Friday, June 20, 2014

Noble Women Are Beautiful

The other day I engaged in a discussion about biblical femininity with the women in my small group through church. This discussion led me to Proverbs 31. In particular, I honed in on verses 10-31. These verses are sayings that King Lemuel’s mother taught him. It is a bit of a mystery who this King was, but nevertheless it is a lovely praise of a woman at her best.

Taking the time to read these verses awakened a sense of pride in being a woman. I want to share these loving words about women to all of you. Whether or not you are a wife or a mother, Christian or non-Christian,  these verses provide an interesting insight into what it means to be a remarkable woman. I hope you are encouraged in your femininity and feel inspired to align your actions with some of these ideals.
Proverbs 31 (verses 10-31) 

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

What do these verses mean to women in modern times?
*It is rare and extremely valuable to be a woman of noble character.
*A noble women is trustworthy and cares for others’ needs. If she has a husband, she gives special attention to his needs.
*She is a positive influence on everyone she encounters. She avoids saying or doing things that cause other people to stumble. She is consistent and committed to this influence.
*She is resourceful, eager to work and capable.
*She makes the extra effort to reach those resources that are unique and of higher quality.
*She is willing to sacrifice her own needs when necessary to take care of her family and friends.
*She is wise in her investments. She is sure of herself, braves the risks and makes the effort to make her investment fruitful.
*She is not lazy. She develops those aspects of her necessary for her tasks.
*While she can be selfless, she is sure not to be a doormat. She knows the value she creates and makes sure she is compensated accordingly. This ensures that her resources do not run out.
*Again, she is hard working and creates value to others.
*She is compassionate and generous.
*She is warm and confident in what she provides to the ones she loves.
*She is hospitable and makes people feel at home.
*She behaves in such a manner that does not distract from the honor her husband (or friends or family) have earned for themselves.
*Yet again, this woman is a money maker, a fair but effective business woman.
*It is not the design of her clothes that make her honorable. Her praiseworthy quality is her internal strength and the respect she has for herself. This internal confidence allows her to live life lightheartedly, without fear or anxiety.
*She avoids foolishness and speaks with discernment and intention. She continually helps teach others.
*She is prudent and aware of what is happening in her family. She does float through life and just stand by. She engages with her family.
*She expresses to her children that it is God working in her so they call her blessed, instead of some other praise that gives her all the credit.
*She is deserving of a special individualized love, the kind that is specific to her, like she is the only girl in the world.
*While women do have a natural desire to be beautiful, it is not meant to last. The characteristic that matters most in a woman is that she fears the Lord. This means she has a healthy respect for his power and authority. She has a relationship with the Lord and would not forget about the God who created her.
*People should thank women for what they have done. It is so important that these verses constitute the last verses in the book of Proverbs.  

It's fun to dress up and look nice, but notice that none of these verses discussed beauty, except to say it is fleeting. You have a depth inside of you that matters so much more than how well you blended your make up. Take a moment to think about your characteristics and what you have to offer the world.

How do you already look like this woman? What intentions would you like to set to develop into a more mature and effective woman? 

No comments:

Post a Comment