A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing. She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises. She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day. She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden. First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking. She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.
We’re about to enter the season of practicing gratitude for what we have and those we love. It’s a time for considering others as more important than ourselves, remembering that it’s still more blessed to give than to receive. Shall we inaugurate this change of weather and thought with a little outward-focused contemplation? Our adventure with the Proverbs 31 woman (and recognizing that we are all her) continues with the concept of serving others. If you need a refresher on the basics, read this first.
Leaves begin their ever-startling transformation, pumpkin spice everything makes its way to shop shelves, and kids flock back to their classrooms. As we wrap up this unseasonably warm September, let’s revisit Ms. Proverbs 31 in her own context: self.
She breathes in coffee and Jesus on her way to work. Prayer snuggles against her heart as she puts the kids down for a nap. When school threatens to overwhelm, the peace that passes all understanding beckons like a friend. It can look a thousand different ways, but the Proverbs 31 woman makes soul care a priority.
Do you find ambiguity frustrating? As a 1 on the Enneagram, I enjoy some good old-fashioned dichotomies: the solid world of black-and-white truth. Sometimes life doesn’t allow for that, but if you gather up the bunches of Scripture that pertain to a girl who trusts God, you’ll discover there’s a pleasant clarity about what kind of character she cultivates. Remember, as we’ve been dwelling on the Proverbs 31 woman, we’ve sunk our teeth into the fact that she’s not someone to be copied so much as emulated. There are a thousand different ways of each attribute working itself out.
This month we’ve focused a lot on making stuff, on echoing our Creator in His rhythm of bringing beauty from chaos. We’ll wrap up the theme by taking a look at how the Proverbs 31 woman, that brave lady of valor, uses her creativity. Keep in mind that while we are to find inspiration in her, we aren’t expected to become her carbon copies. Mrs. P can play out in our lives a thousand different ways. But here are the general principles the Lord establishes through our lovely big sister:
Every woman works. Some work in an office, some work outside, some work from home, some work at home. God has wired ladies to be productive contributors to His kingdom. And despite the modern women’s lib waves, He wired us to be productive contributors to His kingdom long before any talk of glass ceilings was heard.
Our culture has gone through a gigantic shift when it comes to openness about sex. My grandparents’ generation could hardly whisper about it, but today, unless you’re Amish, you can’t go any significant amount of time without being boldly confronted by it via billboards, commercials, movies, music, magazines, social media, etc., etc., etc. I think pretty much the only exception is the pulpit. For whatever reason, believers in general still find bedroom activities fairly taboo.
Apparently God missed the memo that sex is inappropriate to discuss openly, honestly, and without shame. Poor God. He keeps breaking religious rules. It’s like He can’t help it. I’m being cheeky here, but if we are going to develop a deeply biblical worldview, we have to be willing to experience our own gigantic shift when it comes to talking about sex. If the wise, loving, and good Creator of sex wants to shed some light on it, why would we feel too pure and precious to have the sex talk?