While driving to work, I was listening (not paying much attention) to a Christian station when I heard a comment about the virtues of the woman described in Proverbs 31. The comment that was made indicated women have a strong dislike for Proverbs 31 to be brought up, especially on Mother’s Day. This comment caught my attention and I begin to ask myself why a godly woman is uneasy when reading Proverbs 31, hearing it discussed or a message about a role model for women in society.
When I reached my destination I logged onto Bible Gateway and pulled up Proverbs 31. I started reading the Scripture and when I finished reading through the chapter, I went back and re-read verses 10-31 which are filled with wisdom.
I begin to highlight the characteristics of the woman described in Proverbs 31 by King Lamuel, whom name means “devoted to God” and had received wise teachings from his mother. As I read through the verses and highlighted the many characteristics of the woman he described, I was struck with the impression that he may have been writing about his mother as a model of the wisdom and gracious teaching he received as a young man.
As I continued to read and highlight the distinctive characteristics written for our edification, my thoughts turned to the many beautiful character traits I received from the instruction for my own mother, my mother-in-law and my lovely wife. I sensed the Holy Spirit prompt me to write down some thoughts, so I quickly scratched out my thoughts on paper. Thoughts kept coming to me while I was working during the day, and I would reach over and write down those thoughts regarding women, their role in society, how they are viewed by society, how many sons and daughters view and think about their mom and women, and especially, how men view, think about and treat women in our society. These thoughts centered how men have limited and held women to be of lower value in society, as a whole, and particularly in the church because of a bent mindset of superiority.
Since Proverbs 31 describes an ideal woman, and because this chapter lists many powerful character qualities and traits of women, many women may believe they are capable of achieving only a few of these many characteristics listed, so they feel uncomfortable and inferior. This should be the furthest thought to enter the mind of a godly woman. Rather, Proverbs 31 should be a portion of Scripture every woman should cherish, read frequently, and with God’s support and grace, strive to grow year after year into the beauty these verses reveal is the glory of a woman. These Scripture verses reveal God’s attitude and heart of how much He values women and their role in a perfect society. All Scripture is profitable to both women and men. Men should also read Proverbs 31 frequently and support the women in their life, release them to grow into a beautiful flower of God’s grace and honor them, both privately and in public. It is time to teach our sons one simple display of respect to a woman is to open a door and wait for her to enter, is to demonstrate, in a small, simple way, our appreciation and honor to women.
So as I write the collection of thoughts I had scratched down during the day, I want to dedicate this writing to my dear wife who has always stood by my side through times of goodness in life, through the storms of life, and faithfully stood with love, mercy, humility and grace, and supported me during times of darkness when I desired, and often wondered, if I would be better off dead than alive.
She, my mother and my mother-in-law contributed greatly to the individual I am today because of the love, mercy and grace they gave to me, and the many prayers I am certain they prayed for me. Many times they cautioned me in areas of my life, as I thought I was wise in my own eyes, and went down paths that led to heart ache. I now see the wisdom God gave to them and their grace and humility, as they stood firm in faith during my arrogant, selfish push to please my foolish heart with the things of this life and neglected to appreciate their words of wisdom.
I adore my mother, and I have always admired her love, gentleness, kindness, and strength of character, as she stood in faith for each of her children, and the grace she extended during times of turbulence in a family consisting of eleven members. I have seen on her face a bright smile that melted hearts of anger and the pain of grief over some failure of her children and my father, including myself. She never wavered, and was the backbone of the family in the storms of life. She managed the money when there was none. She took time to speak a kind word and encouragement to each of us nine siblings, and Dad. I thank God for her life as she lived life day by day with faith that tomorrow would bring hope. In sickness in her later years in life, I never heard her complain. I am deeply indebted to her and the world does not have enough gold or material possessions to purchase such love.
I could have not asked for a more gentle, kind and caring mother-in-law. I cannot recall a single time that I did not feel her love for me as she treated me as a son, not a son-in-law. I do not have a single complain about her treatment of me or any member of the immediate family or anyone outside the family. I have stated it before, and I state it again here: I could not have asked for a better mother-in-law than I received when I married Wanda. She is a hero in the eyes of our children, and she is one of my heroes, and I owe her a debt of gratitude I can never repay.
