WHAT SHOULD WE LEARN FROM THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN IN PROVERBS 31?

“What should we learn from the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31?”

Answer:Proverbs is a book based on metaphor. It is packed with word-pictures of universal truths. Throughout Proverbs, wisdom isanthropomorphizedas a woman. As early asProverbs 1:20, wisdom is compared to a woman who shouts in the streets, chastising fools and scoffers.Proverbs 31provides a detailed metaphor of feminine wisdom in the context of a family and a community.

The most quoted section, verses 10–31, is achiastic poem, that is, a poem that cycles through repeated thoughts in a particular order. The chapter speaks of the worth of a good wife to her husband, the manual labor that she does, her fulfillment of responsibilities to those who need her, her ability to provide for her family, and her wisdom in caring for herself so she can share her strength with others. These ideas are presented in a kind of circular pattern throughout the section.

The chapter begins with King Lemuel recounting advice his mother had given him. She exhorted him to not fall to weaknesses that would compromise his position as king, but to care for the poor. One of the weaknesses the king’s mother mentioned was the susceptibility of his strength—or “noble character” (31:10)—to be harmed by improper relationships with women. Although verses 10-31 do not directly follow this warning in the original, they do illustrate a fitting description of what kind of woman Lemuel should seek.

10An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

A good, supportive, trusting wife is a blessing to a man. A woman who partners with her husband, who is reliable and looks out for his interests, gives a man a security that is greatly lacking in the world. She is worth more than a substantial paycheck. To bring in the metaphor, wisdom provides the same benefits—it is worth more than money, you can always trust it to make the right decision, and it provides blessings for those who have it.

13She looks for wool and flax,
And works with her hands in delight…
19She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle…
27She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

The wife ofProverbs 31isn’t afraid of work. She gets up in the morning and gets things done. In the time of Solomon, this involved making fabric and sewing clothes, but verse 27 certainly applies directly to us today—taking care of our responsibilities is a characteristic of wisdom.

15She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens…
21She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
20She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.

Another characteristic of wisdom is the grace to help others. TheProverbs 31wife ensures that those under her care receive what they need—food, clothing, protection. And she is able to serve others out of the excess of her work and the leaning of her heart. She has so internalized her role as a provider that it extends past her immediate responsibilities and into the community.

14She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar…
16She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard…
18She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night…
24She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.

Beyond that, she’s savvy. She’s educated about the world and the world of business. She knows how to use her skills to provide for her family, and she’s not afraid to go interact with that world, whether it be as a merchant or a buyer. She knows how to use her strengths to her best advantage, and she fully realizes how valuable her efforts are.

17She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong…
22She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
26She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

TheProverbs 31woman not only knows her worth, she knows her responsibilities to herself. She would not be able to provide for others if she neglected her needs—both physical and spiritual. She makes sure her appearance reflects her respected position as an influence in her community. Her greatest strength is her wisdom—her accurate judgment about the world and her influence in it. And she is quick to share the wisdom she has gained to encourage others to reach their potential.

23Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land…
28Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.

She knows that, as a partner in her marriage, she has a tremendous influence on her husband’s ministry. She can integrate her life—both domestic and professional—with her ministry in such a way that her husband has the freedom to serve. In fact, her reputation is so established, that it bleeds off onto him.
TheProverbs 31wife is a fierce provider and protector for those she cares about. She is wise to the ways of the world, but lives by the wisdom of God. As in the rest of the Proverbs, these specific examples provide a metaphor for the larger truth. How any individual woman exemplifies these characteristics will depend on her situation, gifts, and abilities. The key is in verse 30, just as it is in the beginning of Proverbs, in 1:7:
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

Recommended Resources:Beautiful in God’s Eyes: The Treasures of the Proverbs 31 Woman by Elizabeth GeorgeandLogos Bible Software.

PREPARING FOR MARRIAGE 

Written by Real Talk Kim:

PREPARING FOR MARRIAGE….

Saying “I do” is the decision with perhaps the most chance of either incredible happiness or incredible danger in this life. How do you prepare for marriage so that “I do” is the beginning of bliss, rather than regret?

Marriage will always be, at least in part, a leap of faith. There will be surprises. You’ll never avoid them all. But I think, if you follow these steps, you can avoid the most difficult ones.

