Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Proverbs 31

For years this one chapter of the Bible has drawn me like no other... this post is from memory, so forgive me if a couple words aren't version-correct.

What does it mean to be a woman of God?

I go down the checklist... "industrious, check; skillful, check; strong arms, check;"

...and then I come to "her mouth speaks wisdom, and her tongue knows the law of kindness".

I know many women who are hard workers, skillful with their hands, but sadly I cannot name one who is always wise and kind... least of all myself.

"The heart of her husband safely trusts her."

Can you imagine that feeling? My desire to get married is followed by the hope that someday that could be said of me.

Especially recently, I've been wondering if my actions and relationships with guys now is an indicator of how I will act when I'm married. Much of the 'emotional purity' doctrine is unhealthy and not based in scripture, but it is true that if you act flirtatiously with your guy friends now, there is no reason it will be any different when you're married.

Perhaps that verse is also talking about responsible money-handling. I despise arguing over a 10 cent coupon for coffee. There has to be a balance between careless spending and penny-pinching, neither is beneficial. Worry over money is the same as worry over safety, etc. Lord, please grant me the heart of a cheerful giver. You have always proved Yourself faithful in providing for my needs in the past when I choose to freely give what You have given to me.

Here's a thought maybe you can mull over and discuss with me: around 14 verses talk about the virtuous woman's (we'll just call her the VW :P) business skills, making and selling clothing, buying property, providing food for her household, etc. All the practical real-life application of virtue. There are about 7 verses specifically about her character, such as "charm is deceitful and beauty passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised" and her "noble character". Why the high number of practical applications?

Isn't it easy to see all the works of her hands and say, "Wow, what a godly woman!" without realizing that you can have all the works without the godly character, and it is all a sham? That's my problem. I get the order messed up.

Before I go off and plant a vineyard, I should think on what makes the VW so special, "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."


Karen said...

The difference between holiness and legalism is the heart. They may appear the same on the outside. Man judges the inward appearance, but God judges the heart. I appreciate your thoughts on this passage.

Christi said...

The work the virtuous women does is an expression of what God has done in her heart. Many do the works, but without strength of character and a growing faith in God, works are empty.

Really good thoughts, Emily. Thanks for posting.

BTW, I like the picture ;)