Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Virtuous Woman – Proverbs 31

I’ve studied the Proverbs 31 Woman many times at different church events and Bible studies, but what I love most about studying this woman multiple times is the different things you pick up each time. Don’t you agree that the Bible is the ONLY book that when you read the same sentence ten times, it means something different to you each time? I LOVE THAT!

I’m studying the Woman of the Bible, a book I studied with my high school girls when I was a youth intern in Texas, again and am finding new applications in my life this time around. Being in a different place in life than last time play a HUGE role in that. I’m out of college, dating the man I will marry, and am working full time trying to build a business. I would definitely say that’s significantly different from 3 years ago!

Reading through the study of the "Virtuous Woman" in this book was so rewarding. Of course, I had to write Josh about everything I was learning too. Writing it down for him to understand was the best thing I could have done for myself. Does that sound selfish? It feels like I personally understand it more and am more excited about becoming that woman now that I’ve written it out. So, to help encourage others and to keep me excited, I’ve decided to copy down what I wrote in Josh’s letter.

Here we go!

The virtuous woman isn’t the yardstick by which we should be measured with, but our goal toward where we should be moving. Which is a huge relief, because this woman seems impossible to be exactly like her! She’s seriously amazing…”ideal”…and I’m striving to be like her. There are three different areas these verses talk about: 1) development of character, 2) labor, and 3) relationships. But first, the passage begins by telling a man what kind of woman he should seek in a wife. She should be of noble character, worth far more than rubies, he has full confidence in her, and she lacks nothing of value. Breaking it down, she fears the Lord and receives favor from the Lord because of all of those things.

The list of characteristics of a virtuous woman starts with her outer appearance (taking care of herself) and being strong and confident. I love a passage from this book: Confidence that is rooted in self makes one proud and is not usually expressed with dignity, but confidence that is rooted in a right understanding of God and who He has made you to be is always tempered with humility. Don’t you agree with that?? Although, I believe this applies to everyone, not just woman. It moves on to say she speaks wisdom with a kind heart.

The next area is labor. She is both a homemaker and a businesswoman…although they must both be surrendered to God, not at odds with one another. A virtuous woman has her priorities in tact, and her working outside the home doesn’t come at the expense of her home and family. She provides food and wakes up early to prepare it for her family. She finds useful things to do, doesn’t fear because God provides, and she clothes her family and home (décor). She is a woman who always keeps herself capable for her God-given tasks.

The last area is relationships. A Proverbs 31 Woman knows how to manage her relationship with her husband, family, and her neighbor, because she manages her relationship with God. The heart of her husband trusts in her and has confidence in her. She keeps her word, has good communications, and builds up her mate. Her hand is always ready to serve those in need at any moment.


I’ll say it again….WOW!!

That’s a lot to take in! But remember, the virtuous woman isn’t the yardstick by which we should be measured with, but our goal toward where we should be moving. And the only way we can move towards that goal is through our relationship with God. I realize this is getting really long, so I’ll wrap it up. I hope this was of some encouragement to you as it was to me. Love you all!


Shelley said...

Definitely encouraging. And I love how you talk about when things that you read mean different things to you, based on the time of life that you're in. SO TRUE!

Love ya!

Liz said...

This was truly encouraging, Laney. I think I've always thought of the Proverbs 31 woman as something I could never be, but you are so right to say that it should be our goal and not the yardstick we measure ourselves against. Love.

Alana said...

I was so thankful when I realized the Proverbs 31 woman wasn't all those things all the time. Great post! Josh is blessed to have you!

Janelle said...

I love you more everyday. Love you like a cousin, or my friend's cousin. :)

I had better get off my bawhoogie and actually attempt Prov 31 in my kitchen.