The most important thing when you’re marrying is character. If someone is of good character and loves God, you can work through pretty much anything. They’ll be able to hear from God, they’ll want to please God, and even if you have a big roadblock, they’ll likely try to solve it well. If someone has a weak character, though, no matter how much you love them, you’re going to run into some major problems.

Preparing for marriage, then, is largely about two things: making sure his character is good, and making sure you work together in the day-to-day.

Here are some suggestions on how to do that:

DO LIFE TOGETHER!

Don’t do “dating” things. Do “life” things.

Here’s the difference. Dating says, “let’s get together every Tuesday and Saturday and go out to a movie and dinner, or catch a concert in a park, or go for ice cream.”

It’s all very lovely, but it tells you virtually nothing about how you will actually work on a day-to-day basis once you’re married. 

Once you’re starting to get serious about someone, then, stop making “romantic” things the basis of your relationship, and start just living life. Go grocery shopping together. Cook dinner together. If you’re in school, hang out together for a few hours and just study together. Go to church together. Go to Bible study together. Do errands together.

Spend as much time as possible together that is unplanned. This lets you see what your boyfriend/fiance does when they have nothing particular planned. Since most of your life when you’re married will be like that, you want to see what it’s like now.

Red Flags:

Playing video games all the time

Not wanting to spend “hang out” time with you, because he only wants to “hang out” with the guys

Downtime being the equivalent of “let’s get drunk” time. If he needs alcohol every time he’s relaxing, that’s a bad sign.

Never having a hobby he wants to do with you. If you can’t take a dance class together, or exercise together, or collect something together, then chances are you’ll have nothing to do together once you’re married, either.

Never doing “normal” things. If, in all the time you spend together, he never has the initiative to fix a leaky faucet, to clean a bathroom, to repaint a pealing deck, then it’s unlikely he’s going to want to devote his Saturdays to that once he’s married, either. If he likes you hanging out so that you can clean his place while he relaxes, that’s likely what your weekends will look like, too.

Pursue God Together:

God needs to be the center of your marriage. All of us run into issues when we’re married, and if someone is a Christian, then you have a common basis so that you can solve it. You can talk about what God wants. You can talk about what’s wrong and what’s right. You can pray together and get other people to pray with you.

The saddest emails I get are from women whose husbands are involved in something really bad–like gambling or pornography–but their husbands aren’t really Christians. The women think it’s wrong, but the husbands say it’s no big deal. When you don’t have a common faith, you can’t deal with these things.

And when you don’t have a common strong faith, it’s very, very hard to pass on that faith to your children.

So while you’re getting to know each other, don’t just go to church together. Go to a small group Bible study together, whether it’s through church, through a campus ministry, or whatever. Pray together. Read a chapter of the Bible every time you’re together. You don’t have to do an in-depth study, but if you bring God into your life now, then it shows that your fiance actually wants God there.

I talk to so many women who say, “I thought he was a Christian because he went to my church, but he never prays and I never see him reading the Bible, and I feel so distant from him.” Don’t take church-going as a sign about whether or not he’s close to God. Look for more.

And pray with him! Many people don’t like praying out loud, but even if it’s just sentence prayers, show that you need it to be part of your relationship. If you can’t do it now, you won’t do it when you’re married.

Red Flags:

He never talks about God outside of church

If you bring up God, he doesn’t really have an opinion

You never see him reading his Bible

He has no interest in prayer

Volunteer Together:

Get out of the house and do something together! This helps you run from temptation (because it will get harder to wait until you’re married to make love the closer to the wedding you get) and it helps you to see if he is motivated to help others.

It may be teaching Sunday school or youth group, it may be belonging to a music team at church, it may be something in your community. But find something to do.

Red Flags:

If he has no interest in helping others, he likely is very self-focused and won’t want to help others in your married life, either. If it’s important to you that he’s involved in your children’s lives and activities, then make sure that he’s willing to sacrifice his own free time now, too.

Blend Your Families:

When we’re dating, all that seems to matter is just the two of you. Once you’re married, his family becomes your family, and you’ll never be alone in the same way again.

Take the initiative to get to know his family. If they don’t live near you, suggest Skype dates. Have him get to know your family as well. See how he fits. If your family is important to you, then make sure that he actually enjoys being with them and makes an effort, rather than making you feel guilty for wanting to spend time with siblings.

