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Friday, March 30, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Woman

Proverbs 31:10-31 (ESV)

"10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. "

This woman is one whose example we can and should follow. As opposed to the woman Folly, this woman is a hard worker who does not seek prominence, but gains it anyway because of her godly character and diligence. Instead of finding her value or identity in beauty, she finds it in the Lord. I especially love verses 11-12. Marriage is the basis of so many jokes, with the wife being a spend-thrift that wrecks the husband's finances and the husband treating her like a jerk, or the wife being the all-knowing wise one who treats her bumbling husband condescendingly. Well, these verses show the perfect relationship. Her husband can rest easy with her as his wife; he trusts her fully because she does only good to him. He, in turn, is a good and wise man that is well-known in their land. Verse 12 says, "She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life." Think about that a minute. "All the days of her life"; that means before she even met him. How can we honor our husbands all the days of our lives? It's kind of like how we learn to honor Jesus. Imagine He's there with you all of the time, whatever you're doing. It's painful to imagine your future husband sitting beside you when you are wrapped in a different guy's arms, passionately kissing this other guy. That is certainly not honoring your future husband. Or maybe it's something as simple as flirting with another guy, just for fun. That is hurtful to both men. When I imagine my future husband is with me watching my every move, I am much more conscious about honoring him and keeping myself out of hurtful situations. Try imagining that your future husband is with you constantly; purpose to honor him you're whole life. Maybe you'll never get married, but this imagining practice will also help to keep you from messing with another girl's future husband, and it will help you to form proper friendships with men.

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