This week, I have been pondering the next verse in the Proverbs 31 passage. It says:
She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it]. Proverbs 31:13 AMP
This seems so matter-of-fact. It seems to refer simply to her household duties, and her diligence to her position as homemaker. But on the other hand, especially reading the entire passage, you begin to wonder if you could ever live up to this ideal. I can spin wool. I use drop spindles, but it can take a long time and has always gotten a bit tedious after a while (which is why I am still trying to spin up for 3 years the only roving I’ve bought). But I don’t think the true meaning lies in only this surface reading. For now, I am going to continue to ponder this verse and possibly look some of the Hebrew. What are your thoughts?
This week I have been pondering the next 2 verses in this section of scripture.
The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil. She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her. Proverbs 31:11-12 AMP
I have to admit that these were encouraging and a gentle rebuke at the same time. I know my husband trusts me and that for the most part I seek only his good while comforting and encouraging him. But 4-5 years ago my husband discovered that within me lies a shopaholic monster. It’s not a pretty site. I remember one of my problems was Dollar Tree, because I could get so much for so little that I would just go bonkers and wreck our budget. He said I had a Dollar Tree devil it was so bad.
And in that section of scripture, the heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil, that opened my eyes. It was like I had known his trust, but taken it for granted. I know he trusts in my completely because he loves me, but I hadn’t been demonstrating behavior to warrant this trust. Suddenly I see living frugally and resourcefully as a way to “do him only good” and keep him from dishonest things to provide for me. Through this I have become a tad less selfish in my thoughts. Sure I still want a Starbucks, and I still want yarn and clothes. But suddenly I realize that I’m not being deprived, but I’m doing him good.
So, to start the series we’ll be looking at just the first verse in this section of scripture.
A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman–who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. – Proverbs 31:10 AMP
What a way to begin describing the ideal woman. What God is doing here is reaffirming her value. Every woman has a desire to be valued, to be important. And she has a deep desire to be beautiful. Otherwise the cosmetics industry would not be such a big market. But sometimes we don’t truly know our worth. We use makeup to cover what we feel are blemishes, and we diet and try so hard. This verse is not just talking about the value, but the value of a ruby comes from it’s own innate beauty. The value of a pearl comes from its shimmering uniqueness. The value of the woman described above comes from within herself. She is capable, intelligent, and virtuous and it is those qualities that make her beauty shine forth.
Now that beauty does take some trying circumstances to produce. A ruby is nothing more than a rock that must be carefully and precisely cut by a professional jeweler to create the sparkling facets that bring out the rich red color so many covet. A pearl starts as a common piece of sand caught in the muscle of an oyster, whose irritation causes it to continue to coat it until it has become a precious pearl. Neither start out being perfect, but it takes time. And it takes releasing yourself into the hands of the Master Jeweler, God who created you and knows the things that must be cut away to bring out the deepest and richest parts of yourself.
Remember, “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7