Red Flags:

If he takes no interest in getting to know your family, or constantly criticizes them, he will not want to spend time with them once you’re married, and will likely resent the time you spend with them.

If he does errands for his parents, but refuses to do any for you, he could be too attached to his own family. Again, that’s unlikely to change once you’re married.

If he spends significant amounts of time with his family, but refuses to spend time with yours, makes excuses, or resents you for wanting to be with your family, then this will become a constant source of stress later, too. As much as possible, you should be able to spend equal times with each family without this being a source of conflict now. If it is, that’s a problem.

Blend Your Money:

Obviously you can’t completely blend your money before you’re married, but you can create a budget, a debt repayment schedule, and a savings schedule. In fact, you should.

Watch how he spends money. Is he careful with money, or does he not care about debt? Does he work hard for his money? Is he motivated to provide?

Red Flags:

If he won’t talk about whether or not he has debt, be careful. You both should fully disclose your financial situation before you marry.

If he spends money he doesn’t seem to have, and doesn’t like budgeting, this will likely continue into your marriage.

Identify a Mentor Couple:

Notice that I didn’t say “take pre-marital counseling”. I actually do agree with counseling; it’s just that I’ve rarely known it to make a huge difference. Usually people go to counseling and hear all the warnings, but they go in one ear and out the other because people think, “that’s not about us. We’re actually IN LOVE. We won’t experience that.”

And then they get married and they do.

So I like the idea of pre-marital counseling, but I actually think it’s more important to have things in place so that when problems come after you get married, you have a way of dealing with them.

Identify a mentor couple that you can talk with periodically for your first two years together.

Red Flags:

If he refuses to do counseling or find a couple because “we don’t need that”, that’s likely a sign he’s unwilling to talk about deep issues

Wait for Sex:

Having sex before you’re married does nothing to make sure you’re sexually compatible, because we change once we’re married. And couples who wait to have sex until they’re married have better sex afterwards. Please, wait until the wedding.

Red Flags:

If he insists on sex now, or pushes your boundaries, he’s unlikely to be able to wait for important things afterwards, too.

If you spend all of your time now “making out”, and very little doing important things, then your relationship may be built more on physical intimacy than spiritual and emotional intimacy. And that doesn’t bode well for the long run.

Falling in love is a heady time. It’s easy for our emotions to get the better of us. But choosing whom to marry is such a crucial decision. Don’t base it on feelings. Really get to know the other person, and take time to assess his character in a number of situations. You don’t get another chance at this, so do it right now, so that when you walk down that aisle, you’re confident that this is truly the man that God has for you.


 


 


 

WHAT HAPPEN WHEN A GROUP OF BOYS WERE ASKED TO SLAP A YOUNG GIRL ~ PRICELESS REACTION (DV EXPERIMENT)

Leslie Morgan Steiner: Why domestic violence victims don’t leave

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU INTRODUCE YOUR BODIES AND NOT YOUR MINDS…

YESTERDAY~~~WRITTEN BY ROCHELLE RICHEY

Yesterday

A Poem Written by Rochelle Richey

Yesterday I was a little girl.
Yesterday I was rejected.
Yesterday I was a teenager.
Yesterday my mind was influenced and infected.
Yesterday I got married.
Yesterday I was abused.
Yesterday I finally understood what it was like to be in my mother’s shoes.
Yesterday I tried to end my yesterdays.
Yesterday I was about to lose.
Yesterday I met a Savior.
A new love …living a new way of life… yesterday.
I’m presently walking into my future, and thanking my yesterdays
for making me the woman I am today.

writer

NOTE TO SELF
Dear Rochelle,
I’m writing you to let you know how much I love you and I forgive you. I forgive you for everything you’ve ever done to me and everything you allowed others to do to me. The choices you made for me weren’t always the best and because of that, I have a few scars…but the scars are now old wounds that are filled with knowledge and sealed with wisdom. I embrace the scars and I embrace you. You once were a stranger to me, but no more. I believe in you, I honor you, I celebrate you. I am you and we are one.


From your BFF with love,
©Rochelle Richey 2016

Rant: Basketball Player Wife Mentality

Joshua Bennett “Balaenoptera”

A CRUCIFIXION TYPE LOVE

Strawberry Letter #60: Is He My Fiance or Her Husband? (I GO IN!)