v 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
You can only say ‘WOW’ when you reach the end of this reading! It describes a multi-tasking, multi-skilled, never-tiring, uncomplaining and spiritually-minded wife! But for all that, please also note what it does NOT say about her. There is nothing about her that suggests she is one to doll herself up, and put on her finery to please others. Nor does it suggest she is a great party talker. For sure, she is trustworthy (v 11) and frugal (v 13), shrewd (v 16) and generous (v 20), wise with her advice (v 26) and her family respect and value her (v 28).
But she is no made-up ‘Dolly-bird’ – her beauty lies in her character. All the outward and often over-valued things called beauty pale into insignificance when compared with the quality of beauty she exhibits.
I can only pause at this point to reflect on the values of our own age – indeed, my own values. What qualities do we expect education to instil in our children and young people? How do we value friends and neighbours? Can money buy beauty? Am I a beautiful person in God’s eyes, and why?