October 31, 2009
I have been studying the "virtuous woman" passage in Proverbs (Proverbs 31: 10-31) and of course, find much room for improvement in my life. What a beautiful gift from God, though...a specific outline of how to be a godly and virtuous wife and mother.
Recently I have noticed I am not as close to God as I should, and want, to be. I have drifted, ever so slightly, back to the ways of the world. I have become a master of excuses....I am too tired to read, we are running too late in the morning for morning devotional, we are too busy at night for evening devotional. But this distance has taken a toll on me and my family. We are angered more easily, less tolerant and compassionate towards one another, and much more selfish.
Proverbs 31 does not allow for these excuses..."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." (Proverbs 31:13-15. A godly woman works hard for her family to provide food and clothing, she is up before everyone else preparing breakfast and readying herself and her household for the day. It does not sound like a morning at my house right now! "Honey...it's 6:45! Hurry up, get the kids dressed, grab a granola bar shove them in the car and get out the door by 7:15!" This also usually includes at least 1 argument from each child..."I don't want to wear that, I don't want a granola bar, I am tired, I don't want to get up and go to school, etc." How easily this can be avoided if we prepare in advance!
Proverbs 31:25-27 says "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." To me, there is an expectation of gentle kindness in a woman. Strong and honorable, yet wise and kind. Not harsh and angry, nor easily frustrated. I think back to when I was a child and whenever I needed a soft, kind word I looked to the women in my live (my mother and grandmother). It is my duty as a wife and mother to be the peacemaker, the quiet and gentle voice of reason in a sea of chaos that we seem to be drowning in daily with school, work, homework, meetings, and other worldly obligations.
Ultimately, I strive to live up to these standards set forth by God for in the last 2 verses is His promise "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Giver her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates." Proverbs 31:30-31. What a wonderful promise and blessing.
I have far to go and fall far short of a "virtuous woman" according to God, but I have a God who loves me and makes up for my imperfections with His perfect grace.