Proverbs 31:26 says, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
Through the years, as I have studied Proverbs 31, I have been amazed at how the Lord can say so many things in so few words. This verse in Proverbs is loaded with truth. It is a short verse, but, oh, how this verse has convicted me in so many ways. I will share some things about myself, which are hard in some ways. I would love to be able to sit here and write these articles, as though I am one who has mastered Proverbs 31 and has become the ultimate “virtuous woman,” but instead, I have to share ways in which I have learned from this chapter. This opens up things about myself, that I would rather stay hidden.
Verbal communication reveals a lot about us. There are people who talk so much, that it is impossible to get a word in at all. Then, there are those who, if they are thinking something, just blurt it out for everyone to hear. Some people say very few words at all, and it is like “pulling teeth” to have a normal conversation with them. There are conversations in which one individual may go round-and-round saying the same thing in different ways, as though trying to “convince” others to agree with how they think, which ultimately leaves the listener exhausted. Others may want to talk constantly about themselves and their achievements, when they do finally settle into a conversation. Through conversation we can often see personality flaws in the individual, such as pride, selfishness, insecurity, and tendencies to be inconsiderate and unfeeling.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone, who when asked a question, would hesitate, taking a moment to answer? They were probably taught the principle of “think before you speak.” This is an area I have had to work on in my life, and continue to have problems with, at times. I find my feelings often dictate to me how I speak. Years ago, when studying this passage, the Lord showed me who I really was through my conversation. Often, I was sharp-tongued with a tone emphasizing exactly how I was feeling. If I was impatient or irritated, I often made it known to the individual with whom I was speaking. The Lord convicted me that I was NOT like the virtuous women when it came to my tongue. I remember praying (and still do) for the Lord to help me speak with words of wisdom that can encourage, edify, cheer, and help.
Note that the virtuous woman is not one who “keeps her mouth shut” on issues that arise. No, instead, after thought and prayer, she offers words of wisdom in the situation. But, as we see in the second part of the verse, what she says is with kindness. She understands that she is commanded to be kind in situations (“Be ye kind one to another…), and kindness as she speaks has become “the law.” As a mother, she insists that her children speak kindly to one another, and she leads by example. Her words to her husband are kind and encouraging, so as to be a wife who lifts her husband up instead of tearing him down with her words.
I remember when I was a young mother, my own mother once challenged me about how I spoke at times. She mentioned that she didn’t think I really heard myself the way I actually sounded. I was not saved at the time, and I remember that being a mother to very young children was very challenging for me. I tried to change, but as with every other part of my “Christian life,” it was so much work and I continually failed. At the age of thirty-two I finally saw myself as lost and in need of a Saviour, and gave my life to the Lord. Through my devotions and personal study of God’s word, He started to show me areas in my life that HE needed to change. Through prayer and reliance on the Lord, I finally found victories in the areas in which I had been struggling. I learned that it is the Lord who gives us wisdom in dealing with our children, (James 1:5- “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally…”). As I grew in the Lord, I loved more and more being a wife and mother. Things that seemed impossible before, were not only now possible because of the Lord, but even enjoyable.
Are you struggling with your tongue, with how you speak to others and to your family? Is raising your children a drudgery with little satisfaction? The Lord can change all that. I am not saying that if this is your story, then you are lost. But it is a possibility that you may not be saved and that it is the reason there is no victory in your life. Just last night in church, our pastor, who is preaching through 2 Corinthians, taught on the need to “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves….” (v. 5)
As I write this, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I have so much for which to be thankful. I have a merciful Saviour Who didn’t give up on me. I have true salvation that brings me joy in whatever task the Lord has for me. I have a wonderful family with whom we can fellowship, and serve the Lord together.
As you read this, Thanksgiving will be over and Christmas will be just ahead. Christmas preparations can be exhausting and even stressful at times, but with the Lord, there is joy and peace. Be sure to speak kindness to your family, and ask the Lord for wisdom in sharing the good news of Christ’s birth with those around you. Have a Merry Christmas! Here is a favorite Christmas treat!
Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
½ tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
½ cup raspberry jam
1 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ tsp almond extract
2-3 tsp water
Combine sugar, butter and almond extract. Beat until creamy. Add flour and mix well. Shape dough into 1” balls. Place 2” apart on cookie sheet. Make an indentation in the center of each ball and fill with ¼ tsp jam. Bake at 350 for 14-18 minutes, or until edges are just lightly browned. Let stand 1 min. and remove from cookie sheet.
In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and 1 ½ tsp almond extract. Gradually stir in enough water for a thin glaze. Drizzle over cooled cookies.
I make these cookies every year for Christmas, and this is one of my most requested recipes.