Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Proverbs 31 Woman

For the past several months now God has placed a certain Bible passage on my heart, the Proverbs 31 woman. I read it one night to the SOS ladies in tribute to them and the work that they do not only for their families but for the church and the community. A couple weeks later the Proverbs passage was part of the scripture reading for a Sunday morning service. Ever since then, I can not get it off my mind.

10A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 13She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from far away. 15She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls. 16She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong. 18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19She puts her hands to the distaff,and her hands hold the spindle.
20She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. 21She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all her household are clothed in crimson. 22She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the city gates, taking his seat among the elders of the land. 24She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchant with sashes. 25Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her: 29‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’ 30Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates.
(New Revised Standard Version)

I often wonder if God chose to rewrite this, how it would read. Obviously a lot of the literal language does not apply anymore (like making your own clothes or planting your own food), but the meaning is still the same, she takes care of her family making sure that they are fed and clothed. She is her husband's help-mate and builds him up so that he is respected. She likewise is respected and loved by her family. And not only does it talk about her commitment to her family but also to all of God's people, her light never goes out meaning that anyone could stop at her house at anytime for food or shelter, she opens her hand to the poor and reaches out to the needy. It almost makes it sound like the woman never slept. It is a very high standard to have to live up to. I strive for this, but I know I fall very short. The second to last verse though sums it all up, "a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." She does these things not only because she loves her family and fellow mankind but because she loves God, and when you love God, you do as he he commanded. God commanded that we love one another and that we look after each other.

I assume what has me thinking on this verse again this week was that this Sunday's sermon was on marriage. Marriage like everything else can be easy one day and hard the next. Anytime you put two people together to do a task they will not always agree on everything. Marriage is made up of several tasks: raising the children, supporting the family financially, doing chores, etc. As I sat and listened to the sermon I wondered about my own marriage. Am I being the wife I agreed to be seven and a half years ago. I promised to love Joe, to cherish him, and to foresake all else for him. Yes, I love him, but no I do not cherish him every day. Do I forsake all else for him, no, I must admit a lot of times I put the girls before Joe. Granted none of them are neglected, but I do not always get the connecting time with him that I know I should. I try my hardest to always build him up, but there are days that I am not the best at it. Does he think I'm a capable wife far more precious than jewels? I would like to think he feels that way. On the way home from church the very first song that came on the radio was the Trace Atkins song, "All I ask for anymore:"

it was a home run when the game was tied
a pick up truck when I could drive
one pink line when katie said I'm late
it was a passing grade, a pretty girl
all the money in the world
what mattered then kept changing every day

but when I bow my head tonight
there'll be no me myself and I
just watch my wife and kids please lord
that's all I ask for any more

now a days it's crazy how
a passing storm, a siren sound
can make me drop it all and pick up the phone
to hear her say that all's okay is all I need to know these days
can't wait to see their faces when I get home

and when I bow my head tonight
there'll be no me myself and I
just watch my wife and kids please lord
that's all I ask for any more

let 'em outlive me by a hundred years
let their laughter dry up all their tears
let 'em love and be loved back like I have been

when I bow my head tonight
there'll be no me myself and I
just watch my wife and kids please lord
that's all I ask for any more

that's all that matters anymore

I really think God is trying to send me a message. I in no way think that God wants me not to be me so that I can do everything for Joe and the girls, but I do think that he is wanting me to stop and look at my life. Am I being the very best wife, am I being the very mother, and I am being the very best servant of Christ? Am I being the very best role model for my two girls on how to be mother and wife. The Bible says that we are to train our children, and that one day they will leave to be joined with the person God has chosen for them. Am I doing the best job that I can to teach them to look after their household, to teach their children about God, and raise their children continuing this heritage. This is what being the Proverbs 31 woman is about. Have I achieved it yet, no. But I strive towards this every day because that is what God called me to do when he joined Joe and I and when he blessed us with our beautiful daughters.

1 comment:

Amanda Mathis said...

I just want you to know that you have touched me in so many ways with this blog. Thank you! Amanda Bone Mathis