An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
An excellent wife, you're thinking. How can someone hope to prepare to be an excellent woman when each person's definition is different? Dr. Phil has his opinion and Oprah has hers. To one an excellent wife is the one who will go to the football games with excitement. To another she is one who will cook well, to another the one who will hold a well paying job, and so on. How can you define an excellent wife?
Rather than calling for an excellent woman, however, I believe that the Scripture is describing not just an excellent woman, but a woman of excellence. Ruth was such a woman. Boaz recognized this in her simply by watching her actions:
"Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence." - Ruth 3:11
The Hebrew word in these Scriptures actually translates as a "virtuous" woman, or "literally...of valor, in the sense of all forms of excellence."**
All forms of excellence. The godly Proverbs 31 woman strives for excellence in all areas of her life. She is virtuous, and holds high standards. She, like Ruth, is loyal.
This verse also asks who can find [an excellent wife] for her worth is far above jewels. The godly Proverbs 31 woman is not a young lady who conforms to the world. She is not one of millions, but one in a million.
Boaz saw Ruth from afar and noticed her loyalty, humbleness, and excellence. When those around you look at you, do they see a shallow girl following the world or do they see a rare young lady pursuing purity, worth more than riches?