My mother’s favorite passage of scripture when it came to teaching my sister and me about being women of God was Proverbs 31:10-31. I am always amazed at how we can read the same passages of scripture in different seasons throughout our lives and have it speak to us in various ways as we pass from one stage to another.
At one time in our lives, these verses were just preparation verses for the kind of women and wives we were to be. We were able to put some of the verses into practice that dealt with our character and relationships with society in general, but the verses that dealt with husbands and children needed to be waited on until God brought us into that time.
The verse I have been reflecting on for the last week has been Proverbs 31:10, “An excellent wife who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.” (NIV) I love the King James Version of this verse, “Who can find a virtuous woman? because her worth is far above rubies.” Rubies are a beautiful, rare gem, making them extremely valuable.
How can we as women be rubies?
My Mom used to say, “You can walk outside and find rocks and pebbles anywhere, but you can’t just walk outside and find a ruby.” A ruby must be searched for and does not come cheaply.
For unmarried women, this speaks to character. Are you the kind of woman that is a carbon copy of the others around you, or are you someone that sees yourself as being valuable to God and therefore to others as well? Do you conduct yourself with dignity and modesty? In other words, are you living in a way that will not leave you with regret tomorrow or even later in life?
For married women, the question becomes, how can I be an excellent wife? What changes do I need to make to achieve excellence? I am forever working on the last two questions.
If we are ever to grow spiritually, or just in general, we need to constantly ask ourselves those questions. If we don’t, we will stay in a state of status quo and become stagnant as a woman or wife. If we ever believe that we have achieved excellence, we will come across as being prideful and arrogant.
I know I will never achieve perfection, but I can strive for excellence in everything I do:
- laundry… and it keeps coming.
- housekeeping… do you ever feel like you are putting beads on a string without a knot on the end?
- childrearing… so rewarding, but so demanding if you are choosing to be a proactive parent.
- cooking… no burned meals.
- gardening… sigh… that’s just not my thing, but I can keep the Lantana cut back and the bushes looking neat and in order.
- grocery shopping… keep those coupons coming!
How will you strive for excellence in the place God has put you for now?
Years ago, I heard a lesson which discussed how everything we do can be an act of worship to God. The teacher brought up all of the mundane, everyday chores and responsibilities we as adults, spouses, and/or parents have- mowing the lawn, cooking dinner, washing the laundry, going to work- and how our view of them needs to change.
We need to see these everyday tasks as an act of reverent worship to God.
When we look at our homes and the things we do for the people inside them as an act of worship to the Lord, our attitude and outlook changes. We are no longer doing these things because we have to. We begin doing them as a way to honor the Lord.
When we change the focus of Who we are working for, it will automatically change our attitudes towards our homes, husbands, and children to one of worship and excellence.
Excellence in caring for the homes that God has provided for us.
Excellence in caring for the husband He has blessed us with.
Excellence in raising and caring for the children He has entrusted to us.
Dear woman, as you think about this verse today and throughout the week, I would encourage you to think of yourself as a ruby, a treasure, a woman of great value and allow that to be reflected in everything you put your hands to do.
During this series, I am going to challenge you to memorize the entire section of Proverbs 31:10-31. We will only memorize one verse per week, making this challenge doable for us. It will also give us something to meditate on as we ask God to refocus our hearts to become the woman He wants us to be.
This week, memorize Proverbs 31:10.