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Daily Devotional - Saturday's Dose - 22nd November 2014

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Proverbs 31 Woman's Secrets WHAT IS IT that SHE have that I don't?

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Proverbs 31 Woman's Secrets 
WHAT IS IT that SHE have that I don't?

SHE is an excellent woman for she excels above and beyond! Inside out She is Beautiful! She obeys and Follows the word of God! She is the woman in which the heart of her husband trusts in her! She is a woman refreshed to find a timeless example of virtue, responsibility and good sense! She is the kind of woman whom ladies envy! Her lifestyle brings in the qualities which every believing woman should strive for in her personal life and appearance, in her family life, and in her daily duties. For her worth is far above than Rubies or any other jewels. SHE is the Proverb 31 Kind of Woman! 



Character as a wife 
Proverbs 31: 10-12
"An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.rare, precious. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. trustworthy. She does him good and not evil. All the days of her life."


Her Devotion as a Homemaker
Proverbs 31: 13-19
"She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar. goes extra mile to get choicest goods. She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; 
From her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle."

Generous as a Neighbor
Proverbs 31:20
"She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy."

Devotion as Homemaker 
Proverbs 31: 21-24
"She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen."

Her influence as a Teacher
Proverbs 31: 25-26
"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."


Her Effectiveness as a Mother
Proverbs 31: 27-29 
"She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her,saying Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all."

Her Excellence as a Person 
Proverbs 31: 30-31
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates."


TEN SECRETS of Proverb 31 Woman
(Adapted from: a virtuous women Magazine)

1. FAITH - Faith in God is unlike the faith your put in others. Faith in God includes faith in his timing. Having Faith in God changes every aspect of your life. A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways. 

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

“Many women do noble things,but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.Honor her for all that her hands have done and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." - Proverbs 31: 29 – 31 



2. MARRIAGE – SHE is a woman who loves and respects her husband. She never takes him for granted, but Obeys and submit to him. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet. 

"The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life." - Proverbs 31: 11- 12

Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen." Proverbs 31: 23 -24

3. MOTHER - A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. 

"She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." - Proverbs 31: 26 

"Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: praiseworthy.Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all." - Proverbs 31: 28-29

4. HEALTH – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. 

"She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar.
goes extra mile to get choicest goods. She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens." - Proverbs 31: 14 – 15


5. SERVICE - A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable.

"She does him good and not evil; All the days of her life."- Proverbs 31: 12

"She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens." - Proverbs 31: 15 

"She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy." -Proverbs 31: 20


6. FINANCE - A Virtuous Woman seeks her husband’s approval before making purchases and spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs. 

"She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar." - Proverbs 31: 14

"She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard." - Proverbs 31: 16

"She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night." - Proverbs 31: 18



7. INDUSTRY – A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands. She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks. 

"She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight." - Proverbs 31: 13

"She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard." - Proverbs 31: 16

"She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen." - Proverbs 31: 24

"Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates." - Proverbs 31: 31

8. HOMEMAKING – A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. 
"She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens." - Proverbs 31: 15 

"She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet. provident. She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple." -
Proverbs 31: 21 – 22

"She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness." - Proverbs 31: 27


9. TIME - A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord. 

"She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight." - Proverbs 31: 13

"She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle." - Proverbs 31: 19
"She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness." - Proverbs 31: 27



10. BEAUTY – A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones.

"An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels." - Proverbs 31: 10

"She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet. provident. She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple." -
Proverbs 31: 21 – 22

"She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen. industrious her Devotion as a house-maker. Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future." - Proverbs 31: 24 -25

Other Biblical Virtuous Women 

1. Eve -  will be forever remembered for her part of the creating the first sin on earth but she also received the first promise of the Messiah.




2. Esther - was a beautiful Jewish maiden who was placed by God in the unlikely position of risking her life to courageously save the entire nation of Israel.  She was an instrument of God used by God because of her willingness to obey the voice of God. 

3. Deborah - was a strong-minded and unique woman. Besides the usual role as wife, she was a prophetess, warrior and Judge of Israel.








