Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A challenge to be brave

Proverbs 31:28-29

Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: "there are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!"

Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise: "Many women have done wonderful things, but you've outclassed them all!"

(I love that!! Outclassed...girls! Strive to be classier than all the rest)

We know this passage. It's the one used again & again by Satan to make us feel inferior, jealous and even bitter. This woman makes us feel insignificant, puny and overwhelmed! Kudos to her for not needing sleep and being able to sew we think sarcastically. But this passage is so much more.

"Virtuous" in Hebrew means valor, efficiency, bravery, and strength. It is the same word used to describe Gideon in Judges 6:12. This word for valor or virtue is most often used in a military sense. 

Lynette Woods wrote in her commentary that of the 234 times this Hebrew word is used in Scripture, all but 4 times it was translated as army. Those other 4 times were used to describe women. 

So back to these 2 verses. I don't know about you but some days I don't understand why my husband loves me and I'm not sure my child cares if I'm around. Those days I doubt that I could ever be worthy of any praise let alone be described as better than any other wife or mom!!! 

But even in those times we can get excited about these verses! There are many virtuous women, but you surpass them all! There are many BRAVE, STRONG women in this world, but to your husband and children you should be the best!

"Did you note what they praised her for? Not because she was up at dawn, working into the night, or because she sewed their clothes, organized the home, and took food to the poor. They praised her for her spiritual character. What a tribute!"  - Linda Dillow (Calm My Anxious Heart)

Look at this commentary from Anne Pratt: 
In other words, her actions are a mere reflection of her character and intent.

Some days we do well just to get out of bed and get the kids and ourselves dressed. Sometimes we are struggling with grief and loss and can barely function. Other times are ducks are in a row and we have dinner in the crockpot, craft projects being accomplished and our hair is curled instead of in that messy bun. Those things don't matter - what matters is that in these circumstances, when we've given all of ourself, we have been brave and virtuous!

As 2013 rolls to a stop and 2014 is knocking at our door, let's set our hearts to be virtuous - women of strength & bravery! Women who punch Satan & his lies in the face and choose to be more than conquerors! (Romans 8:37)

Lord, remind me when I'm discouraged overwhelmed and not feeling "enough" that I have value in you. Help me to have bravery and strength. Remind me, and may I be faithful, to suit up in your armor every morning. Remind me of what is important-don't let me be like Martha too intent on checking off the to do list that I forget to sit and rest at your feet, Jesus. Help me to be the wife and mother you've called ME to be. Remove the temptation to believe the lies that I need to do or be more. In you, I am enough! As I start this new year, help me to be a wife, mommy, woman of valor and strength. Use me for mighty things!