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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year to All

A Proverbs 31 Woman

I do not make New Year’s Resolutions. My goal in life is to become a Proverbs 31 Woman and, when my time on earth is over, to hear my Lord say to me “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Proverbs 31:10-31 (NIV)
10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

*Characteristics of a Proverbs 31 Woman:

Noble = capable
Like rubies, she is rare and to be admired.
Her careful household management enhances the family’s wealth.
She is an asset, not a liability. Good comes to her husband that can be directly attributed to her.
With eager hands” translates “with the delight of her hands”—she enjoys her work (whatever it may be).
She is like merchant ships—enjoys providing interesting and different things for her family to enjoy (shopping!).
Though she has household help, she manages the house, participates in preparation of meals, and delegates work.
She has a business mind and works hard to increase her investments.
She works energetically and with vigor. She has a good attitude toward work.
She plans ahead, so that she does not have to be a crisis manager.
She is selfless and generous. She sells her goods for a profit and gives to the needy—time and money.
She makes sure her family is clothed and her house is furnished.
She enhances her husband’s standing. Though she is aggressive and competent she functions in a way that honors her husband’s leadership rather than denigrates it. She respects him and builds him up.
She is productive.
She is strong and dignified.
She is praised for her wisdom and faithful instruction.
She is involved in management, but is also directly involved in the household activities.
Her children call her “blessed” (translates “happy”). She is positive and optimistic. She enjoys life. Her husband praises her.
Her beauty secret is her godly character. She recognizes that, though she may be physically beautiful and charming now, time may take a toll on those qualities. Inner beauty derived from a godly character will never fade.
She is an unusual woman and deserving of unusual praise!

The virtues of a noble wife are those that are extolled throughout the book of Proverbs:
Hard work
Wise investments
Good use of time
Planning ahead
Care for others
Respect for one’s spouse
Ability to share godly values with others
Wise counsel
Godly fear (worship, trust, service, obedience)

As Proverbs has stated repeatedly, these are qualities that lead to honor, praise, success, personal dignity and worth, and enjoyment of life.

The model woman described in Proverbs is a portrait of ideal womanhood. The focus of this portrait is a woman’s relationship with God, not her specific abilities or marital status. The Proverbs 31 woman realizes that regardless of her natural talents or acquired skills, or all her accomplishments, her strength comes from God.
*These thoughts are derived from The Bible Knowledge Commentary by Walvoord and Zuck.

The joy of my heart is the work of my hands. May it be acceptable in your eyes,O Lord.


    Lori said...

    I love this post !!! Thank you for reminding me what is so important in my life !!!

    C'est Chouette said...

    What a wonderful reminder. The Proverbs passage was read at my Mothers funeral~ and was well derserved~ I only hope I can live up to those standards.