4. Mary of Nazareth - she was given the honor of giving birth to Jesus, risked her life when she humbly accepted the frightening responsibility of an "out-of-wedlock" pregnancy.



5. Mary the Magdalene - she was delivered of seven demons and went on to join other women in ministering to Jesus’ needs. She recognized his Deity even before some of his male disciples. She accepted Jesus as Her Messiah and Savior!





6. Lydia - was a successful businesswoman when few women had personal income. She was taught by Paul and is thought to be the first in Europe to follow Jesus.








7. Hannah - Her influence was absolutely immeasurable on her nation. Hannah Prayed day and night and she was gifted a son, Samuel. She gave Israel a son that turned the nation around.



8. Sarah - was the Princess and a Woman of Obedience who submitted to her husband, Abraham. 







Character Qualities of a Proverbs 31 Woman
(Message by: Pastor Matthew Grise of Pleasant Street Baptist Church) 

Introduction 

Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying “No one is poor, who has a godly mother.” Lincoln addresses an issue here that I find most appropriate for us to look at on this Mother’s Day: the value of a godly mother. And though it is Mother’s Day I want to broaden the spectrum to include the value of a godly woman. Because not all women will be mothers; though motherhood is an honorable state. And not all women who will be mothers are mothers right now. So I think it will be beneficial for us to look at what the Scripture says about womanhood in general. 

Before we get started I want to make sure that the men don’t check out this morning. The things we are going to be looking at are just as important to you as they are to the women here. If you are married, these issues will be things that you will want to encourage your wife to excel in. If you are not married, these issues will be things that you will want to look for in a future mate.

No matter where you are in life, male or female, single or married; your life has been and will be influenced by a mother, or mothers (perhaps outside your family), or by women in general. Women, listen up: this is what the Bible calls you to be. Men, you listen up as well: like it or not your life is going to involve women in some way, shape or form!


So let’s ask the question “What is a godly woman?” 

To what kind of lifestyle does Scripture call women? What sorts of character qualities should a woman possess if she desires to be godly? To answer those questions let’s turn to Proverbs 31.

There have been hundreds and hundreds, indeed, thousands upon thousands of Mother’s Day sermons preached on this passage; but let’s look at it again to refresh our minds and renew our spirits. 

[Read Proverbs 31:10-31]

Let’s start with v.10. Before we get into any of the character qualities mentioned here, we must address a fundamental question: Why should any female seek to be a godly woman?

Why seek to be a Godly Woman? (v.10)
Let’s be honest. Godliness is not a priority for a lot of women today. Some women have bought into the lie that their worth is found in their stubborn independence; independence from men, independence from God, independence from anything or anyone except themselves.

You really don’t have to look very hard to see this. Some women are convinced that the essence of womanhood is autonomy. I am woman, hear me roar; that sort of thing. There is no interest in conforming to the biblical pattern of womanhood.

What we need to understand to get past that sort of thinking is that stubborn independence no more makes a woman, a woman, than it makes a man, a man. Autonomy is not reality when it comes to human relationships. Humans are interdependent; we rely on each other for many things. Even more vital is that humans are dependent upon God.

A man or a woman is not, as the saying goes, an island unto himself or herself. So this idea that womanhood is the freedom from any and all expectations on a female is false. And the same is true for manhood. Neither state is defined as the absolute absence of responsibility, expectations, or even cultural norms.

What we are concerned with, however, is the responsibilities and expectations, not of the culture, but those that God has 
placed upon women in his word. As believers we understand this; though the world does not care to hear us on this matter. And we start with this simple truth: it is a good thing to be a godly woman.

V.10 says: An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 

The compound word אֵֽשֶׁת־חַ֭יִל (pronounced ish shaw chay il) that is translated “excellent wife” literally means “an able woman”. The word that is translated as “excellent” actually describes the strength, valor, and power of a soldier or army in various places in the Bible. When it is used to describe women it has a special emphasis on moral strength, moral worth, or virtue. That’s why some translations say “a virtuous wife”.

The same word is used to describe Ruth in Ruth 3:11, where Boaz tells Ruth that all of his fellow townsmen: know that [she is] a worthy woman.

