Welcome back to part 2! :)
Yes, I know I didn’t blog yesterday. Yesterday I spent time focusing on how beautiful God is, and today I plan to dive back in to my search for what God wants a woman to become :) (Isaiah has some beautiful stuff about God, ps)
The last chunk of Proverbs 31 is a classic “woman chapter” in the Bible. And I’m totally guilty of just lumping it all together and taking it at one time. But there is so, so much in those verses that I know can just be steam-rolled right over.
Proverbs 31:10: “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” <– find. Don’t be afraid to be found. Don’t be afraid to let a guy chase you. People cherish the things they have to work hard for. Now, I’m not saying be totally impossible, but…don’t let yourself be won over with just a dashing smile and a few witty remarks. Make sure he’s a good man; make your heart something that is not just given away, but earned.
31:11: “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” Wow, “lacks nothing of value”? those are some pretty strong words…Character is so important. Being a woman who will push against what society has to say about marriage, kids, money, and even womanhood and who will embrace God’s standards and ideals for all of those things is so difficult but such a blessing to anyone who gets to know her. Think right now of women in your life who push against the accepted standards and embrace God’s standards…have they impacted your life in a positive way? How is her countenance? Her relationships? Women like that are rare and special; I suggest you make them mentors in your life. I love spending time with women who are just radiant with Jesus and are passionate about following Him; I hope some of their wisdom will “rub off” on me… :)
31:12: “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” “all the days of her life.” This verse really struck me a couple months ago when I was reading through this passage. I am not supposed to just honor my husband when we get married, I am supposed to be honoring him now. I should be living a life now that will make him proud to say that I am his wife. I don’t want to have a bunch of dirty laundry in my past that would make him not so proud of me. I need to have purity in my future dating relationships; just because I date someone doesn’t mean I will marry him (even though I’d loooove to only date one guy…). I need to be guarding my heart so that I can give it to him fully. I read in a book that we should treat every single guy as if he were someone else’s husband, because, guess what? someday he will be. So if you wouldn’t do something with someone else’s husband, don’t do it with that guy. Just sayin’.
Verses 13-19 focus on her work ethic; here are some of the ways she works and the tasks she accomplishes:
- With “eager hands” (v13)
- Early (“while it is still dark”) (v15)
- “Provides food for her family” (v15)
- Wisely (“considers a field…out of her earnings…”)(v16)
- “Vigorously” (v17) (with arms “strong for her tasks”)
- Trades (v18)
- Works late (“Her lamp does not go out at night”) (v18)
- Spins thread (that’s how my NIV Study Bible text footnote explains v19; she is spinning thread, which was women’s work)
So uh…I’m not thinking this whole “Wife of noble character” thing is going to be a very lazy kind of a job. Do you see all the stuff she does?! I don’t think this applies to just wives; I mean, if women were lazy their whole lives and got married…there’s no way they would be able to pull this off. No, a woman of noble character (which is how a wife of noble character gets to be a wife…) is a hard, dedicated worker. Granted, our tasks are not the same as this woman’s were. We don’t have to go out and plant vineyards or spin thread. But, we still need to work eagerly, wisely, vigorously, and with great dedication. It takes a lot of dedication to get up “before dark” and have your lamp “not go out at night.” How are you at working? Because it’s an important thing to be able to do well.
31:20: “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” This is such a beautiful verse. She’s loving, compassionate, giving. This was covered in the verses from 1 Peter, so this is really just a reminder. It is so important to love other people; God even mentioned it twice (and this is only the second day of looking for woman stuff!)! How hospitable are you? Are you willing to give to people who have less than you do?
Just to recap, here are the things I bring away from Proverbs 31:10-20 [the rest will come later, don’t worry :)]
- Patient to be found; worth working for
- Not willing to settle for societal standards but pushes for God’s ways to be done in her life and home
- Faithful, before and during marriage
- A diligent, hard, eager worker
- Hospitable, loving, compassionate
Thanks for reading; the more I look into this the more I realize what high standards God has set for women. It’s a challenge, but I am so excited to reach for it. Will you step up to the plate and become all that God created you to be?