Saturday, March 31, 2007

Who wrote Proverbs 31 anyway?!

Who can find a virtuous wife?

For her worth is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband safely trusts her;

So he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good and not evil

All the days of her life.

She seeks wool and flax,

And willingly works with her hands.

She is like the merchant ships,

She brings her food from afar.

She also rises while it is yet night,

And provides food for her household,

And a portion for her maidservants.

She considers a field and buys it;

From her profits she plants a vineyard.

She girds herself with strength,

And strengthens her arms.

She perceives that her merchandise is good,

And her lamp does not go out by night.

She stretches out her hands to the distaff,

And her hand holds the spindle.

She extends her hand to the poor,

Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of snow for her household,

For all her household is clothed with scarlet.

She makes tapestry for herself;

Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Her husband is known in the gates,

When he sits among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them,

And supplies sashes for the merchants.

Strength and honor are her clothing;

She shall rejoice in time to come.

She opens her mouth with wisdom,

And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

She watches over the ways of her household,

And does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and call her blessed;

Her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many daughters have done well,

But you excel them all.”

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,

But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands,

And let her own works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:10-31
Okay, is anyone else tired? I mean, unbelievable. Cliff Notes version - This woman gets up when it's still dark, works until crazy hours of the night, provides for her family, and LOOKS and FEELS good doing it! As women, we usually focus on the advice given to us in this passage...but before you accept advice, what do you normally do? You consider the source! I mean, if Drew Carey was giving you fashion advice, how seriously would you take him? So just for a second, let's look at how amazing God works through this passage looking at the verses leading up to this woman's advice.
This was an intense word given to King Lemuel by his MOTHER! (Prov 31:1). This God-breathed advice comes to the hearts of women straight from the heart of another woman. God knew and understood the need for women to influence one another; He created His daughters to be this way. Bottom line - He knew that while males can definately have a spiritual influence on us, only godly women can model how to be godly women.
Recent research conducted proved that the average woman speaks 20,000 words per day while men only speak around 7,000 words per day. (If you're like me, you're thinking, Just 20,000? WOW!) Bur...this fact could be detrimental or beneficial to the church, depending on how women are influenced. God knows His children’s specific weaknesses, and in love, He cautions about them in His Word. While He warns man against such things as being “double-tongued or addicted to much wine,” He cautions woman against becoming “malicious gossips” (1 Timothy 3:8;11, Tit 2:3). Most women of all ages can testify that this is a daily battle. Deborah Tannen, regarded as an expert in gender and linguistics, notes that women use gossip as a means of building relationships. By communicating something that she would not necessarily ever say out loud or in front of a large group, a woman discloses something personal, producing a closeness that women desire in relationships. BUT God instructs to not “associate with a gossip” (Proverbs 20:19). Therefore, we've got to hold one another accountable in temptations such as gossip. Also, by encouraging discussions on an intimate spiritual level can help eliminate gossip as a means of showing how much we trust one another.
So ladies, think before you speak. Make sure the words coming out of your mouth are encouraging and uplifting, just like this advice from a very godly woman.
P.S. Very soon, we're going to begin breaking down Proverbs 31 and look at the unique role God has created for us as godly women!

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Esther 4:14b

"And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"