And in the context of the chapter, certainly a godly, virtuous wife is in view here. But I do not think that expanding the thought to include godly women and not just wives is an exegetical stretch. So notice what it says about a godly wife, and by way of application, any godly woman: She is far more precious than jewels.

The value of being a godly woman, and if you’re a man, having a godly woman in your life, is far beyond any amount of wealth we could assign to it. This was true in the time that these words were written, and it is most certainly true in today’s world. Godly women are, on the whole, very rare.

So certainly we understand that for the Christian woman, being a woman of godly character is a must-have pursuit. So what are some of the character qualities that women must cultivate if they seek to please Jesus Christ with their lives?


A Godly Woman is Trust Worthy (v.11)

Notice again v.11: The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.

Trustworthiness is a godly character quality for all people, so certainly it applies to women who would seek to be godly wives, godly mothers, etc. So let’s look at the particulars of trustworthiness here in v.11 and then we’ll notice some generalities.

It says that the heart of the husband of a godly women trust in her. When a man has confidence in the honest character of his wife the marriage relationship thrives. Ladies, your integrity will reveal itself most in the way you deal with your family, particularly your husband.

Don’t buy into this media nonsense that displays men as not caring about how a woman treats them. As if the only thing on a man’s mind is the bedroom. That may be true of immature boys (whether 18 or 80), but mature men long for the intimacy that comes with a safe, loyal, relationship with a woman. Every man, whether he knows it yet or not, desires to know what it’s like to trust a woman with his whole heart.

For those who would remain single their whole lives for the purpose of serving Christ, this is obviously different; but those men (and women) are the exception rather than the rule.

So if a woman desires to please Christ, she must be trustworthy. People should know that she means what she says. She’s true to her word.

Her husband should know that he can trust her. She is going to remain faithful to him. She’s not going to be scoping out other men. She won’t be bashing him when she’s out with the girls. 

She is loyal. She is faithful. As v.12 says: She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 

Certainly, as we have mentioned, this applies to all women and not just wives. Honest character is necessary for godliness. Because a believer’s honesty reflects the trustworthiness of God.

In Deuteronomy 32:4 Moses describes God as perfect; for all his ways are justice, and he is a God of truth; he is righteous and upright.

The psalmist declared in Psalm 89:14 that righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne; and mercy and truth go before his face.

And Numbers 23:19 says: God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? 

God is a truth-telling, truth-keeping God. And when we reflect that honesty we are displaying godly character. In fact, Solomon encourages honesty by warning in Proverbs 6 that God hates a lying tongue and he hates a false witness who breathes out lies. So a godly woman (and a godly person for that matter) is trustworthy.




A Godly Woman is Hard working(V.13-19)

Listen to how the virtuous woman is described in v.13-19: She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 


Obviously there are some cultural aspects of working mentioned here, but the point is rather clear. A godly woman is not interested in sitting around and doing nothing; in being lazy. Whatever she does, whether it be taking care of the home, working a job, or raising her children, she does with effort and hard work.

The Bible, while not opposed to rest, relaxation, or leisure, commends hard work. Proverbs 12:11 says: Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense. Hard work produces good results.

Paul contrasts hard work, which is a godly action, with theft, which is sin, in Ephesians 4:28: Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 

In fact, Paul went so far as to say in 2 Thessalonians that if you don’t work, you don’t eat: Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

So godly women are not to over exert themselves; for even in the Old Testament God made provision for rest with the Sabbath laws and so on; but they are to be hard workers...not lazy. 














A Godly Woman is Generous (V.20)
V.20 says: She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. 

Human generosity, again, reflects the generosity and graciousness of God. Remember what we just saw in Ephesians 4: we are to work hard so that we not only have provision for ourselves but also so that we can help those who are in need.

Now this can be a difficult issue. Because it can be genuinely hard to discern what “need” is. Most of us are sympathetic towards the poor, even if we are not all that well off ourselves. But we do need to be careful that we are not taken advantage of.

