Where real beauty is found (A Mother's Day Reflection from Proverbs 31)

When I was a little boy I could always count on my mom’s comfort. Any time. Any place. There were no prerequisites for her love. If I was throwing up at 2:00 a.m., my mom was right next to the toilet holding my hand. When my basketball coach didn’t allow me to play as much as the other boys, my mom immediately gave me the attention she knew I had lost throughout the game. When I would injure myself, I would run straight to my mom to be consoled and healed. There’s just something about a mom’s compassion that can’t be found anywhere else.

My father was around during all of those times -- and he was a great man -- but for some reason my mom’s presence was different. I’m sure my dad cared when I was sick, but it was mom who got out of bed and cleaned up the mess. I know my dad was concerned with my playing time, but it was my mom who focused on my feelings and not on the facts of the game. When I was injured, I’m confident my dad could have held me tighter, but my mom’s embrace had a different kind of strength.

Today, I watch my wife care for and relate to my children in a way that is different from me. I’m a good dad, but my wife offers my kids something I don’t. I’m not sure if women are just better people or if God installed in each woman a unique quality that makes them extra special. One thing is for sure: Mothers are wonderful!

The Book of Proverbs begins with the command to trust God and ends with the image of a woman whose life embodies this command.

Where Real Beauty is Found

1. Real Beauty is found in True Goodness.

“If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems! Proverbs 31:10a

The Proverbs 31 woman is expensive. She is valuable! She is a complete and fulfilled woman because she is a truly good person. This is the type of woman that makes significant contributions to life and to her family. She is precious because true goodness is a rare virtue. Few people in the world have the kind of character that always makes situations and relationships better. This woman has it!

2. Real Beauty is found in Compassionate Wisdom.

“She sews for the poor, and generously helps those in need.” Proverbs 31:19-20

Although the Proverbs 31 woman is a high-priced value, she has compassion for the poor and the needy. While she is a very busy woman, she has time for the less fortunate. Her wisdom gives her the ability to recognize the needs of those around her. And her godliness provides her the strength to care for those in need.

3. Real Beauty is found in a Praiseworthy Life.

“Her children stand and bless her; so does her husband. He praises her with these words: ‘There are many fine women in the world, but you are the best of them all!’ Praise her for the many fine things she does. These good deeds of hers shall bring her honor and recognition from people of importance.” Proverbs 31:28-29,31

The Proverbs 31 woman is epitomized with excellence. As she gives to others, they find her life worthy of praise. Both her work and her lifestyle are praised by those around her. This woman lives in such a way that people see God in her life and give her praise, as well as her Creator.

4. Real Beauty is found in Godly Reverence.

“Charm can be deceptive and beauty doesn’t last, but a woman who fears and reverences God shall be greatly praised.” Proverbs 31:30

This characteristic seems to be one of the strongest. The Proverbs 31 woman is more than externally beautiful; she is internally exquisite. Where physical beauty is taken away this woman will still have more to offer the world. Physical beauty is empty if it stands alone. But beauty combined with reverence is full and complete. Look where you will, from Madison Avenue to the monastery, the Proverbs 31 woman is without peer.