Friday, May 30, 2008

A Virtuous Woman

Who can find a woman of virtue? For her value is far above rubies.The heart of her husband trusts safely in her, so that he shall have no need of plunder.She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.She seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands.She is like the merchants' ships; she brings her food from afar.She also rises while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and a share to her young women.She considers a field, and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.She binds her loins with strength, and makes her arms strong.She sees that her merchandise is good; her lamp does not go out by night.She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.She makes herself coverings; her clothing is silk and purple.Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.She makes fine linen and sells it, and delivers girdles to the merchants.Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.Her sons rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:1-28 MKJV

How do these verses make you feel? I remember being a young Mother and feeling completely overwhelmed and inadequate when I read these verses. I was adjusting to life as a stay at home mother of young children. How could I consider running a business or making my own clothes or even planning our meals for the day, let alone a week? It seemed impossible, and yet it haunted me because it was in the Bible. I found that I had to "table" this passage for many years, and yet, it was always in the back of my mind just out of reach.

In going through our Crown Financial Ministries study, we were looking at this passage today. My first reaction was anger, remembering how it used to make me feel so inadequate. But then the Lord showed me something, He had been transforming me day after day to become a woman of virtue. As I read through the passage again with an open heart, I saw that indeed I was in there, God had truly worked in an amazing way in my life! How did this happen?

The key was Titus 2:3-5 Let the aged women likewise be in reverent behavior, not slanderers, not enslaved by much wine, teachers of good; that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be blasphemed.

Over the years God has placed Titus 2 women in my life and I have been learning by their example. The most important mentor has been my mother. She has modeled everything that Titus 2 describes, and more! I have had several mentors in my life and they have all encouraged Biblical growth in me.

God knew that we wouldn't just "know" how to be a virtuous woman, and that's why He lovingly gave us the older women to be our mentor's. (A mentor is someone who models the thing you are trying to learn.)

I want to encourage you today to pray and if Prov. 31 seems out of reach, then ask God to give you a mentor. Or, if you are seeing the fruit of this passage in your life, pray and ask God to give you a younger woman to mentor. We must remain proactive and either be learning or teaching in order to keep God's principles going for the next generation.


Chatty Kelly said...

Your blog is so right on today. I have prayed and prayed for a "mentor" for years.... God provided me excellent peers to mentor me. (like you.) I always wanted/expected an "older" woman but God knows best and I have come along from these godly friends. Thank you.

My ADHD Me said...

Wow, I feel like you were talking to me. Unfortunately, there was no older mentor in my life and I have struggled with the Proverbs 31 woman for years. Because my sister, CK, had no mentor either, I believe it was you that helped her become the woman she is today. AND since she has been the most positive role model in my life and in bringing me closer to God, that means that you too are actually responsible for what I have learned. Thank you. You are an inspiration.

The Patterson 5 said...

Isn't it wonderful we are a work in progress and as we start to see the fruits of our living then we can pass on to help the next generation. It's wonderful how you've shared with so many over the years.

HisPrincess said...

I find this passage quit daunting. But, I have quite a few women in my life who mentor me, both online and in "real life". Thankyou for reminding me to appreciate and learn from them (and you!)

Joyful said...

Sonya, my Mom has been my mentor as well - and a very precious one indeed.

The thing I try and remind myself about the P31 woman is that I'm sure all those attributes didn't happen overnight. I'm sure that she too was a work in progress.
I like to think of this as more of a tribute written to her later in life - a reflection of her long life. :o)

Thanks for the beautiful reminder today to continue on the journey and assist those along the way.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I surround my life with older women. Tuesday is lunch with the 80 + crowd. They make me laugh and are so full of wisdom. They don't get fussed over too many things. They've lived long enough and strong enough to say all that's worth saying. I simply just eat and absorb while they chatter away.

They are life to me, and it seems that everywhere I go, I gravitate to them.

As for how do these scriptures make me feel?

Exhausted and encouraged all at the same time. I'm not comfortable with their "labels", (i.e. Proverbs 31 woman, etc.), but I am comfortable with the fact that the striving and commission comes from the heart of God.

Through the power of his Spirit, I will press on to take hold of that commissioning.


Billie said...

this was encouraging for me today. i forgot that God didn't expect us to just know how to do this on our own.

Something to think about and pray about...thanks!

Bonita said...

I used to feel just like you did about those verses, but one day the Lord showed me a new perspective. He took me through and showed me all the details in that passage and I realized that He never meant it to be our measuring rod, but rather a love letter that showed that He knew all about the daily lives that we lead in our homes. What escapes everyone else's notice, doesn't escape His watchful eye. He sees all the times we pick up after our families, the days that our only conversations are with preschoolers, the times that we are so tired we want to keel over. I think He put Proverbs 31 in the Bible as a special passage to let women know that He understands us completely and He's always with us in all that we do.

Still planning on getting together! Sounds like fun!

Teresa said...

You paid a visit to my blog yesterday and I wanted to return the favor. Your blog is wonderful and this post really ministered to me. I have been blessed to have several women in my life who fit the bill (those crazy girls in my PJ picture are actually Godly, wise women. Go Figure!) More than anyone in my life, my mom was a P31 woman and truly set the standard for me.

I'm looking forward to meeting you at She Speaks in a few weeks. God's got great things in store.

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Hi Sonja...
I can't figure out why I can't get your link on my Mr. Linky to work???

Anyhow, I can't wait to see you in just a couple of weeks at She Speaks!

I think you will be hugged by everyone... you are so sweet to take the time to leave everyone a comment.

Sweet blessings,

Amy Jo said...

I have been so blessed by the women God has brought in my life to mentor me. What a great post! Thanks also for stopping by my blog...I look forward to meeting you at She Speaks! Blessings & joy, Amy in OR

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