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“A Woman Worthy of Praise” – Proverbs 31:10-31  

13 May

We had the meanest mother in the whole world! While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast. When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches. And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was different from other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You’d think we were convicts in a prison. She had to know who our friends were, and what we were doing with them. She insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work. We had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, and all sorts of cruel jobs. I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do. She always insisted on us telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds. Then, life was really tough! Mother wouldn’t let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up. They had to come up to the door so she could meet them. While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16.

Because of our mother, we missed out on lots of things other kids experienced. None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other’s property, or ever arrested for any crime. It was all her fault. We never got drunk, took up smoking, stayed out all night, or a million other things, other kids did. Sundays were reserved for church, and we never missed once. We knew better than to ask to spend the night with a friend on Saturdays.

Now that we have left home, we are all God-fearing, educated, honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was.

I think that’s what is wrong with the world today. It just doesn’t have enough mean moms anymore.

We’re calling upon a man whose name is mentioned only once in scripture, yet this choice portion of literature seems to last forever in our minds as we look for a godly woman.

His name was King Lemuel, and he had a good mother. Listen to the opening verses of this chapter: Proverbs 31:1-9: “The sayings of King Lemuel–an oracle his mother taught him: {2} “O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, {3} do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings. {4} “It is not for kings, O Lemuel– not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, {5} lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. {6} Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish; {7} let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. {8} “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. {9} Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.””

In verse 10, King Lemuel begins with both a question and a declaration:

Question: a wife of noble character, who can find?

Answer: she is worth far more than rubies!

Verse 30 sums it all up: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Many times these verses are presented in such a way that a great deal of guilt is brought forth on the part of the women and mothers listening. If you do not get up early and buy-and-sell land or provide your family with hand-sewn clothing…these verses are still for your encouragement.

Instead of listing items of activity which should be part of the Christian woman, it is listing characteristics which are then applied to the culture in which we walk and work. The idea: be this kind of woman in your character and your activities will be determined by the particular circumstances which do apply to your life.

She is diligent (vs. 13, 17-18, 27)

Proverbs 31:13: “She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.”

Proverbs 31:17-18: “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. {18} She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.”

Proverbs 31:27: “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

   This trait seems to be mixed with a pleasant spirit and a good attitude. She seems to possess pride in what she does…she’s not happy just to “get by” but in doing a good job. She looks for the best buys, she realizes a profit, and works even into the night.

She’s industrious and efficient (vs. 14, 16, 24)

Proverbs 31:14: “She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.”

Proverbs 31:16: “She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.”

Proverbs 31:24: “She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.”

    She’s a thinking individual. In the investment of her time, she looks for dividends and returns. Instead of focusing on the grind, she looks to the benefits her work will bring.

 She’s compassionate (vs. 20, 26).

Proverbs 31:20: “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.”

Proverbs 31:26: “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

   She has a soft heart that can be touched. And this makes her unique and distinct when contrasted to the man: an illustration….a child is hurt and the two responses: Mother: How are YOU doing? What can I do? (the caring one). Dad: Why were you running? You scratched the wall! Who’s fault was it? (the investigator).

 She has inner beauty (vs. 22, 25).

Proverbs 31:22: “She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.”

Proverbs 31:25: “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”

 IF MARRIED: She’s a devoted wife:

She maintains her husband’s confidence (vs. 11a)

Proverbs 31:11a: “Her husband has full confidence in her….”

   He’s comfortable in being transparent with her. He can share his feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, and disappointment and know she will keep them to herself.

 She meets his needs (vs. 11b).

Proverbs 31:11b: “…and lacks nothing of value.”

   She’s supportive and affectionate. She encourages his pursuits, and is committed to him and his efforts. Remember when God looked at Adam and said: “It is not good that man should be alone.” He made a help-meet that would make him complete. Woman was a special creation of God but also a “corresponding part.”

 She seeks his good (vs. 12)

Proverbs 31:12: “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

 She aids his influence (vs. 23)

Proverbs 31:23: “Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.”

 IF A PARENT: she’s a dependable mother.

She is disciplined (vs. 15, 18-19).

Proverbs 31:15: “She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.”

Proverbs 31:18-19: “She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. {19} In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.”

  This is not a verse teaching you into hell if you don’t make homemade biscuits early in the morning, etc. But it is teaching a principle of taking charge of your time so you can meet the family needs. If the role of the husband or father in your house is for him to fix breakfast, then, obviously, the specifics would change.

 She’s organized (vs. 21).

Proverbs 31:21: “When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.”

   This verse presents a sense of planning. She takes the challenge of a family as just that, a challenge, and seeks to meet it. It’s not just “a cross to bear.”

 She’s dedicated (vs. 27).

Proverbs 31:27: “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

 What will be the results of this kind of woman (28-31).

Proverbs 31:28-31“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: {29} “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” {30} Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. {31} Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

* Her children will bless her! * Her husband will praise her!

* Her peers will be challenged by her! * Her works will bring their own praise!

* Her Lord will be honored by her life!

A husband’s relationship to his excellent wife: (vs. 11-12, 28-29)

Proverbs 31:11-12: “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. {12} She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

Proverbs 31:28-29: “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: {29} “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.””

He trusts her (vs. 11). He has no cause for suspicion for her. Deep within, he holds confidence in her.

He benefits from her (vs. 11).

He’s affirmed by her (vs. 12).

He’s impressed with her and sings her praises (vs. 28-29).

Young men – look for this kind of woman!

Young ladies – strive with God’s help to be this kind of woman!

Fathers and married men – Thank God if you have this kind of woman!

THE BEAUTY OF LOVE

A little girl came to her mother one day and said, “Mother, why do you always wear gloves?” The mother replied, “Because my hands are such ugly, unsightly hands.” “But,” said the daughter, “Mother, what is the matter with your hands?” “Please take off your gloves. I want to see your hands.” The mother did so, and as the little girl saw the burned, drawn hands, she said, “O, Mother, put the gloves back on.”

Then she said, “But, Mother, how came your hands so burned and drawn?” She said, “When you were a baby the house was on fire; your bed and  your clothes were on fire and in rescuing you I burned my hands.”

The little girl said, “Take off the gloves again, I do want to look at your hands.” She did so, and the little girl affectionately patted and kissed the unsightly hands and said, “These are the most beautiful hands I have ever seen.” Love beautifies. We need more of it. — By William Moses Tidwell, “Effective Illustrations.”

 

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2018 in Marriage

 

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