A man had a secret barbecue sauce and he refused to share it all through life. On his deathbed, he finally gave the secret to his son but told him not to share it with his mother because she would tell everybody and he wanted it to be a family secret. Proverbs 31 describes a wife and mother who had a secret. The writer begins by describing her as gifted and industrious, never lazy; she knows how to negotiate a good deal in the marketplace. She is a saver yet she is generous toward the poor and needy. She is concerned about all the unmet needs of her family. She is not deceived by her passing beauty but wise enough to prepare for the future of her family. Her children and husband—those close enough to know her character best—celebrate, respect, and bless her. All these noble characteristics beg the question of what is her secret? Thankfully the author does not leave us in doubt when he says, she is “a woman who fears or reverences the Lord.” In other words, her secret sauce for noble character and success in life comes from revering God and giving Him His rightful place in her life—something we all can do.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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