My dear wife has demonstrated love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, courage and strength in a dimension that I now am only beginning to understand in some small measure. I owe my life to her. She has stood firm in the middle of the storms of life, the fires that burned everything away, and the floods of sorrow and darkness that washed over our family. Daily she commented, and continues to comment: “God will get us through. He will watch over us. He will provide.” These seem like simple statements to some, but these are pillars of faith that hold firm when everything is falling apart around us. From the lives of these three women, I am going to structure my comments in this writing as they reflect many of the characteristics of the woman described in Proverbs 31.
They have been and remain three pillars in my life along with my God, the Lord Almighty. Their faith has faced the winds, fire and floods of adversity and stood firm, grounded in the Word of God and lived out day by day in the grind of daily life.
From this perspective, I take a firm position that women are the backbone of the home, the community, the church and our nation. Men, we need to man-up and admit we have undervalued and underappreciated the women in our lives including our wives, our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, daughters-in-law, and the other many women who God has allowed entry into our lives. Whether the relationships with these women are or were a family relationship, church related relationship, working relationship or a casual relationship of friendship, we owe a debt of gratitude we need to start to repay.
For some of us, it will likely require us to swallow our pride and sit down with the women in our life, ask for forgiveness for failure to fully recognize the tremendous natural and spiritual gifts God has placed in and upon their life, and that we have overlooked these gifts due to ignorance, or just simply were, and are too full of pride to admit we need them. Second, we need to speak words of appreciation and blessings to the women in our lives, and demonstrate we take responsibility by daily action with tangible evidence going forward in the future. These conversations need to be genuine, seasoned with love and appreciation, or the result will be a total failure.
Guys, please allow me to share that most women know whether we are sincere or whether we are attempting to offer a false plea of our neglect to recognize the value they bring to our lives. DO NOT even attempt to sit down and resolve your guilt by attempting to offer a false plea. Take the matter to the Lord, first and foremost, and get your heart cleaned up, ask Him to guide you and then sit down and have a REAL conversation that will be life changing. This is not a ‘start, stop and go and then stop’ or ‘maybe today and hopefully tomorrow’ commitment to be genuine in recognizing the importance of daily appreciating these valuable gifts God has placed in our lives.
It may be that your mother, mother-in-law, sisters or other women are missing in your relationship today due to the fact that death now separates us, or there may be a separation of a relationship due to other factors. Regardless of the situation, it is time for us (men) to sit down with our sons, grandsons, and perhaps, even great grandsons, and begin to pay it forward by sharing from our heart our personal failure to appreciate women, and begin to give them godly counsel, instruction and encouragement for them to begin today to appreciate the women in their life. It is never too late to face our failures, admit them, and turn what has been a series of failures into a work-in-progress for our self, our sons and grandsons to begin to value and appreciate women – whether they are a wife, mom, sister, grandmother and other women with whom they have interaction. Our actions today will impact the women and future additions to our society in our sphere of influence for eternity.
You see, as men, we may fail, occasionally by incident, to fully recognize and appreciate the value of someone in our life – female or male – however, when it is a pattern of life that has never been addressed or there are frequent lapses in our willingness or conscious ability to act positively with appreciation, it is time for a major lifestyle adjustment in our thought processes and daily actions.
Friend, you are not alone in this. I am guilty as charged to the ‘nth” degree, and I know personally that making the appropriate adjustments are not done in a single, sit-down session, but requires daily serious and conscious effort to change our thought life about our relationship with others – women and men – and begin to place value on others. I have worked on this and there has been progress, but I need more adjustments, and some are major. So, please, do not despair. Simply begin today by taking the first step: admit failure, seek God, ask for forgiveness, and then begin to live with new thought processes and actions.
History primarily focuses on the strong men of the past. Men from past generations and the present generation owe a debt to women that can never be repaid, and we (men) have not yet even begin to understand the importance of women in society, especially women of faith. There is not a man that has ever lived that does not owe his life to a woman who suffered pain that we might have life. The strongest male among us would probably die if they had to carry a child for nine months and then endure the pain of childbirth. Their pain brought us into this world and we are so unappreciative of them. As I have already stated, we (men) need to stop, take a time out and thank the women in our lives, and society at large, for the debt we owe to them and have never attempted to make a payment against it.
