The Woman Worthy of Praise

By Susie Frederick

Most women wish to receive praise. It seems to be a part of our human nature. Some spend much money buying beautiful clothing and jewellery. Some spend much time

applying cosmetics or arranging their hair in elaborate styles. Some work very hard to make their homes beautiful, or to prepare feasts that will display their skills. All of these things may bring us the praise of other people, but will they bring us praise from the highest source — God? The Bible gives us instructions about behaving in a praiseworthy manner. Let us consider some of them.

The Bible speaks about women who are concerned too much with their personal appearance. “Do not let your adornment be merely outward — arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel — rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4). God considers it more valuable for a woman to have a meek and quiet spirit than to have impressive clothes, expensive jewellery, and elaborate hair styles. It is not our physical appearance which brings praise from God, but the beauty of a righteous heart. When the Lord chose a king for the Israelite nation, He told His prophet Samuel, “for the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Beautiful homes and impressive meals do not gain praise from God if we neglect the more important matters of life. When Jesus was on earth, He taught in the house of a woman named Martha. Martha was burdened with serving, and did not stop to hear HHis teaching. Her sister Mary was listening to Jesus, but Martha asked Him to tell Mary to help with the serving. Jesus answered, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42). God expects us to put spiritual matters in the place of highest importance (see Matthew 6:33).

It is not wrong to wear attractive clothing, or to work to make our homes pleasant. God expects us to care for our household and our personal appearance. This is emphasized in many ways in Proverbs 31:10-27. But we are not to do these things just to receive the praise of man. Instead, we should cause others to turn to God, and give Him the glory for our righteous lives. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” In the words of God's inspired writer, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).