Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What *IS* A Proverbs 31 woman, and WHY?

So, let's begin by taking a look at the scripture we will be following throughout this journey. Proverbs 31:10-31 gives us a roadmap of the type of woman that makes her husband happy, and respected. I will be quoting from the New Living Translation of the Bible. I find this version to be my personal favorite and easiest to understand while still holding the integrity of the original transcripts. Feel free to read any scripture I post in your own favorite translation :)

Proverbs 31:10-31 (NLT)
A Wife of Noble Character

10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies. 

11 Her husband can trust her, 
and she will greatly enrich his life. 

12 She brings him good, not harm, 
all the days of her life.

13 She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.

14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.

16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.

18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.

19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.

20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.

21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm clothes.

22 She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.

23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.

24 She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.

26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.

27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.

28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:

29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

I would also like to throw in here a few verses from Proverbs to cover what we do NOT want to be.

Proverbs 21:9 (NLT)

9 It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic
than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.

Proverbs 21:19 (NLT)

19 It’s better to live alone in the desert
than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.

Proverbs 27:15 (NLT)

15 A quarrelsome wife is as annoying
as constant dripping on a rainy day.

Why does it matter? Really? What does it matter if we are a good wife to our husband? I mean, he's not a perfect husband, for sure, is he?! Why should we work so hard to be such a great wife when he doesn't work that hard at being a great husband? This is what the Scriptures say:

Proverbs 18:22 (NLT)

22 The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,
and he receives favor from the Lord.

1 Peter 3:1-6 (NLT)

1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 
2 by observing your pure and reverent lives.
3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 
4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
5 This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. 
6 For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.

Ephesians 5:21-33 (NLT)

21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 
23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 
24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 
26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 
27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 
28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 
29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 
30 And we are members of his body.
31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” 
32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.
33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Now that we've covered why I am doing this, what it is I am doing, and why I should do it, we can move into how I'm going to do it ;) Look for that post next!

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