Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Marriage Mondays on Tuesday: The Proverbs 31 Woman

With the last two days of information about women and how they can find themselves in God, it began to make me think about how Solomon revered women, at least as he closed Proverbs. When as Christian men, we give our women the respect and honor due them by God’s declarations in the Bible, we often find ourselves looking at powerful women living God-led, spiritual lives. Today, I thought we’d take a look at that for Marriage Monday on Tuesday. Below is Proverbs 31:10 and following in the New International Version.

Pro 31:10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Pro 31:11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
Pro 31:12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
Pro 31:13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
Pro 31:14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
Pro 31:15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.
Pro 31:16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
Pro 31:17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
Pro 31:18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
Pro 31:19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
Pro 31:20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
Pro 31:21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
Pro 31:22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Pro 31:23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
Pro 31:24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
Pro 31:25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
Pro 31:26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
Pro 31:27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Pro 31:28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
Pro 31:29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
Pro 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Pro 31:31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

What do we learn about Godly women in these verses? There’s a lot to chew on here, so I’ll break down a few ideas that jumped out at me.

Right off the bat, we see that if you can find a woman of noble character, she is valuable and her husband has complete confidence in her. Guys, I think we can ask ourselves a couple questions here. First, do we show complete confidence in our wives? Do we think we can hand them the credit cards and the checkbook thinking that even after a day of shopping that as a family we’ll be OK? Secondly, do we show them the value that they deserve after working hard to make our lives easier? I know in honesty, I can fail and have at both of those questions. Let’s go on.

Verse 12 tells us that this Godly woman brings us good and not harm. I love when my wife does nice things for me, but I don’t think as much as I should about how she makes my life easier. Plus, I’m not sure if she has ever brought me harm on purpose. Sure, there was that time she was sick when we lived in downtown Atlanta and I went to Kroger at three in the morning and two guys were having a gunfight in the meat department, but that wasn’t her fault.

The next verse that jumps out is verse 17. She sets about her tasks with strong arms. Granted, I don’t need my wife to be a weightlifter, but all of us wants a woman that’s strong enough to get the job done. After being at home with the kids for a couple years now, I can tell you that the jobs at home aren’t as easy as we might think. Yes, some appliances have made housework a tad easier, but the real house working woman isn’t sitting and shoving Hostess Ding Dongs down her throat all day long. “Woman’s work” is hard, strenuous work especially when you have kids screaming in the background for your love and attention while doing that work.

Verse 20 also sticks out that a woman is smart enough not just to make a living for the family, but is also able to reach that hand out to those in need in her community. The lady of today continues to think of others above herself and embraces those that need it.

The final two verses I look at are verses 23 and 28. When Godly women live a good, spiritual life, their men are respected amongst their friends in the church and the community. Yes, men have a lot to do with making that impression, but women add the gravy to his Godly life. They are a team and she makes him look good and makes the effort to give him the time to be contributive to the community.

And because of all that, verse 28 comes together. Her children rise and called her blessed. The children know one thing is certain. Mommy and daddy love each other and in their raising realize that they want to follow in the footsteps of Godly living. In truth, we see this all the time, when mom and dad aren’t the Christian team they need to be, the children reveal the holes in more ways than the couple. So when these children see the lady of the house being shown the love and respect that is expected, they are also able to show those emotions with ease.

Finally, verse 31 shows us that these ladies receive the reward due her, in this life in the community around her and in heaven at the throne of Jesus.

Ladies, I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed three days of writing that was directed pointedly for your benefit. Gentlemen, I hope that it has blessed you in seeing if you are giving that lovely lady of yours what she really needs and if not, where you can make the way a better day.

I love you guys!
Frank

1 comment:

Jenndiggy said...

I never realized this until I was in Israel, but each Sabbath, Orthodox men sing this to their wives before dinner. How precious is that?