She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
I thought about my strength as I prayed over this part of Proverbs 31 and felt a sense of inadequacy. I began to think that it is the same inadequacy that Moses felt when God first came to him and told him to lead His people out of Egypt. “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”. (Exodus 3:11). God, who am I that I can be as strong as you ask me to? And why do I have to be?
“Be strong and courageous”, God says. (Joshua 1:9). As a wife, I have always thought of my husband as the “strong” and “courageous” one. He is the man who protects me from harm, including killing the spiders find their way into our home that I am so afraid of. My husband is physically strong, incredibly courageous, and I greatly benefit from that. So why do I need to be the strong one, when I have him by my side? Because God says so, that’s why.
The day I decided to become a wife of noble character, as God’s Word calls me to be, is the day I decided to become strong. No, I am not talking about maxing out weights at the gym, I certainly am not that girl. I am talking about a different kind of strength, the kind of strength that can only come from God Himself. The kind of strength God promised Moses on his journey through the wilderness. The kind of strength God promised Joshua when it was his turn to lead into the promised land. The kind of strength God gave Daniel in the lion’s den and David with the stone. A supernatural strength that comes from the Holy Spirit.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”. Psalm 73:26.
Spiritual strength comes from our faith in God. It comes from how much we allow Him to work in our lives, trust Him to be who He is, and be led down the path He has carved out for us without fear. “She laughs without fear of the future”. (Proverbs 31:25). Why? Because she knows that God will go with her there. She has self-respect, “clothed with strength and dignity”. (Proverbs 31:25). Why? Because she knows she is the daughter of the King. She has an energy that allows her to do anything, because of Christ who strengthens her. (Philippians 4:13). This wife of noble character might not be the most physically or emotionally strong, but she sure is spiritually strong.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13.
I personally have had to call on God for my strength a lot. I am not the pillar of strength this wife of noble character seems to be upon first glance. I don’t always laugh without fear of the future, but instead am crippled with anxiety over it. I don’t always feel like a princess, the daughter of a King, but more like a common girl just trying to keep her head above water. I certainly don’t always feel energetic, in fact most days I am exhausted. This is where my feeling of inadequacy comes from. Because I read the scripture about this incredibly strong woman and think, “that’s not me”.
Maybe you have felt less than strong yourself. Down on your knees, begging for God to give you the energy to get through the day. Prayers like “Lord, give me strength to get through this circumstance” or “Lord, there has to be better for me in the future”. Have you prayed those prayers? Me too. And if you have, that is exactly what makes you strong. The awareness that you are not strong enough to do it all on your own but need God’s help in it all. That is a strong woman. A woman who knows that God is the reason for her strength, energy, dignity, and hope. A woman who can pray for her marriage and her husband, knowing that God is the strength in it all.
The strength of our marriage can be determined by the strength of our faith. Struggling with hardship? Where is your faith in it? Because one thing I have learned through our own hard circumstances that life, this world, and the devil have thrown at us, is that the only way through is with faith in God. That whole for better or worse thing, we meant, I know I did. So, when for worse happens, our faith is what is going to get us through to the better parts. And we so want the better parts, don’t we? And we know that God has good plans for our future, full of hope, right? Our faith can be the only difference between giving up, giving in, or giving it all to Jesus. If we, as wives, are spiritually strong, we can give our whole marriage to Jesus over and over again.
Even without hardship, we can avoid ever getting there with our strong faith. Being the wife who prays for her husband, her marriage, and trusts God with everything means being the wife who brings life into her marriage and her home. The wife who stays spiritually strong has a closeness to God unlike any other relationship that fuels that strength. The closer we are to God, the less space between is left for the enemy to get in. If the enemy can’t get in, he can’t come to steal, kill, or destroy. (John 10:10). A full life, and a full marriage, can only come when our relationship with the Lord is a strong one.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10.
How do we get there though, to such a strong faith that the enemy can’t get in? Our quality time with the Lord is so important. How do we learn to trust someone? We get to know them. In getting to know God we get to understand why we don’t have to fear the future, and how we can be so strong. Moses trusted God and God didn’t let Him down. Joshua followed God’s lead, and God led him to a good future. Daniel and David had so much faith that they defeated lions and giants meant to kill them. There’s a trend there, a strength that only came from a relationship with and full trust in the Lord.
Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually. 1 Chronicles 16:11.
So maybe you and I aren’t going to be the world’s strongest woman when it comes to our muscles. And maybe emotionally, we have a good cry now and then and feel quite the opposite of strong. That’s okay! When our faith is strong, our marriage is strong, because that strength doesn’t come from us, but comes from God Himself. That spiritual strength of a woman that knows how much she needs her faith to be put in God, that is the strength of a wife of noble character.