth is far above jewels, we are told. Amen! Because she is an excellent wife, the heart of her husband trusts in her. And he (they) will have no lack of gain. Based on personal observation as well as personal experience, it seems readily apparent that our Father in Heaven blesses the institution of marriage. When a man and a woman come together in marriage, they become one. One couple, one family. The two working together to move toward and accomplish what they believe the Lord desires of them. And it seems certain that they are able to do more, be more, build more, and accomplish more together than either of them ever could as individuals. This encompasses spiritually, personally, and professionally.

This excellent wife extends her hand to the poor, and stretches out her hands to the needy. Notice, please, that she extends a hand (singular) to the poor, but stretches out her hands (plural) to the needy. So to the poor, she extends her hand to offer what help they might need at the moment. To the needy, who are by definition worse off, she stretches out her hands. This tells us that the poor can be helped by extending the hand. The needy, again since they are worse off, likely would require more effort to help them with their situation, so both hands are stretched out. Another way to look at this would be to say, "To the poor, give with one hand. To the needy, give with both hands". The poor can be helped by extending our hand. The needy may require us to stretch out our hands and reach with our arms in order to help them.

The children of this excellent wife and mother will rise up and bless her. And her husband will also. Children who grow up with a mother like this will be blessed indeed. Husbands of wives like this who are mothers to their children will be blessed beyond measure. Her worth is indeed far above jewels. And her husband may tell her, "Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all".

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