“House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord.” (Pro. 19:14) God’s Word says that a prudent wife is from the Lord. So, what does it mean to be prudent? How can we be that type of wife to our husbands (or future husbands!)? Strong’s Concordance defines it as “to be (act) circumspect, and hence, intelligent: consider, expert, instruct, deal prudently, skillful, teach, understand, wisdom, guide wittingly; have insight, comprehension” Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines it as “cautious; circumspect; practically wise; careful of the consequences of enterprises, measures, or actions; cautious not to act when the end is of doubtful utility, or probably impracticable.
1. Dictated or directed by prudence.
2. Foreseeing by instinct.
3. Frugal; economical
4. Wise; intelligent”
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “characterized by, arising from, or showing prudence:
a. Marked by wisdom or judiciousness
b. Shrewd in the management of practical affairs
c. Marked by circumspection: discreet
d. Provident (making provision for the future); frugal”
Let’s look at seven defining characteristics of a prudent wife:
1. A prudent wife fears the Lord.
The beginning of knowledge, wisdom, and prudence is a fear of God. No wife will be a prudent wife without the fear of God. “I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the LORD is
to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward mouth, do I hate.” (Pro. 8:12- 13) “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Pro. 31:30)
2. A prudent wife has a wise heart.
God’s work always begins in the heart before it is displayed in our lives. Proverbs 16:21 says, “The wise in heart shall be called prudent….” The prudence that is identified by others springs from a heart that has been instructed by the Lord.
3. A prudent wife has a sweet tongue.
“The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” (Pro. 16:21, 23-24) A prudent wife knows the value of a restrained tongue that is ruled by the law of kindness. “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (Pro. 31:26) She recognizes and avoids the irritating and detrimental effects of a contentious tongue. (Pro. 21:19; 27:15)
4. A prudent wife is both a student and a teacher.
Those who are prudent are willing to be instructed and even corrected. Because they are prudent, they are also patient teachers who realize the value of instilling truth and wisdom in those around them. “The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.” (Pro. 18:15) “The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.” (Pro. 14:18) “A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.” (Pro. 15:5)
5. A prudent wife prepares for the future.
Because she makes wise preparations, she isn’t impulsive or unguarded in her decisions. She is careful with her finances. She doesn’t make decisions based solely on her emotions. She takes time to stop and think of consequences before speaking or acting. She is willing to use wisdom to discern good and evil and make right choices. (Pro. 22:3; 27:12) She learns to plan ahead, but because she makes decisions based on wise principles, she also learns to adjust to unexpected situations. Because she is proactive, she is far less likely to be reactive. Her willingness to have clear objectives and careful preparation relieves a great deal of potential stress and fear. “She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.” (Pro. 31:21)
6. A prudent wife has willing, working hands.
She is not lazy or negligent. She is willing to serve her husband, her children, and others around her. She is a competent manager of her home and doesn’t shirk her duties through idleness or unnecessary activity. “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” (Pro. 31:13, 27) “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (Tit. 2:4-5)
7. A prudent wife wins the trust of her husband’s heart.
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.” (Pro. 31:11) One of the key components to a happy, lasting marriage is trust. A lack of trust doesn’t come only through infidelity. It often springs from a lack of prudence – practical wisdom. If a husband cannot trust his wife to keep his confidences, to manage and keep his home, to set a good example for and train his children, to be discreet in her decision making, he will find it difficult to treat her with the love and respect she desires.
Many wives unwittingly undermine the foundations of their marriage by simply being foolish. “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” (Pro. 14:1) Are you a prudent wife? Do you recognize a lack of prudence in any of these areas? I have good news for you! If you lack wisdom, ask God for it. Ask in faith and be willing to obey when He shows you areas that need corrected. (Jas. 1:5-6) He will teach you. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Ps. 32:8) Remember, “…a prudent wife is from the Lord.”
Mrs. Niki Lott
Christian Mother, Author, composer, and pastor’s wife