“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Prov 31:26.
This is but one of the incredible observations/affirmations of the “virtuous wife” in Proverbs 31. As I read this today I reflected back on a recent conversation with my precious wife Jodi, and was mindful of how this verse describes her. Now, this post may come across a bit sappy…and I get that…and it is not unintentional in that regard, but I want it to serve as an example to us all…if, in fact, we desire to follow biblical examples of virtue.
First, she “opens her mouth,” which speaks well of the absence of apathy or complacency. In a world of subjective truth and self-centered focus…many people refuse to open their mouths at all. Eventually when someone does…others whisper that they thought the same thing but just did not say anything. There is something to be said about those who will take the initiative to make their corner of the world better for all.
Second, she speaks with “wisdom.” Biblically speaking, this word is pregnant with meaning. It affirms true knowledge of God; not simply facts ABOUT Him, but wisdom acknowledge His character and sees the beauty in His person…His existence. Many know facts and doctrines about God but miss the beauty and majesty of His person. Further, wisdom relies on practical knowledge of life. It is one thing to know how a four cycle engine operates and to have gotten a perfect score on your written driving exam, but wisdom drives the car in an efficient and effective manner. This is the product of listening, learning, experiencing, and acting.
Finally and perhaps most admirably…”kindness” typifies her words. As a practitioner of communicating with words, I know that words can both edify and destroy. They can hit you in the head as with a blunt object, or they can pierce your soul as with a sharpened dagger. They have the ability to multiply confidence, or leave the hearer in a pool of tears and self-conscious paranoia cowering in a darkened corner of the room. But words spoken KINDLY edify even when they are difficult to hear. They communicate motives of love and encouragement.
I know a number of wise and kind people…but I know no one who typifies this verse better than Jodi. She recognizes the responsibility of her life…a responsibility to speak up, with wisdom and kindness/graciousness in every syllable.
How can we apply this?
- Take the initiative to speak up.
- Figure out how things work. Process that information and consider carefully the implication. Don’t simply blast out 140 character twitter rants! Discover why that thought is important to you, to others, and how it relates in the meta-narrative of life.
- Finally, with a purified heart that seeks the betterment of others over our own benefit…speak with the kindness of God.
This is beauty. This is the virtuous charge and commendation of Scripture. This is Jodi.
SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT: If you want to read or hear more about Jodi and her ministry, visit her on her site: jodiaiken.com.