Good morning ladies ….
As I spoke yesterday about my desire to study some of the Bible’s virtuous women, to continue in my study, our very first woman to look at is Sarah …..
She lived to be 127 years old (Genesis 23:1). She developed many of her characteristics during these years I’m sure, as she walked with God and developed trust in her Lord. That’s probably the first step in any relationship I’d say, and for some (like me), sometimes quite a difficult task …..
For most of us, trust may have to be developed and this comes by faith; and how is faith developed? As it is written: “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17). That’s it. The Word. Reading and meditating on God’s Word, learning about those who have gone before us, struggled, persevered, and overcome builds our faith, and of course walking by faith day to day with our Lord…
Sarah had what I would call supernatural faith. In the book of Hebrews we hear the stories of the righteous ones who walk by faith and thereby pleased God. Sarah was a very old woman when she had Isaac. In the beginning, she didn’t believe that she would be able to conceive and bare a son. However, after a visit from God; she realized she was walking in unbelief and repented. She had to receive spiritual strength; first to believe, secondly to conceive. Sarah would also have to follow her husband who had a plan from God. He would leave their home, their family and follow the instructions of God ….
Yet, she trusted her husband and honored him and followed him everywhere that he led. That took some kind of faith, don’t you think? Women today are required to do the same. By studying Sarah’s life we can obtain faith to do as she did ….
Sarah was like some of us. She had a normal husband. He did silly things, he probably did some dumb things, he may done some mean things, but in his heart he loved God, and he was completely committed to Him. Yet, Sarah’s faith also was in God, so she was able to withstand the mistakes her husband made and continue to walk in love and faith towards her man of God. She didn’t try to sidestep his authority or his position. She wasn’t afraid to allow him to lead. She understood the power of submission and walked in it. Sarah made her mistakes too, but ultimately it was her trust in God that saw her through it ….
I don’t believe any of us are born virtuous. Although born innocent and blameless perhaps; I believe there are many things that create and form our personality and character traits; and throughout our lives we all make certain choices that thereby determine the characteristics that we take on. However, God knows us. He knows our name, as well when a sinle hair should fall from our heads. He “knew” us even in our mama’s wombs (Jeremiah 1:5), and therefore knows who we are and who we are going to be. Our lives have been pre-determined by our gracious loving Creator …..
I have learned though that our past experiences and choices, whether good or bad, does not define us, nor does it determine our usefulness to our Creator. By the life we live once we are born again and blood washed; we can take on the characteristics of God the more we abide in Him and devote our lives to serving Him. Remember, we are told that we are a “new creation and the old things are passed away and all things become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
As we reflect back on the lovely passage found in (Proverbs 31:10-31), we need to ask ourselves what is a virtuous woman? Do you feel just a little bit intimidated by this chapter? I know I did when I first read it. I saw myself falling pitifully short and focusing on what I lacked, and who I was, rather than who I will become and what God is doing in me. And still that verse “her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her ” caught my heart. Almost seems like heaven, to have your family praise and honor you. Surely, that must be what virtue feels like ….
So what makes this woman so different? Let’s look a little more closely at that, shall we?
One of the first of the many characteristics of a virtuous woman tells us that her husband safely trusts her (v. 11-12). What do you think that means? I can think of a few things: He knows she will never speak evil of him behind his back, he can trust her with the household affairs, he can trust her in all of her business dealings, and he knows she will not work deceitfully, but will be a true partner and helpmate to him. There again, we find our Sarah. That can stop many of us right there! What should our relationship to our husband be like? We are not slaves to our husbands, but neither are we in competition with them. Everything we do is a partnership with our husband, knowing that before God, he is at the helm ….
The second of the characteristics in our study of Women of Valor, shows us that this woman is not lazy! (Verses 13-19) show us that she starts her day while it is still night and then works all day until the next night! Look at all of the things she accomplishes in that day: she works willingly with her hands; she is like a merchant ship that brings food from afar; she provides food for her entire household, including her maidservants; she buys and sells property using the profits to plant a vineyard; she exercises her body; she spins the wool into thread and then weaves it on her loom.
In some ways, this is kind of beginning to sound like our life, don’t you think? Get up early, make breakfast, go to work, come home and work in the garden, and do some sewing, and of course, make supper and do the dishes. Also, don’t forget to do those exercises. I get tired just thinking about it! But I just love the verse that says, “her candle goeth NOT out by night.” To me, this means even as she lays her head to rest, her thoughts are on the Lord …..
Next, we are told that this virtuous woman reaches out her hand to help the poor and needy (v. 20).
She doesn’t send anyone away if they come hungry asking for food, or tell them to go get a job. Do you have neighbors in need or know someone struggling?
Does this keep her so busy that she neglects the needs of her family? No way. She sews clothing for her family as well as making garments and linen sashes to sell to the merchants. Her family is clothed in scarlet, linen, and purple. “Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” Remember, we looked at the word “shall” previously. It is a promise and all of God’s promises shall be fulfilled. Simply meaning, He isn’t done with us yet. If you see yourself missing the mark in reading this; be encouraged, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
What about her personality? She has strength and honor, she is wise, she is kind, she keeps a careful watch over her children and household, and she is not idle. Again, she’s not lazy. No wonder her husband and children praise her! And what does her husband say to her? “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” But what does God say about her? “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord; she shall be praised.”
Do you see yourself in this woman? I’m already on my knees! Pour out your heart to God, confess your sins, and ask Him to make you a virtuous woman. We may think we don’t have it in us to be a woman such as this; but that’s a lie. We can, through the power that works in and through us. The more we study, pray and seek that kind of faithfulness, He will give us the desires of our hearts …
In summary; what is a virtuous woman? In a nutshell: a woman on her knees praying to God for the strength to live each day in a manner pleasing to Him, each and every day ….
A woman committed to living her life in obedience to all that God asks of her to do ….
A woman willing to sacrifice her own life, that being placing God FIRST and others next. It is a simple, but beautiful description of what I think every woman should strive to be. And this is what all women should embrace and try to emulate …..
Father, I thank You for Your Word brought forth so wonderfully to help me today that I might understand Your mysteries and better learn of You and know You more intimately each day. Thank You for Your patience with me as I grow and mature to become the virtuous woman that not only You desire me to be, but have called me to be. By Your Grace do I humbly walk today, and I just want to thank You Lord that You love me so deeply that You wait ever so patiently and always so faithfaithfully. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen ….
God bless you today!