Study in Proverbs 31

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.  She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. Proverbs 31:13-15

Have you ever known a woman who was diligent?  A woman that was a hard worker in her home?  Though I have not been privileged to know her my entire life, I have heard many stories of one of my husbands Grandmothers.  I met her after my husband and I began dating and she and her husband actually opened their home up to me to live until my husband and I got married.  I had a job at a day care near my {then to be} future husbands home in Michigan.  My family was from California and the commute seemed a bit far, don’t you think? 🙂

This Grandmother of his was so faithful, as was her husband.  They were up in years and yet their heart for serving others was what made a profound impact on my life!  Having raised a family of six children, this woman was diligent in raising her family up right.  She was always busy at home taking care of her house and her children.  They raised their children in church, family devotions happened every night no matter what was going on, they were taught to think of others, they were taught to work, give, and serve.  We need some more of those kinds of Mama’s now days!  Now, all of her children are grown and have raised families of their own.  Now, her children rise up and call her blessed!  The raising of her children had a profound impact on the life of my husband.  For it was because of his grandmother raising my husbands father up right, that my father in-law in turn raised his children up right.

These verses make me stop and wonder, are we being diligent in our work?  I’m not just talking about the dishes and laundry, although those things are important!  Are we being diligent in raising our children up in the fear of the Lord?  Are we diligent in putting Christ before them?  Are we diligent in hiding God’s Word in their heart? Are we giving them every opportunity to flourish and grow in their Christian walk?

In order to be the right kind of woman we ourselves need to be diligent in taking care of our own souls first.  Spending time with God daily is key to having a God-centered life and raising a godly family!  Many of us would claim to have a Christian home, but I wonder at times, do we call our home and family a “Christian home” simply because we claim to be Christian?  Is it only in word and not in deed?  Is their evidence in our daily lives of being a Christian?

These verses go beyond just the spiritual aspect of diligence though.  The virtuous woman is productive and prepared!  She is busy with her work!  She does not waste hours on the computer {or her phone}, she does not sit idle texting her day away.  She is interested in providing for her family!  She is interested in the well being of her family and others!

We have so many distractions in our lives today.  Everything from work to play, we schedule ourselves crazy!  Running from one activity to the next.  However, if we see that somewhere along our way our own spiritual walk or our family and home are suffering, we need to stop the scheduling and get our priorities back to where they belong.

Diligence in our work as women is so important.  Ecclesiastes 9:10 states, Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” 

How are we doing ladies?  The thing I love about God’s Word, and even more specifically about this passage in Proverbs 31, is that it is both convicting and encouraging!  Goodness, I have so far to go in learning about being like this virtuous woman, therein lies the challenge.  However, with God nothing is impossible!  With God’s help we can work towards being like this Proverbs 31 woman!  With God at your side, you’ve got this friend!

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Study Through Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31:11-12,The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Trust.  If we could sit down this morning over a cup of coffee and discuss this simple yet powerful word, how do you think you would describe it?

My children are young and they are constantly asking me to define new words they hear.  Sometimes I have a difficult time coming up with definitions to words that I have always seemed to know and use often, but the curious minds of my children just want to know what they mean!  My sister and I have laughed on more than one occasion because of this very thing and our feeble attempts at trying to define these simple every day words!  I think I may need to stick one of those pocket Webster dictionaries in my purse to easily have on hand!

Trust is a word we all seem to be able to easily define. I do not have trust in the spider that I find crawling around!  In fact, I refuse to look away from such creepy crawly because I fear that as soon as I do he will attack and swallow me whole!  Even though his size and mine would make that absolutely impossible, I still have that fear! So I keep an ever watchful eye on him until my sweet hero (also known as my husband) comes along and smooshes him!

When it comes to my husband though, I have a lot of trust in him.  I trust that he can kill that spider and save the day!  I have trust in him to provide for our family, I trust that he will keep my secret things secret, I trust him to stay faithful to our vows.  I trust him with most everything!  But can he have a lot of trust in me?

Our verses today deal with our husband and our relationship to him.

