Thursday, October 31, 2013

Far more precious than jewels

Have you ever looked closely at the Proverbs 31 women (see Proverbs 31:10 - 31 below)? The first few times I read through this chapter, I found myself thinking that I would never be able to rise up to the bar this women set for Godly women everywhere. Honestly, I was exhausted just thinking about how hard this woman must have worked on a daily basis just to “get it all done.” I was convinced that like Superman or Batman this woman had been born with “super-human” powers. She had to have been blessed by God to be like these super heroes, and there was no way everything she did on a daily basis was obtainable or even available to the women of today.
It was only when I reminded myself that God created each one of us on purpose for a purpose that I could see that you and I ARE like her. She was a real woman, with a real family. She had the same 24 hours in her day that we have in ours. The only difference, I noticed, was that she didn’t let “the stuff of this world” deter her from the purpose she had been put on this earth to fulfill. 

In fact, look closely at Proverbs 31:10 – 30. It's in these verse we read about the characteristics this woman possessed. These characteristics are the same ones we can possess if we allow God to shape and mold us in His image
She provides for her family (v. 13 – 15)
She takes care of herself physically – she’s healthy (v. 17)
She’s hospitable and serves others/charitable (v. 20)
She is respected by others and is optimistic about the future (she trusts God) (v.25)
She teaches others/counsels (v.26)
She isn’t idle – she is doing what the Lord put her on this earth to do (v. 27)

As I read this chapter and made my way down to verse 30 – I stopped…and can I just tell you I was blown away by what I read this time.

“Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you, but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.”
WOW. This world, especially the media & Hollywood, would have us believe that glitz and glamour and a size 0 is the definition of a real beauty. According to verse 30, beauty can trick you. I think most of us have had an opportunity to see this in action. People can be beautiful on the outside and down-right ugly on the inside. I am so thankful I don’t have to live up to anyone’s standards but God’s. He doesn’t look at the outward appearance – He looks at the heart.
I am so blessed by the women (mentors) God has placed in my life. These women mirror characteristics of the Proverbs 31 women. Their example and words of encouragement have shown me that I don't have to be some "Superwoman" with "super-human" strength. They just point me to Jesus and remind me of the woman He is calling me to be. Just like the Proverbs 31 woman, Jesus calls me to be trustworthy, provide for my family, be healthy, teach others by setting an example and speaking wisdom into their lives, use my time wisely, and most of all love and respect HIM with all my heart, mind, soul and strength.
Proverbs 31:10 – 31 (NIV)
A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from far away. She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all her household are clothed in crimson. She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the city gates, taking his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchant with sashes. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates.

Related scripture: Ecc. 9:10, Ephesians 1:17 – 19, Titus 2: 3 – 5, Phil 4:13

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