Home and possessions are an inheritance from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD. (Proverbs 19:14)
Matthew Henry comments on this verse by saying, “a prudent wife is meek and quiet, and makes the best of every thing. If a man has such a wife, let him not ascribe it to the wisdom of his own choice or his own management (for the wisest have been deceived both in and by a woman), but let him ascribe it to the goodness of God…” The KJV Bible Commentary also notes, “A good wife is absolutely necessary for the erection of a Godly home. She is not acquired, however, as are other possessions which may be worked for or inherited. She is always to be treasured as a gift from Yahweh.”
Strong’s Concordance defines prudence as: intelligence, discretion, knowledge, sense, understanding, wisdom, diligence. These are all descriptions of the “Good Wife”.
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:26-27)
“But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” (Titus 2:1-5)
A “Good Wife” isn’t the sum of her favorable attributes- her attributes are simply a sign of her “goodness”. What makes a wife “good” is her prudence- an accumulation of faith, understanding, and wise behavior. And this not of herself, but because she has been given this prudence from God. Matthew Henry said, “a prudent wife is meek and quiet, and makes the best of every thing”. Without God, this is not possible.
Meekness means “without pride”. Only God can take away a person’s pride and clothe them in meekness. “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:13-18)
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.“ (Proverbs 8:13)
And last, but certainly not least, a good wife will “make the best of everything”. She is content. She is willing to take the things God has given her, and make the most of them.
“ Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” (Hebrews 13:5)
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8)
“She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come”. (Proverbs 31:14-25)
You may have noticed by now that this call to prudence includes everyone, not just wives. The scriptures make it very clear that we are to “get wisdom” (Proverbs 4:5; 16:16) and “get understanding” (Proverbs 2) and “be filled with the knowledge of God’s will” (Colossians 1:9-12). Prudence is not available to everyone. It must be received by God, and is not given to those who live worldly lives. More than anything, a good wife is holy, righteous, and open to the Will of God in her life. This is achieved through the reading of God’s Word, Faith in Jesus Christ, and the filling of the Holy Spirit. And if you are letting God work in you and through you, that is what will allow your husband and family to be blessed.
Prudence is God’s gift to wives, just as a good wife is God’s gift to husbands. We haven’t earned these gifts, nor do we deserve them. These gifts are given for the sole purpose to glorify God and His Word.
Use them faithfully.