When I first went to Chicago for my undergraduate work at Moody, I was confronted with a man on the streets who was obviously homeless and he asked if I could spare money for food. Now I was even younger and more naive than I am now, but even I could smell the alcohol on his breath. So I told him that I could spare a few dollars; but when he reached out his hand to receive my cash, I pointed to the McDonald’s a few blocks away and told him I’d buy him a burger. Surprisingly, he wasn’t interested.

On another occasion I was approached by a man who asked if I had change for a dollar. I happened to have four quarters and so I pulled them out of my pocket and gave them to him. When I went to reach for the dollar bill he had flashed at me he pulled it away and put it back in his pocket and thanked me for my donation.

The point is, there are people who will take advantage of generosity. And we should do what we can to avoid that. But that should not discourage us from seeking to help those who are truly in need.











A Godly Woman is Dignified (V.25-26)
Look at v.25-26 -  Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

“Dignity” there is translated from a word that means “glory, splendor, or majesty”. Now I don’t want to suggest that in order for a woman to be godly she has to conform to a certain image that we may have in our minds of femininity. But there is something to be said about a woman who presents herself in a dignified, pure, and respectable way.

I know that dignified and respectable mean different things to different people; and I’m not suggesting that there is this cookie cutter image that all woman should adhere to. But today, particularly amongst younger women and teenage girls, there is this idea that the more provocative you are, the more seductive you are, the more sensual you are, the more of a woman you are; the more power you have over men.

Being those things does not make you look like a strong woman; it makes you look like a woman. 

who relies on her sexual appeal to define herself. And mature men, though some immature men may be momentarily pleased with what they see, are not impressed.

Some of you may be thinking that what I’m describing as a mature man doesn’t sound like a man at all. It sounds like a guy who is out of touch with his manhood. Someone who doesn’t know a good looking lady when he sees one. But a biblically minded man knows there is much more value in a woman who understands her worth before God than one who degrades herself in pursuit of power.

This next one is particularly appropriate for the day -





A Godly Woman is Nurturing (V.27-29)

In v.27-29 it says - She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her -  “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 

We again find the idea of hard work here. In particular, working hard to manage the home. A godly woman, wife, and mother, cares for her family in such a way that she tends to the needs of the household, and her husband and children.

Most of us have heard it said that “being a mother doesn’t make you a mom.” There are certain things that moms and wives do or don’t do that define their relationship with their husbands and children. The same is true with godliness. 


Certain characteristics define whether or not you are pursuing godliness. These are just a few of those things. And we can sum them all up with (v.30) "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." 



A Godly Woman Fears the Lord. (v.30)







It doesn't take much to connect the dots here. The fear of God is what motivates godly behavior; in women and men alike. “Fear” here means to stand in awe of, revere, or respect. And yes, to be afraid of God’s holiness. All of those emotions are applicable.








a godly women understands, as Solomon wrote in Proverbs 1 that: the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. A woman of worth; a woman of virtue; an excellent woman, serves Christ reverently with her whole heart, and longs to be whatever he wants her to be.









Conclusion



Now guys, don’t go home and try to use these things against the women in your life. If you think you have ammunition, just remember, Father’s Day is coming. What a godly man is, is next on the docket.

Ladies, let me encourage you: in the midst of all that our culture pressures you to be, be a biblical woman. Be trustworthy, hard working, generous, dignified, and nurturing. Fear the Lord your God, and we men will come alongside you and say with the proverb: Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.



Women! Rejoice! For great is the Hope and Joy we have in Christ. Allow the Love of Christ flow in you that it would overflow and be a blessing unto others.The Lord rejoices over you and may you be a blessing unto many around you. WOMAN You are God's Master-Piece! Hallelujah! 




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2 comments :

  1. Godly Woman you have a page that greatly honors God in it's beauty :-0) I have shared your blog link on my facebook. Presently our Bible study group is studying the Proverbs 31 Woman and yesterday we talked about "She wants to do her husband only good, How can we do our husbands good? Attitude towards work, positive attitude, Love for the Lord, Love for her husband, Love for her household. Amen! God Bless

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  2. Proverbs 31 is a beautiful chapter and great inspiration to women. Def sharing this article!

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