28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
It is no easy thing to develop and maintain noble character, but the path of discipline leads to joy. The “wife of noble character” is not only rewarded with success in what she does, but also with praise and honor from those she does it for. Would she have these things if she had sought praise directly? It is one thing to be a good mother and another to be a good wife. She has avoided the error of choosing one over the other, so she earns the admiration of both. He praises her for who she is, and not just for what she does – greatness is more than mere behavior.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all her hands have done, and let her works bring praise to the city gate.” Some women preoccupy themselves with charm, and others with beauty, but where do those paths lead? What use is charm without loyalty, or beauty without competence? The woman who fears the Lord is not the center of her own world, which liberates her from the self-criticism and competitiveness of pride. She has time for neither envy nor manipulation, she is busy improving the lives of those around her. The admiration she receives is genuine, the joy she has is complete.