Can the heart of my husband trust me?  Does he know that the decisions I make, I will make with him in mind? Can he trust that things he shares in private will stay private?  Can he trust that I will never speak ill of him to others?  Can he trust that I will daily lift him up in prayer? Can he trust that I will be wise with our finances?  Can he trust that I will be faithful to him?

Trust.  According to Websters online dictionary, trust can be defined as, “confidence placed in a person”

The virtuous woman lives her life in such a way that her husband has no need to doubt his trust in her.  He has confidence in her.  He does not have to worry about conversations she will have, decisions she will need to make when he is not present, he has confidence she will hold to the vows she made to him.

Read on!

“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

He trusts her because she has earned that trust.  She has shown him that she will only ever do him good!  She will not gossip about him, she will not be frivolous in her spending, she will not flirt with other men!  She will be faithful to God and in turn be faithful to him!  She will protect her marriage and her relationship with her husband.  She does not look for opportunities to share the hidden matters of his heart.

He trusts her.

We all know that trust is earned and can take a long time to gain.  Yet, in an instant it can vanish away.  All of the work we have done to earn the trust of another can be gone in a moment!

So now I ask us, are our husbands able to trust us?  Do our husbands know that we will only do them good?  Are we striving to be like this virtuous woman and only do him good and not evil?

In a world where so many marriages are in trouble it is of utmost importance to protect our marriages.  To only seek good for our husband, to keep the trust we have earned!  To strive for excellence in our marriages and to stay above reproach!

As long as God gives us breath, let us keep on striving to be like this godly example of a virtuous woman!  Be the rare ruby in this world full of false gems.

A Study Through Proverbs 31

As we open up God’s Word to Proverbs 31:10, I instantly feel at home.  Many years ago I made it a goal to memorize this passage of Scripture.  Memories of sitting on my bed in high school, my lamp on the night stand turned on, the Bible my youth pastor had given me opened on my lap, I worked and worked at memorizing this special part of God’s Word.  It isn’t that all of His Word isn’t special, because it is!  All of it is and all of it contains valuable lessons for all of us!  However, this, yes this passage of Scripture is a passage I thought, “This is for me because I am a woman!  This is how I should live my life!”

Proverbs 31:10 begins with a question,

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Who can find a virtuous woman?

This question makes me think, because the question is asked, someone must be looking for her!  In a world where fights are begin fought over woman’s rights and equalities, the temptation women seem to be having to prove that they are equal to if not greater than men, makes me think we have lost something.  In all of the fighting to prove something, we have forgotten virtue.

What exactly is virtue?

Well, if you were to hop on google, this is the definition you would find:

            “behavior showing high moral standards.”

Wow.  When I look around at our society I would definitely say we have lost that behavior.  High moral standards are looked at as old fashioned or out of date, but that is not how God feels.

What is the definition of moral standards?

Again, going to google this is what one would find:

moral, ethical, virtuous, righteous, noble mean conforming to a standard of what is right and good. moral implies conformity to established sanctioned codes or accepted notions of right and wrong

So going back to our verse for today, we could ask this, “Where are the women who behave with high moral standards?  Where are the women who conform to a standard of what is right and good?”

Because Scripture is asking the question of where these women are, this makes me believe that these kinds of women must not be easy to find.

But Scripture goes even further!

Since these women are hard to find there is a high price put on them!  They are valuable!  The end of verse 10 goes so far as to say “for her price is far above rubies“.

Have any of you all priced rubies lately?

A ruby is considered to be one of four precious stones.  Therefore it is rather costly.  Pricing a piece of red ruby jewelry alone starts just below $1,000 and quickly jumps up in price frorubym there.  The more clear and greater the size the gem, the higher the value of it.

A virtuous woman, her worth is valuable, Scripture even says her worth is “far above rubies”.  Her worth goes far beyond the value of a precious gem.  I find it interesting that God uses a ruby to describe the value of her…… a precious stone…. so a virtuous woman is a precious one!

Could it be that she is precious because she is rare?   Gems that are hard to find are much more valuable.  Because virtuous women are hard to find they are much more valuable.

So how does this apply to us?

My desire is that as we study this passage and learn what a virtuous woman looks like, our hearts will be opened.  That as God reveals areas we may need work on, we will be tender and willing to learn what God has for the both of us.