I know there are single fathers who are raising children on their own and I congratulate them on the tasks they face each day to provide care and education to their children. However, most of us today owe almost everything we are to our mother. Yes, most dads, if they are worth anything, provided for the currency that came to the family for daily sustenance. But, if it were not for mom, for most of us, the men in society today would not be worth two cents, particularly mentally and emotionally, but probably financially as well.
I have discovered as I speak with people about their life, if we speak for very long, somewhere in the conversation, their mother comes up whether she is currently living or pasted from our presence. Rarely, and I mean rarely, do people speak much about their father other than mention the career or profession they had in life. When I reflect on this, I cannot recall many conversations, other than for one very close friend, who spoke at length about their father’s love, gentleness, humility, grace and the many characteristics that God, who created us in our mother’s womb, cherishes in the life of the human spirit and soul. In these conversations about mom, they did not talk about the career or profession of their mother, though they were professionals, laborers in some form or stay at home moms, they talked about the influence she had, and continues to have, on their life.
The thoughts I took away from those conversations were the values of life, moral code of conduct and the support and encouragement their mother gave to them. It was often as if dad was missing in the family. For some reason today, it became crystal clear to me the value moms and women have in our lives and in society at large. You don’t need a feminist to stand up and convince you; let me use Scripture to convince you of the importance and value of women in our lives – godly women of character – not some evil hearted person who stands up and yells for women’s right to control their own body. God places a value on women most of us cannot comprehend.
Men have thought they are the strong ones who have the abilities to get things done in life. This is not necessarily true and we know monkeys rarely fly – they jump all around, like a lot of men do to impress people. It is the women in our culture, our mothers, our wives and our daughters who hold the real strength in our society.
What man do you know who can go and work all day, run to the childcare center to pick up the young children, feed the baby, change dirty diapers, answer the phone, prepare the evening meal, place the dishes in the dishwasher, do the laundry, vacuum and sweep the floor, carry out the trash, pay the bills, lay out the clothes for the children to go to school tomorrow (and, if you are a man reading this, she probably laid your clothes out also), perhaps even mowed the lawn, and a multiple of other activities almost all at same time? Now I know there are many of you men who assist your wife or mother around the house, and I commend the family that has it together, so to speak. But, if I were to do an investigation of where the organization and distribution of duties took place, it probably was not a man’s idea. It probably started out of the frustration of a lovely mother, wife or daughter. Guys, I know – I am guilty just as many of you. We are great big, helpless, sloppy human beings, if we are honest – waiting for our lovely wives or children to accomplish what is done around the home.
We, as men, have pulled women down, stomped them under out feet, put them down verbally, refused to listen to their advice and ignored them as if they do not exist. If it were not for women, mothers, wives and daughters, men would be at war constantly with each other and try to out brag, outsmart and take advantage of each other daily. Most women bring harmony, peace and joy into the lives of our homes, communities, churches and nation. Stop and think about this comment while you are reading this writing, and ask yourself what this day would be like without the influence of a woman, whether she is physically present in your life now or not.
The problems in America today are largely due to a failure of men to act with deliberate obedience to God. Our social and where we stand today is because men lack moral conscience and have refused or allowed women to be a voice of reason against the injustice and fruits of deception flooding our land. We as men, for the most part, do not have the moral backbone and integrity to stand up and take responsibility for our actions. I believe men are more covertness than women and want the biggest, the best and the most, so we can beat our chests and march around as a gorilla of the jungle. Place a tape recorder under the water fountain at work and you will discover what we are really like. Men are like a snake or a mouse, if you corner us regarding something we have done, we will wiggle or jump in every direction to dodge the truth. We are generally filled with arrogance, self-importance and pride, believing we know what is right and trustworthy, and we are snared in our own trap. Sounds terrible, but most of this is true.
Who are the leaders of pornography, rape, sexual abuse and refuse to be fathers to teach our own children, our nation’s youth and speak truth into our generation: men, who are filled with lust, greed and corruption within our society. It is men who fill our prisons, not women. Our nation’s state and federal prisons hold a population that is made up of men (93.3%) and women (6.7%). What do these statistics tell us? Men, for the most part, are almost a total failure in our society.
