God, give me some words here because I am not in the mood to write this one...seriously, this is my prayer as I sit before this topic. A women from a church I once attended referenced one day having her "panties in a wad"...well, I guess you can say I do and I would much rather address another topic. I will put aside what has cause this "wad" and press on.
When we read through the this Proverbs 31 passage, we are hit right up front with a huge description of that women to her man and if you don't "fit" it you are apt to skip on to another chapter in the Bible. But, since it is being addressed so early, let's rest on it and maybe it will change us.
Look at the various translations of this verse and lets pull out the descriptive words that defines a wife who is more valuable than precious, expensive stones:
She is far more precious than jewels (HCSB)
An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels (NASB)
A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds (The Message)
A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman--who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls (Amplified)
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies (NLT)
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies (KJV)
A woman of worth who doth find? Yea, far above rubies [is] her price (YLT)
WOW...those are some big words to follow for many of us who have failed too many times. Its hard to think you could ever fit this mold when you have experienced a broken marriage. I know coming into my second marriage I carried new insight and a new determination to do it better, to be the wife God created me to be and when I am not, that bitter taste of failure surfaces quickly to remind me of what could happen if I do not change. And you know what, that is the key...I have to change, change my way of thinking, change my heart, change my attitude, change being in control. OUCH.
Many of us grew up with the Proverbs 31 Woman being know as the "virtuous woman" which means conforming to moral and ethical principles (dictionary.com). You know her. Maybe you were lucky enough to have her as a mother, maybe you sit under her teaching in a woman's Bible study, or maybe you have seen her from across the street. Isn't she just beautiful? Well, just like Solomons mother, you with whatever past you bring to the table, can be her. That should motivate us to strive for that.
My favorite description of the Proverbs 31 woman here though is "nobel" which means to possess outstanding qualities. What first drew me to this description was a sermon I heard once in which my pastor spoke of the noble women being one who literally "suits up" like a warrior for her day and for her role in her home with her husband and her life. She is not suiting up to protect herself from the harsh realities of marriage and motherhood but is suiting up against those things that try to kill, steal and destroy her domain. She is not a passive or weak woman. She is diligent at being what God has called her to be for her husband, her family, her life. Who better fits this description than Ruth...
When you think about what you go through to be that wife your husband needs, there is a lot out there trying to prove your weaknesses, make you think less of yourself and even make you think selfishly. Just look at modern TV, romance novels, and those current magazine articles. If we do not armour up with God's truths, satans attacks from these area will indeed suck us in and cause us to fail to be capable, intelligent, good, excellent, worthy...
This week as you meditate on being a noble wife, spend time in God's word suiting up. Being a women after God's own heart, grounded in the Word of God, is of great value and worth to your husband and marriage. Here are some scriptures to explore:
Prov. 5: 18; 12:4; 14:1; 16:1; 19: 11, 14; 21:9; 25:24; 31:12
1 Cor 6:17; 11: 7-9; 13:4-5
Eph 4:31-32; 5:33
Phil 2:3-4, 14, 32; 4:6, 11
A spiritual mentor and friend in my life whom I account as a Proverbs 31 Woman reminded me of a most beautiful post she had written on this same topic. Her name is Elaine and anyone who ever lands here knows her. Her life, her actions, and her testimony so screams Proverbs 31 but she will deny it. She so eloquently wrote about this noble women a few years ago and after reading it again...it is so worth resting on this topic some more. You can read Elaine's post here. Please do.
Next week we will look at that word "submission" and its role in the Proverbs 31 woman's journey.