Monday, January 7, 2013

A Woman of Noble Character (Part I)

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Proverbs 31:10 (NIV)

This verse is the key to why I have come to believe that this passage of Scripture belongs to all women--young or old, married or unmarried. I used the NIV because I like how it states “a wife of noble character.” The ESV says an excellent wife. The KJV says a virtuous wife, and the Message says a good wife. They make it about the quality of the wife when Proverbs 31 is truly about the character of the woman. Proverbs 31 isn’t about what she does, but it is about who she is or even more importantly whose she is.

What type of character do you have? Do you have a noble character? Are you honest and trustworthy? Or are you a thief and a liar?

The key to becoming a woman of noble character lies in verse 30:

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Did you catch that? A woman who fears the Lord is a woman of noble character. Do you fear the Lord? What does the Bible mean when it tells us to fear the Lord?

A woman who fears the Lord is a woman who focuses on her relationship with God. She is striving to live her life for the Lord. She seeks to do His will. She wants to live a life that brings honor and glory to Jesus Christ. She seeks His heart. She wants to know Him.

Fearing the Lord is not being afraid that He is going to punish you for doing the wrong thing or making a mistake. Fearing the Lord is not thinking of Him as some great and distant god who is waiting to dispense judgment or punishments. Fearing the Lord is not hating people or calling down His wrath. Fearing God is not being afraid of Him.

Fearing God is keeping God as our focus. Fearing God is keeping in a place of awe and reverence. It is realizing that His ways are not our ways. Fearing God is taking the time to build a relationship with Him. It is walking in a manner that He deems worthy and following the commandments that He has given to us because we love Him and want to please Him, not because we are afraid of punishment. Fearing God is recognizing His majesty and His holiness. It is coming to Him on bended knee and asking for forgiveness. Fearing God is recognizing that there is nothing that we might do to earn our way to heaven.
Fearing God is recognizing that the Father sent the Son Jesus Christ to die for us so that we might live eternally with Him. Fearing God is praising Him for all the gifts that He has given us. Fearing God is serving Him and trusting Him in good times and in bad times. Fearing God is loving Him and loving other people. Fearing God is living a lifestyle of worship.

So do you? Do you fear the Lord? Do you know Him? Do you know His Son? If you don’t I encourage you to learn about Him. Find out what Jesus Christ did for you. Then learn how He can turn you into a woman of noble character.

If you do know Him, is He your focus? Or are you focused on the circumstances that are surrounding you? Make Him your focus. Spend time with the Word every day. Ask Him to send you the strength you need and to work on your heart to create in you a new woman, a woman of noble character. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, married or unmarried, all you have to do is ask and He will help you. He is waiting. 

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