Even men in churches today have little to no vision on the ills which permeate our society. We are so narrowly focused on our career, our possessions and our pleasure that we do not step back and ask ourselves how we can make a difference. We don’t even take time to spend quite time with God in prayer seeking what He desires of us. We don’t understand enough of God’s word to explain it to our children, our grandchildren or others. Watch people as they enter the church building and see how many men are carrying a notepad or something to write on regarding what may be said during the service. You may not see many women carrying anything outward but hidden in their purse is a notepad. It is there to write down reminders, make the grocery list and, yes, they pull it out and take down sermon notes. I see it happening all the time. So who are the most diligent among us? Fellow males of the human species, they have outclassed, outsmarted us and we might as well acknowledge it and start doing something about it. This is not an endorsement for any candidate running for any office.
Now that I have torn all of our glass houses down, let us take a look at what Proverbs 31:10-31 can instruct us. Please keep an open mind, men, because it can get a little dicey and risky to our manhood when we take a look at God’s word written from the perspective of wisdom. Here we go:
Description of a Worthy Woman full of Wisdom
10 Who can find a virtuous woman (excellent wife)? For her price (worth) is far above rubies (jewels).
Virtuous means having or showing moral goodness (righteous); a woman of a very high quality or standard, might, power or capacity. She is valuable and to be treasured as a precious stone in a special place to protect it from theft, loss or destruction. Her value is so high that she is a treasure to the family – the centerpiece of the family. When guests arrive, who is the one who greets them with laughter and a merry heart? Usually it is the lady of the household who has labored over a hot stove and diligently prepared the meal, all the time attending to the needs of the family, getting the house prepared for guests and desires a night of servitude to others. She is filled with pride with the meal she has prepared and greets each guest and wants them to be at ease. Where are the guys, you might ask? They are probably standing around in a corner shaking hands, ignoring the children, talking about sports, fishing, their latest gadget, achievement or next adventure. The real jewel of the family stops to ask the children how all are doing, seeks to assist them if they need any help and graciously begins to serve those gathered. Is she a jewel? Yes! And a precious gemstone that God loves and who loves God!
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil (no lack of gain).
She is trusted by her husband so he allows her to manage the affairs of the family for him. Their marriage is built on trust and tranquility. No lack of spoil means she handles the affairs of the household in such a manner or quality that the worth, beauty and usefulness of the household goods are increased, not diminished. She pays the bills, oversees the household and frees his time up to do other things. He watches her make certain there is nothing lacking in their life and family. He can be either a slob and waste his time or he is freed up to use time wisely. That is a choice an excellent wife provides to her husband. Note, Scripture does not state the husband is the one favored here. Ladies, aren’t you thankful the writer of wisdom knew what he was writing about?
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
He is at rest and peace with her and she makes him happy in doing him good. She is a fountain of refreshment when he comes in from a difficult day. She asks how his day went, genuinely interested in his welfare. She prepares a great meal, washes his clothes and irons the wrinkles out of his shirt and / or trousers. She is only interested in making him happy. She does not want to disappoint him. She deeply cares about him. What does she want in return? She wants a kind, softly spoken word or a gentle touch of affection and gratitude for her hard work. It is the big things guys notice; but, it is the little things the lady of the home notices. She is able to read her husband’s face when he walks through the door, whether it has been a good day or a bad one. She quickly notes his mood and makes the necessary adjustments to maintain peace and rest in the home. Meanwhile, she had gone to the hair dresser and had her hair cut and neatly brushed waiting for a nice compliment. He doesn’t even notice it until three days later when he blurts out “when did you go to the hairdresser?” Then, he can barely grunt “It looks nice.”
13 She seeketh (looks for) wool, and flax, and worketh willingly (works) with her hands (in delight).
Wool is the fleece coat of animals, the short curly hair of sheep or other animals such as the llama and the alpaca, used to make yarn to make clothes. Flax is a fine light-colored plant fiber used in linen textiles which was highly valued in making garments and used for other purposes such as coverings or décor. She is always looking for valuable goods for use in making garments, coverings and other décor at a bargain. She sees things others overlook and what has value and can be utilized in daily life. She is willing to accept a challenge and it is a pleasure to work with her hands. She loves what she is doing and is delighted to please others with gifts, garments or something of value. She is not grumpy and complaining but has a bounce in her steps.
