Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Proverbs 31 & the Single Woman

An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
All the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
And works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
She brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
And provides food for her household
And portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
And her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor
And reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household
For all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates
When he sits among the elders of the land
She makes linen garments and sells them;
She delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
And does not eat the bread of idleness
Her children rise up and call her blessed,
Her husband also and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently;
But you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her the fruit of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.
(Proverbs 31:10-31 ESV)

Reading Proverbs 31 can be disheartening for many women because it sets up the “ideal” wife.” She is kind and generous. She loves her husband and looks to his good. She is a wonderful mother and teaches her children to love the Lord. She treats her servants with kindness. She looks to the interests of her family and works for their good. She invests in real estate. She is a merchant. Blah, blah, blah…The list can go on and on.

But as a single woman, I have found it disheartening, not only because of everything above, but because I am not a wife or a mother so for the longest time, I have avoided reading and studying the passage because I had a hard time seeing how it applied to me as a single woman. I mean, I have no husband, and I have no children so then how does it apply to me? Right!

Wrong! The Lord has been teaching me lately that Proverbs 31 applies to me even though I am single. It applies to all women, young or old, married or unmarried. I may not have an earthly husband, but He is my heavenly husband (Isaiah 54:5-6). I may not have children who have been born of my flesh, but I have children who have been born of my heart (Isaiah 54:1-3). It applies to me because I am learning that it is not what she does that makes her an excellent wife, but it is her character that makes her an excellent wife. And our character is something we should be working on all the time.

So all of you ladies out there, single or married, won’t you join me on a journey to discover how we can be Proverbs 31 women? 

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