Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Proverbs 31 Woman

For thousands of years, God-fearing women have looked to the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 as their ideal. Of what value can this ancient poem be to the women today? It is more relevant than you might at first expect — although it is also too good to be true.

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." The Hebrew word chayil, means a wife of valor — a strong, capable woman with strong convictions. This description does not agree with weakness and passivity.
"Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value." Her husband trusts her management of their resources. Her industriousness adds to the family income.
"She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." This woman does not do right only when it is convenient and profitable. Her character is steady. She is reliable and dependable.
"She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands." This woman enjoys working so much that she plans ahead for what she needs in order to accomplish her responsibilities.
"She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar." This woman who goes the extra mile for quality items is not satisfied being mediocre.
"She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls." Though the woman described here has servants to take care of the house, she understands that good managers have a responsibility to take care of those under their authority.
"She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard." Every woman doesn’t have to go into real estate and planting— the principle here is that this woman uses her mind to analyze and strategize. Her goals are not only short term — but long-term.
"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." We get a picture of a woman who keeps herself healthy and strong by proper diet,rest and exercise.
"She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night." It is sure that her responsibilities are well taken care of.
"In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers." The example she sets is one of skill and industriousness. Whether this woman would be a programmer, a pianist, an accountant, she develops her talents.
"She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy." This woman shows personal concern. She visits the sick, comforts the lonely, and gives food to those in need.
"When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet." Providing clothing for the family is one of her responsibilities. She has her plans.
"She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple." This woman has high standards and dresses properly for the occasion.
"Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land." This man does not have to spend time solving problems at home, and his success in the social world comes partly from her support.
"She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes." This woman runs a business from her home. Her efforts and industry add to the family income.
"Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come" This woman benefits each day from her actions.
"She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." This woman reads and knows what she is talking about.
"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." She is an organized, energetic person who carries out her responsibilities.
"Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her." She is honored in her home.
"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." High praise for this extraordinary woman — a role model for all women.
"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Here is the key to this woman’s effectiveness. Her priorities are determined by God’s will, not her own.
"Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." This woman is actively doing good works.
The woman described in Proverbs is a portrait of ideal womanhood. The focus of this portrait is a woman’s relationship with God, not her specific abilities. The Proverbs 31 woman realizes that regardless of her skills or all her accomplishments, her strength comes from God.
Who is a virtuous woman today? Proverbs 31 says that it is the woman who puts God first.
Cultures change, but this woman’s godly character is still highly applicable.

God bless you :)

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