14 She is like merchants’ ships; she bringeth (brings) her food from afar.
15 She riseth (rises) also while it is yet (still) night and giveth meat (gives food) to her household, and a portion(s) to her maidens.
Her horizon is wide, not narrow minded, stubborn and clinging to the old way of life. She is always looking for new ways to do things, new ideas, creative and up early with excitement for another day of adventure on the journey of life. She goes to the food market to select the best meat, vegetables and ingredients to prepare excellent portions of food for her family. She is not lazy. She rises early to cook breakfast for her family and guests. She is not a person who wastes food but is wise about healthy nourishment for her family. Extended family and friends desire to visit her home because she is known as the best cook in the neighborhood. She probably has to make her husband go on a diet from time to time because her food is so delicious.
16 She considereth (considers) a field and buyeth (buys) it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard (from her earnings she plants a vineyard).
She is prudent and uses money wisely. She sees opportunities and takes advantage of them. She takes giant leaps of faith. She is not afraid to venture into a new business to provide for her family. Farming grapes is not an easy task. There are huge risks. From her earnings, she makes an investment that requires lots of patience and hard work. Mold and blight must be contained. The young foxes must be chased away. She has to be patient because a vineyard does not naturally spring up overnight. Hard labor in the hot sun and heat challenges her vision. She keeps the vision of the end result in her heart. She has a goal in mind. She has set her course and is willing to stick with it until completion. Her faith is that God will send the rain at the perfect time so a bountiful harvest can be brought in. Only when the vines finally bear grapes and they are harvested and the wine has been made, aged and ready to drink does she take a break and rest. We see here that she does not shy back from hard work and difficulty, but sees value and uses her sphere of mental, physical and spiritual endeavor wisely to accomplish her vision inspired by God.
17 She girdeth her loins (girds herself) with strength, and strengtheneth (makes) her arms (strong).
She keeps herself in health with proper food and clothing to her full ability. Encouraged by her success, she is willing to move out of her comfort zone and reach for greater dimensions. She has a passion for life and is unwilling to sit on the sidelines of apathy, but is motivated by a desire for deeper and stronger accomplishments. If she is a godly woman, she wants a deeper understanding of God and His provision to His people. Strength here literally means a woman of strength with moral courage or firm foundation, equally applicable to strength of body and strength of mind: a strong, firm and excellent mind.
18 She perceiveth (senses) that her merchandise (gain) is good; her candle (lamp) goeth not out by night (does not go out at night).
She is honest and upright in all her business dealings and is not doubtful regarding the sales of her merchandise (she knows the value and sets the price accordingly that brings gain and increase to her household). She is always thinking about how to make life better. Her mind is always filled with thoughts of goodness when she rises and when she goes to bed. She considers what she has accomplished so far in life and inspired with success, so she sets higher goals and is willing to reach higher. She studies into the night and her mind meditates during the night as she sleeps on the goodness of God and His provision. She rises to a new day without missing a beat, moves forward with energy gleaned from the good things of the past and a sincere, deep dependence upon God. She does not dwell on failures, we all have them. She dwells on the good things of life and is a shining light to lead others.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff (stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle).
She is skilled with natural gifts and learned skills and willing to make things. She employs her hands without reservation. She has a vision of something she desires to create; however, the task of spinning wool into yarn must be done before it can be used for something of benefit to anyone. She could purchase wool already spun into yarn or employ someone else to do it for her. But is she in not too proud to do the seeming insignificant task of spinning the wool for a greater cause. She enjoys the small, simple things in life and enthusiastically moves to accomplish the task. Her heart is content and at peace in God, whether the task is simple or complex, and she energetically embraces life’s challenges with grace.
20 She stretcheth out (extends) her hand to the poor; yea, (and) she reacheth forth (stretches out) her hands to the needy.
