7.24.2013

Wednesdays for Women(Virtous Woman part 2)



I posted Part 1 here

Vs. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
•• She understands that the duties of a wife and mother include ensuring that her family is well fed.
• A virtuous, biblical woman, may I suggest, will excel in this area. She will not only go about to learn the necessary cooking skills, but she will study sound nutrition and will ensure that her family is fed nutritiously, not with a high proportion of out-of-the-box junk food.
Vs. 15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.
•• This virtuous woman, this praiseworthy woman of God, is not given to “sleeping in” in the mornings. No! Rather, she is up before dawn to make sure that her household is well fed.
• I cannot recall a single instance during our child-raising years when my wife left me and our four children to fend for ourselves at breakfast. She was always up early enough to send us off with a nutritious breakfast.
Vs. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
•• Amazing! The Proverbs 31 woman is no wimp! She has theintelligence and business sense to evaluate a piece of property and to buy it. She has her own “earnings”, with which she buys the field and plants a vineyard.
Vs. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
Vs. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does nVs. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
•• Like the virtuous woman of the Bible, many modern women have their own home-based businesses. The woman in Proverbs 31 seems to have been a seamstress who sold garments and sashes (vss. 19, 24).
•• She apparently did her business well, working well into the evening, because “her trading [was] profitable.
Vs. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
•• Virtuous women learn domestic skills. My beloved maternal grandmother was an excellent seamstress. Her husband had died and left her a widow with seven children at home. Her skills at making clothing were essential to keeping her children well clothed.
• My wife is an exceptionally gifted quilter. Our home is decorated in just about every room with the products of her skills. She made me personally a warm flannel quilt in a manly pattern that I treasure.
Vs. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
•• Her home-based skills have earned her a profitable income. She is ever willing to share this blessing with the poor and needy.
• I am reminded of stories told about America's Great Depression of the early 20th century, when millions were jobless, hungry, and sometimes homeless. Virtuous women by the thousands were known for their unflinching decision: "I will never turn a hungry person away from my door!"
Vs. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
•• The godly woman is fully aware of the priority of her family in her life over other things that might sidetrack her from her domestic responsibilities. She is an excellent illustration of the charge to younger women in Titus 2 (verse 5) to be “busy at home”.
Vs. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
•• Not only do the skills of this woman of God earn her an income from the merchants, she also makes sure that her own home’s needs are well cared for. The bed coverings referred to here could be similar to the quilts that my wife and many other virtuous women so painstakingly create.
•• The Proverbs 31 woman does not neglect her own appearance. She uses her skills to provide attractive clothing for herself.
Vs. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
•• When I served in the United States Air Force as a junior officer, I noticed that the high-ranking officers’ wives were consistently women of noteworthy character. The admirable traits of a good wife can secure respect for her husband as well.
•• Notice the God-approved division of responsibilities. She was at home, caring for her home and family. He was in a place of respect at the city gates among the elders of the land. The city gates are where much ancient commerce was conducted. So it is not unreasonable to surmise that the husband was conducting his business affairs there.
Vs. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
•• Already mentioned earlier, this woman of God seems to have had a home-based business. The surrounding verses make it clear, though, that she did not do this at the expense of the well-being of her household.
Vs. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
•• The virtuous woman has a sense of dignity. She is not frivolous or embarrassing in her conduct.
•• She looks to the future and makes sure that her household is well supplied, so that she can “laugh at the days to come”.
Vs. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
•• This godly woman speaks with wisdom. Virtually daily I listen to the wisdom that proceeds from my wife’s words. In fact, as I write this bible study, I fully intend to present a rough draft copy to her, so that I can mine the jewels of wisdom and experience that she can add to my understanding of this womanly topic.
•• The virtuous woman will offer faithful instruction. The context of the surrounding verses places the location of this instruction in her home. My wife faithfully instructed our four children in character issues, domestic responsibilities, social graces, and much, much more. I was an involved father, but I must sincerely attribute to my wife the credit for the majority of the training that our children received. She was their at-home “mom”, and she made the home a place of both love and learning.
