Friday, March 28, 2008

The Proverbs 29 1/2 Woman

by Marsha Loftis

This Week's Verse: Proverbs 31:10-30 as detailed below.

The Proverbs 31 Woman! EEEK!... To be honest, I have always had some issues with this gal. I am single and I have never been in love with a Christian man so I can’t really identify with her situation. Not only must she be some kind of woman, but HE must be some kind of guy! I see her as the “perfect” woman so comparing myself to her is useless. I can’t hold a candle to this girl! Let’s just say we’re different, very different.

Let’s explore the difference between the Proverbs 31 woman and me, the “29 1/2 Woman”... maybe less, by the time we get done.

Prov. 31:10 states that she is worth far more than rubies. I think I’m O.K. here. I would tend to agree that, yes, I am worth far more than that.

(11) Her husband calls her…My husband calls me his “ex-wife”. She’s got me there. We won’t talk about what he called me when we were married! There are some divorces where people say, “Oh, it wasn’t really anyone’s fault.” They even have a "No fault divorce" just for those instances. This was not my case. It was a “my fault” divorce. And I’ve sought forgiveness for disappointing God and not honoring my vows. Guess what? He has forgiven.

(12) She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life…I hope he’s better off now. I feel like I am. If I had not been and done what I did, I would not have met God, where he was waiting for me.

(13) She selects wool and flax…If wool coats count, then we’re good. I have no idea what flax is. …works eager with her hands…depends on what I’m working on. Laundry, dishes, dusting? Not so much. I SHOULD, because I hate all of them and should work eagerly to get them done as soon as I can! Getting my hair fixed before church, yeah I get pretty eager there. (‘Cause I’m usually running late.)

(14) She is like the merchant ships bringing food from afar…Yes! Wendy’s is almost a whole mile from my house.

(15) She gets up while it’s still dark…Nearly every day. Like now. It’s 4:30 am. That’s mainly because I work all night Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on the weekend and then during the week, I can’t sleep all the way through the night. …provides food for her family…Yeah, I work all night and go to Wendy’s a lot. We already covered this one. …portions for her servant girls…What servant girls? If you ask my daughter, she is one. “Do I have to put the dishes away again?” “Yes. You do.” “Awww…Man…I have to do everything.” “No. You don’t. But you do have to put the dishes away.”

(16) She considers a field…I like to say about the corn, “Knee high by the Fourth of July…” So, yes, I consider a field. …and buys it… Oh. Never mind. …Out of her earnings she plants a vineyard… I’ve been known to buy a little wine but if I was to plant anything, it would die.

(17) She sets about her work vigorously…( isn’t that eagerly?) …her arms are strong for her tasks… Well, I don’t like to brag, but I got some guns! (Arms, for those who were wondering.)

(18) She sees her trading is profitable…Anyone who knows me knows I don’t trade anything. Nor do I throw it away. I just move it into the nearest closet or the garage. I am a hoarder. (Pray for me.) …her lamp does not go out at night…This is true. Remember? I don’t sleep at night. I might start a load of laundry…Ugh…and finish it by the light of day… maybe.

(19) In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers… Is this English? I honestly have no idea what this verse means. So, there’s no comparison. I must win! Right? Or maybe I have to forfeit this one. Yeah, that’s probably it.

(20) She opens her arms to the poor and extends her arms to the needy…I’m seriously working on this one. I told you, I hoard. I keep things I know I don’t need. That someone else could use. Someone with less than me. I was not born with a servant’s heart. I have said more times than I care to admit, “I was not put on this earth to serve you.” And now God is saying, “As a matter of fact, Marsha, yes you were.”

(21) When it snows, she has no fear… I don’t mind driving in the snow, it’s the ice that gets me. …her household are clothed in scarlet…My daughter has a red coat.

(22) She makes coverings for her bed…I don’t really sew much unless something is falling apart and I have to put it back together. 'Cause ya know I ain’t throwin' it away if I can help it!

(23) Her husband…Yeah, we been there.

(24) She makesand sells…Don’t sew much, and if I did I’m pretty sure no one would want to but it when I was done.

(25) She is clothed with strength and dignity…I am probably my own worst critic. But I’m gonna go ahead and say this, I TRY to conduct myself in this manner. She can laugh at the days to come. This is probably not because she’s going to say something stupid and will then have to laugh about it later, as is in my case.

(26) She speaks with wisdom…See? I told you. Faithful instruction is on her tongue… I still consider myself kinda new at this "God and Jesus and stuff" but I know this, He’s still on working on me! (Thank you, Lord.) I do my best to pass along what I know to my daughter. It all probably sounds like blah, blah, blah... but, one day, hopefully, it will all make sense.

(27) She watches over the affairs of her house… Yes. Who else is gonna do it? …does not eat the bread of idleness… I’m going to eat the bread, and I’m probably going to eat it on my couch. So this one is going to her.

This woman is making me tired! How ‘bout you? And I’m just talking about what she does. It’s not looking too good for “29 ½,” is it?

( 28) Her children arise and call her blessed…No, not mine. Mine arises and calls me, “Mean Mom”. She is clearly not a morning person. She wonders why I’m using my “Mean Mom” voice. I tell her I was using my “Nice Mommy” voice 45 minutes ago when "I started trying to get you up. I have progressed to THIS VOICE ! Now, GET OUT OF BED!"

(29) Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all… If you define noble as doing the best I can with God and what He has blessed me with, then, yeah, I do some noble stuff. For Him, with Him, and with His grace and love carrying me through when I cannot go on in my own strength.

(30) Charm is deceptive…I’m trying not to fall for this one anymore. And beauty is fleeting… I hear ya Sister! Fleeting, falling, spreading, sagging…well, I’m sure you get my point. …but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Then, praise away! But not me. Praise God, Our Creator, Lover of our womanly souls and emotions and everything that makes us female.

29 ½….Yeah…I’ll take that. Maybe next year I’ll be a 30, or with His help, should I dare hope for a 31?!

Father God, help me not to compare myself to this woman or any other. Help me to see that with your love and guidance I can be the woman you want me to be, unlike any other but made perfectly by You, for You and Your glory. Thank you for making me wonderfully different!! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

My study Bible calls her the "Wife of noble character". The dictionary defines noble as "having or showing qualities of high moral character, such as courage, generosity, or honor." It's not about comparing ourselves to her or anyone else. These are characteristics we should all strive for, whether you are a wife, daughter, or mother. Be wise in your dealings with your family and others. Take care of them in a timely manner. Be there for your family and instruct them the best way you know how, praying and praising the whole way through!

Power Verses:
Proverbs 31:10-30


Kathy said...

Amen and amen! Can anyone else second this?! You've captured here how futile it is to compare ourselves to "her" but you've done it in such a fun, encouraging way that now I at least feel empowered to try harder to stack up! Your application is the clincher, a practical summary of how we can strive to live this out. Awesome devo, Girlfriend.

JenniferLayne said...

That was hysterical!! I've always thought maybe the last verse of that chapter somehow got left out when some monk somewhere was copying the old testament. I think the last verse would be, "...and then she dropped into bed and slept for a week."


Anonymous said...

AMEN! You may only be a 29 1/2 (me too) but God sure blessed you with a 32 Sense of Humor. Heeeheee. I think she is just a template. I have never been able to stencil well, I always have a smudge, no matter how hard I try. Onward I march toward a smudge free life, I guess I practice alot. God knows and he understands me.

Anonymous said...

How refreshing it is to stumble across a humble comparison of the ideal Christian woman of yesterday's time to the God fearing, Jesus loving SINGLE mama of today! Keep sharing!

abby said...

I love all of your blogs but this is my favorite