She has a heart of compassion. She respects and loves both God and the poor and is good to all who are in need. She sees needs when others are blind to what is going on around them and she reaches out to the poor. While she may have possessions, she extends her hand to help the poor and needy. She is as intent on giving as she is on getting or receiving, and does it freely and cheerfully. She has a generous heart and hands. ‘She stretches out her hands to the needy’ indicates she goes beyond what she even has in her hand to offer and makes a greater effort to provide for the needy than an ordinary, less caring person would. She is unable to walk away without doing all she can to help those in need. Again, she sees the little things that matter in life and meets those needs with humility, love and grace.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She is not anxious about the health and comfort of her family in winter and has no fear of the weather because she has prepared her household with clothing and furnishings of sufficient quantity and excellent, quality materials to protect her family. She is watching out for their safety and well being. She plans ahead of the storm and is ready when it blows in. Scarlet has symbolized wealth and power, both politically and religiously, since ancient Bible times. Scarlet is one of the finest dyes that can be used to dye garments. She is a woman with wealth and power, naturally and spiritually. The more important characteristic is her spiritual wealth, power and wisdom.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry (makes coverings for herself); her clothing is silk (fine linen) and purple.
She has coverings, carpeting and furnishings consummate with her status in life. She makes coverings for herself. Whether these are undergarments, dresses, slacks or accessories are unknown, but she is creative and industrious in her work to provide coverings for herself. There is nothing unbecoming in assuming the style of living appropriate to one’s position. Fine linen and purple were tokens of wealth in the Eastern culture. Her clothing reflects marks of refinement and luxury. She and her children share in the advantages of her industry.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth (sits) among the elders of the land.
Her husband is known and respected in public and has a place of authority among the elders of the land and city. He is respected not only for his position, but also because he is the husband of a woman held in high esteem within the community. It seems here that her husband does not appear to have much business of his own. Her work seems to have accumulated enough wealth for his share to enable him the status to sit among the wealthy elders and honored inhabitants of the town, ‘in the gate,’ the chief place of meeting for business and probably lots of gossip. I note here that he was well known at the place of business and was sitting among the elders. Scripture does not say that he was transacting business so we must leave that as an unknown. However, the Scriptures infer that this woman was the one who kept things together at their home. Men complain that women gossip but you should hear what some men spread around town when they meet together. We have no reason to accuse the women of idle and juicy talk.
24 She maketh fine linen and selleth it (makes linen garments and sells them); and delivereth girdles unto the merchants (and supplies belts to the tradesmen).
She is a manufacturer of articles in demand. Probably, these were beautiful fine dresses, girdles, turbans, towels, linens and other fine articles of clothing and furnishings. She has her own business and may be involved in the import and export business. We know little here except that she was selling linen garments. Linen was an expensive cloth so she had the means to transact business. It appears she was also making belts and supplying them as trade to merchants who were trading in the goods she was making.
25 Strength and honor (dignity) are her clothing, and she shall rejoice in time to come (smiles at the future).
A true woman’s strength is always a gentle and steadfast spirit and her dignity (how she carries herself) is attractive and gracious. She is very practical and prosperity has not so to speak ‘gone to her head.’ She smiles at the future. Her heart is at peace and at rest concerning what lies ahead. She has faith in the Almighty. She has a cheerful outlook on life and her glass is always at least half full. Her optimism causes her face to shine with gladness and joy. If she has known pain and sorrow or is walking in pain, she turns it into joy and creates a bright outlook for tomorrow.
26 She openeth (opens) her mouth with (in) wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness (the teaching of kindness is on her tongue).
She opens her mouth and speaks wisdom. Kindness is the grace of her lips. Her words are appropriate for the situation, full of encouragement and bring life to the current circumstance of life. She is wise and intelligent, graceful, kind and of a meek and quiet spirit. She has not only wisdom in action and words, but the ‘law of kindness is on her tongue.’ She is aware of the power of words. Words rightly spoken are life to the ears of those in trouble or need. Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstance. She has a gracious demeanor. Her words glow with the calm flame of love to those who are lowly and undeserving. Gentle compassion and helpfulness are on her lips and in her heart and deeds. The fruit of the Spirit are characteristic of her daily life and flow from her life unto others.
