She is diligent, observant, trustworthy, steadfast, confidant, positive, and good at prioritizing.
And just like the rest of the Bible, every time I read Proverbs 31, I learn something new.
Proverbs 31:26: “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
At first glance, this verse doesn’t stand out as anything much.
But if you read it in the context of the preceding verses, which reveal her to be a hardworking, entrepreneurial woman who is profitable in her business (verse 18), it begs for a bit more thought.
Because wouldn’t you expect a woman like this to teach business, to reveal the 10 secrets to a successful new venture, the 3 things not to do when building your customer base, or how to work full time and manage a household at the same time?
No. She teaches kindness.
And verse 26 says that when she opens her mouth, it is with wisdom.
Things like kindness really do not come naturally, and must be taught and modeled.
The dictionary defines kindness as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”
We are all friendly when we want something from someone else. We are all certainly generous at Christmas time. And who hasn’t done a thing or two out of pure consideration for those we live with?
Kindness envelopes all those, and is never done with the intent of getting something from the other person.
I think the reason the Proverbs 31 lady teaches kindness (which is considered wise in verse 26) instead of business tactics is because she knows hard work and business skills are for people, not the other way around.
Kindness affects everything, including family, household affairs, charity, business, reputation, speech, work ethic, trust issues, and even motivation. Everything in life goes so much smoother. Kindness affects others more than our savvy business maneuvers. And kindness is never for the purpose of bolstering our own reputation:
Proverbs 31:30: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Why is charm deceitful?
Charm is defined as “the power or quality of giving delight or arousing admiration.”
Overly charming people often purposely arouse admiration for themselves in those around them. But kindness is shown for the good of others without a single thought for oneself. Charm values oneself, but kindness knows that people are made in the image of God, are valuable, and should be shown goodwill regardless of who they are or what they have done.
Whenever you think of that Proverbs 31 lady, don’t be discouraged because of all the things she DOES, just remember this one character trait that truly affects her daily decisions:
She was kind.