Vs. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
•• The bible defines the husband as the head of the home(1 Timothy 3:4-51 Corinthians 11:3). However, his daytime responsibilities are outside the home, at “the city gates” (vs. 23). The wife-and-mother is at home, as this chapter clearly indicates. So it is her daily responsibility (not his) to watch over the affairs of her household (vs. 27). This is consistent with the apostle Paul’s counsel to the younger widows to “marry, to have children, tomanage their homes...” (1 Timothy  5:14).
•• The virtuous woman “does not eat the bread of idleness. To this day I marvel at my wife’s energy and drive to maintain a nice, orderly home. “Idleness” is a word that is alien to her!
Vs. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and hepraises her.
•• Children raised by an involved, dedicated, loving, at-home momrarely grow up feeling estranged from her. Rather, they bless her!
•• Likewise, the husband of such a virtuous woman will overflow with praise for her from his heart.
• I cannot adequately communicate in words how thankful I am for my wife. She has been an extraordinary mother to our children and a matchless wife to me.
Vs. 29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
•• That is the sentiment that a biblical, Proverbs 31 woman as described in this chapter will evoke in her husband’s heart — “Youare the best!
Vs. 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
•• God is reminding us that beauty and charm are fleeting, temporal things. But that which earns genuine praise for a woman is that she is a God-fearing woman.
• I have mentioned a number of commendable traits in the virtuous woman I am married to. But the thing whichsurpasses them all is that she loves and serves the Lord with all her heart. She continues to inspire me with that dedication and faith. In my opinion, she is an outstanding example of a woman after God's own heart. And her spiritual fervor has been an ever-visible example for our four children. I have certainly labored to train my children and be a godly example to them. But due in great measure to my wife’s input in their lives, all four children as adults are actively serving the Lord on their own.
Vs. 31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praiseat the city gate.
•• Virtuous women have a great reward coming from the Lord in eternity, along with the great fulfillment they will experience in this life for a “job well done”.
•• And the Proverbs 31 woman's virtues will not only be known and blessed by her husband and children (vs. 28), but also her reputation will precede her to the “city gates”. The godly woman, whose life is patterned after Proverbs 31:10-31, will be well known and highly respected in her community.
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Some concluding thoughts — Is Proverbs 31 the only place in the bible that describes the desirable traits of a woman of God? Of course not. There are other Scriptures that speak of women of prayer, women manifesting spiritual gifts, women sharing their testimonies, and much more.
However, there is no other Scripture portion that even remotely gives such a detailed description of the “virtuous woman” as does Proverbs 31:10-31. Repeating some of the highlights, the woman that God’s Word describes as praiseworthy:
• is of noble character
• is fully trustworthy
• is an asset to her husband
• is domestically skilled
• is concerned that her household be well and nutritiously fed
• is diligent, arising before dawn and busy until after dark
• is endowed with a good business sense, even to the point of buying a field and planting a vineyard
• may have her own profitable home-based business
• is a hard worker
• is generous to and aware of the poor and needy
• is wise in preparing her household for the needs of the days to come
• is wise in ensuring that she and her family are well and appropriately clothed
• is in proper relationship to her husband, who is out conducting his business affairs at the city gates
• is a woman of wisdom
• shows dignity and strength
• is a faithful instructor to her children
• is diligent to watch over her household
• is the recipient of blessing and praise from her children and her husband
• is above all a God-fearing, godly woman!
Such a godly woman has been enshrined in the Scriptures for several thousand years as God’s role model for the virtuous woman of God. To the older women I say, teach these things to the younger women. To the younger women, I exhort you to resist the enticements of the antifamily feminist teachings of our day. Reach out, rather, to embrace God’s vision for you, His “virtuous women”. To such a woman God says (vs. 31), “Let her works praise her at the city gates.”

4 comments

  1. I love how you took these beautiful verses and added in your own thoughts.

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  2. Is your husband the one that wrote these thoughts about you? If so, what a sweet and wonderful husband! :)

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  3. There are so many perks that come from just doing the right thing too...even when it's hard (especially when it's hard!). I loved your write-up.

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  4. What a great passage to pick apart & break down for us! Loved this :)

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