As we are traveling quite a bit for ministry this summer, we’ll be posting this series on the virtuous woman from an older blog we had. We hope you enjoy it and that it will be a blessing to you!
I’ve concluded that the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 was like Carolyn Ingalls (of Little House on the Prairie), Mary Kay Ash (of the cosmetics), and Cindy Crawford (one of the top models of all time) all rolled into one.
Homemaker par excellence…
there was nothing the Perfect Woman couldn’t do. Spinning, weaving, sewing, and knitting. Cooking, baking, and directing the household help. And with her magazine worthy house and gourmet cooking, her husband’s friends and business associates were always wined and dined in style. Her family always well-dressed and mannerly.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes for herself carpets of tapestry. Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. — Proverbs 31:21-23.
Yet she was also Business Woman Extraordinaire.
Buying, selling, and trading. Dealing in real estate, farming, and commerce. Never allowing an opportunity to slip through her fingers. And all the while fashionably dressed and beautiful, every hair in place, and perfectly made up.
She considers a field, and buys it. With the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard. She arms her waist with strength, and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp doesn’t go out by night — Proverbs 31:16-18.
And her excellence doesn’t stop there!
She seemed to never sleep, yet had energy enough to help the poor and needy, more than likely as president of many local charities. It seems she was tireless, impeccable, and flawless.
She rises also while it is yet night, gives food to her household, and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field, and buys it. With the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard. She arms her waist with strength, and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp doesn’t go out by night. She lays her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her arms to the poor; yes, she extends her hands to the needy. — Proverbs 31:15-20.
Is it any wonder many of us struggle to like her? She leaves me feeling frumpy, feckless, and lazy. How could I, an average ordinary woman, ever match this icon of the superwoman?
But I think I’m starting to see the quality I often lack, which she had in abundance: Commitment.
Times are different now, and even this woman’s portfolio would be greatly changed. If she lived in today’s First World, even she would probably not spin and weave.
But one thing is certain. She knew that true excellence takes commitment, so she was highly committed. And applied herself wholeheartedly to all she did.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ, (Colossians 3:23-24).
We may never excel in all the ways this woman did, but I’m not sure that’s what the Lord is really asking of us. He has a special and unique plan for each of us. But he does want us to do things with our whole heart. And just like this woman, to strive for excellence in all we do.
He doesn’t ask for perfection, but that we give our all and work to the best of our ability. And that kind of wholehearted commitment pleases him.
What holds you back from excelling like the perfect woman?
- Distractions you need to get rid of?
- Unhealthy comparing of yourself with others?
- Or are you just trying to do too many things?
- And possibly even things the Lord never asked of you?
Take time today to prayerfully discover what things the Lord would have you do in this present time of your life. Trust him to lead you.
And then set to and work with all your heart!
[Image is our own.]