27 She looketh (looks) well to the ways of her household, and eateth not of (does not eat) the bread of idleness.
She manages her household well: spiritually, mentally, physically and economically. She instructs her children and those who assist her in how to behave in private and public environments and how to maintain moral restrains and follow the Commandments of God. She is practical and sets an example in godliness and diligence. She does not relax in diligence although she has prospered. She remains watchful and does not slack off when others might be expected to do so or make excuses. She looks after her household and is herself diligent. This picture of her outward actions and words reflect a deep wealth of treasure within her heart that is filled with wisdom, purity and holiness. She does not eat the bread of idleness nor is careless with her time. If she stops to rest or take a break she does not allow it to become a lifestyle fed by laziness.
28 Her children arise (rise) up, and call her blessed (and bless her); her husband also, and he praiseth (praises) her, (saying):
29 “Many daughters have done virtuously (nobly), but thou (you) excellest (excel) them all.” 30 Favour (Charm) is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that (who) feareth (fears) the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the fruit (product) of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
She sees to it that her children are will trained in the laws of God (Commandments of God) and are given a good education in order that they may pursue a godly career in life and serve the Lord obediently. Beauty is only skin deep. The fear of the Lord lies at the bottom of her heart from which flows rivers of living water giving life to those around her. Her toil is not one of selfishness or slavish to her family or husband. She has chosen the better life as Mary did at the feet of Jesus: taking time to sit at the feet of Jesus and take in all that He said.
She excels in wisdom, womanhood, motherhood, as a loyal and godly wife, is a giant in spiritual wisdom, understanding and industry. Her husband and her children admire and praise her. She is blessed in going out and coming in before the Lord. God’s blessing rest upon her because of her heart of obedience and love for God, and love for her neighbors as herself.
She shall receive the ‘fruit of her hands’ both now and forever, if the fear of the Lord has been the root from which the fruit was grown. ‘Her words will praise her in the gates’ though she sits quietly at home. Others, including her children, her husband and the men at the gate in authority, will praise her for her deeds and words and God will bless the work of her hands and the praise of the Lord rises from her lips.
Men, there is no way we can model this fruit in our lives until we are willing to allow God to deal with us, and we open our hearts unto the Holy Spirit to make Jesus the Lord of our Life. Some would say this is allowing the feminine part of our heart to open up. Yes, I believe this is true.
We need to see how and why God created women and placed them into our lives as a great blessing. Further, we need to place them on the same horizontal ground God has made for us and we are to cherish them, nurture and appreciate all they have to offer in the Kingdom of God. They are equal to us, yet we should honor them more than we love our self. Are you willing to admit we have been wrong and need a heart change to start becoming real men who love God, cherish women and willing to be vulnerable?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
It is my desire this writing will encourage women to step forward and up and accept a greater role in the Kingdom of God. Godly women, with a heart for the wounded, hurting and the sought, have a tremendous opportunity to be a key figure in bringing the Body of Christ to maturity. I encourage women to accept God’s desire to empower them with boldness to speak into the lives of their husbands (if married), their children and into the lives with whom they come in contact with in daily life, whether in the home, community or marketplace. The tender love, mercy and grace of a woman of faith can change this world. Study the life of Jesus and begin to highlight the many encounters He had with women, their role and influence in His life and ministry.
Men, we must stop limiting women to a lower role in the Church in this society. We need strong women who will stand and teach, not only our children and grandchildren, but also stand in the pulpit from time to time to speak truth into the life of the Church. Paul’s comment about women being silent in the Church came from the perspective of the customs of the day in which he lived. Men and women sit on different sides of the crowd or church gathering. If the women did not understand what was being said, they often attempted to reach out to their husbands for an explanation causing confusion and disturbance in the gatherings of the Church. His intention was not to silent women. Take a look at how Paul valued women. He even encouraged Timothy, his young protégé and pastor of the church at Ephesus, to remember the faith and instructions for his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice. Hannah taught young Samuel to be an obedient young man who rose to become a great priest, judge and prophet in Israel, known for his call to preach obedience to a society that had been left to wander on their own under the guidance of the weak priest, Eli, whom son’s were scoundrels, who had no respect for the Lord.
Women have influenced every person on the face of this earth and can be used by God to reach this generation.
Let us release, give diligent instruction and encouragement to our wives, daughters and granddaughters to be strong women of faith. The Body of Christ will be stronger as we encourage them to serve God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and their neighbors as themselves.