Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Virtuous Woman

"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband:
but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones."
Proverbs 12:4
(KJV)

A Virtuous Woman Series - Part 2 of 8

(If you wish, to better understand this study, please read
Part 1 of the Virtuous Woman series first.)

What does a modern day virtuous woman look like?
How can we hope to achieve the standards recorded in Proverbs 31
that were set by Bathsheba while instructing King Solomon, her son?
How can we apply her wisdom to the everyday lives we currently live?

I believe it is possible, through God's grace, don't you?
The bar is high.
We may fall completely short.
But, if we really want it...
if we strive for it with all our hearts...
if we seek God's strength...
I believe we can and will inch ever closer
to being the woman God seeks.

Greek meaning of virtuous:

Original Word: δίκαιος, ία, ιον
Greek word - dikaios
Meaning = correct, righteous, by implication, innocent
Equitable in character or act;
by implication, innocent, holy;
just, meet, righteous.

Modern meaning of virtuous:

"Characterized by or possessing virtue or moral excellence; righteous; upright.
Possessing or characterized by chastity; pure."

Note:

The meaning is the same.
Over 2,300 years between Bathsheba's advice
and the day in which you and I live
has not diminished or altered the characteristics
and the requirements demanded of a virtuous woman.

What comprised a virtuous woman in 350 B.C.,
is the exact composition of a virtuous woman in 2014 A.D.

Times have changed.
God's Word hasn't.

In order to understand this woman we all yearn to emulate,
I would like to break down her life's roles into a very real,
hopefully clear picture....
then examine how she excels in each role.

She wore a lot of hats....
not literally, of course.
Maybe she did.  :)
But, that's not important.
I'd love to delve into the many "hats" of duty, role, and obligation she wore
on any given day.

I think it is interesting to take note that the very first role written about
when giving such an explicit description of a virtuous woman
was her marital relationship.

So, let's take an in-depth view through the lens
of seeing her as a wife....
obviously a most important role.

Before we do, though...
first things first.

Some of you are not married.
For various reasons, you are without a spouse.
Perhaps, in the future, you won't be.  :)
Please keep reading.
Maybe you can glean something to store away for future times.
It could be that God wants to adjust your way of thinking now,
before you enter a relationship....
so that when you do,
you will already know what is required of a virtuous wife.
Wouldn't it be good to walk into a brand-new marriage
already fitted and up to Bible standards to fill that role?
Your future husband will be most grateful!

Some of you are men.
There is something in here for you, too!
Not for you to compare your wife and see how hopelessly short she falls.
Not to measure her against this perfect woman,
then rue the day you married her.
But to view this in a positive light.
Maybe God is trying to show you areas you could help her....
gently and steadily...
along the path of life.

God's Word is sharper than a two-edged sword,
and we can all benefit by every, single part of it.

Whoever you are,
there is something to be gleaned...
for all of us....
in every compartment of the Word of God.

Before we go another step,
may I get personal with you?
May I first ask some very pointed questions?
Will you stop after each one and let them sink in?
Will you promise to be honest in your answers?

I won't know your answers.
I don't need to.

If we want help,
if we want to be a better, more virtuous wife...
if we want to improve....
we must first take a hard, honest look....
inside ourselves.
Identify our problem areas.
Isolate our weaknesses.
We must be brutally open and honest and transparent...
to ourselves and to God.

No one else is judging you.
No one has the right.
It is just you....
and Almighty God.
He already knows you.
He knows how close or how far you come
to reaching the bar...
of being a virtuous wife.

So, the main person you need to be honest with...
is you, right?

Are you ready?

Grab a piece of paper and a pen.
Take a deep breath.
Exhale.
Make a promise...
right now...
to be honest.

Take each question one at a time...
and write down your answers.
Do it carefully,
deliberately,
and slowly.
Tell the truth.
Otherwise this will never work.

Okay, here goes.

How do you view your husband?
(Write it all down.  What do you really think of him...
as a man, as a father, as the head of your home, etc.)

Do you think he is competent or incompetent?

Do you find his way of thinking inferior to your own?

Do you think he makes good or bad, wise or unwise decisions?

Do you feel he should listen to you, because you know better than he does?

Do you feel that you often know a better choice than the ones he makes?

Would you consider him your best friend?

Would you consider him a friend at all?

Does he get on your nerves?

Do you view him as responsible or irresponsible?
Mature or immature?
Equipped or unequipped?
Capable or incapable?

Does he measure up to the man you wish he was?

Does he disappoint you or surpass your expectations?

Do you admire him?

Do you respect him?

Is he romantic enough for you?

Do you think he compliments you enough?

Do you feel he appreciates you?

Do you regret marrying him, or was marrying him one of the best choices you have ever made?

Are you 100% devoted to him...
for the long haul?

Do you still love him?



Now that you've done that,
may I ask you to do a very hard thing?

Will you now shift your focus?

Will you take your eyes off of your husband...
off of your views of him, whether good or bad, negative or positive,
and turn them wholeheartedly and completely....
on yourself?

Will you stop trying to change him.....
stop wishing he were someone he is not....
and ask God to help  you  to be the one to change?

Because no matter what your view of your husband is,
no matter how much he pleases or doesn't please you,
no matter if he is the husband he should or should not be...
(either in fact or in your opinion)....
no matter what he is like,
the only person you can change is you.

Trying to change him...
to remake him into someone you read about in a romance novel...
to compare him to your friend's "perfect" husband....
to continually point out the things you don't like about him...
is completely unwise.

Allowing God to change you....
to remake you into the woman you read about in Proverbs 31...
to bring you closer to measuring to His...and her standards...
to continually yield and submit to God's opinion, for that is what matters....
are some of the wisest choices you will ever make.

The chain of command God established in the home
is clearly defined in Ephesians 5:23,
"For the husband is the head of the wife,
even as Christ is the head of the church..."

We cannot change that.

I know this is not a popular way of thinking.
"Liberated" women cringe to hear or read of such things.
But, my friend, it is still right.
It is God's Word...
and it absolutely works....
it creates a happy marriage...
a peaceful home...
a contented life.

Whatever your opinion of your husband,
he is still the head of your home.
It is his God-given place.
He is human.
He is not without fault.
But, he absolutely deserves your honor.
It is his God-given right.

There are no contingency clauses in Proverbs 31.
It doesn't say that if your husband measures up to all
he should be, then you should follow this advice.
It doesn't say to do it only if he does his part and fulfills his role.
It simply describes, in vivid detail,
what you and are I to do...
as Godly, virtuous wives.

The sooner we stop focusing on our husband's discrepancies,
the sooner we stop bringing forward our ever-growing list
of reasons he doesn't deserve a virtuous, devoted wife,
the sooner we remove the critical spotlight from him and place it on ourselves,
the better off our marriages will be.

So, with that frame of mind...
with a re-directed focus....
will you kindly turn your paper over and 
grab your pen?

We are ready for the next line of questioning.

These are a little tougher...
funny how it's so easy to do this exercise geared towards our husbands,
yet so difficult to face when it is directed towards ourselves, huh?

Here goes....

How do you view yourself...as a wife?

Would you say you are a good wife?
(List why or why not.)

How agreeable are you with your husband?

Do you nag?

Do you complain?

Do you often point out his faults...to him?

Do you often point out his faults....to others?

Do you speak disrespectfully to him?

Do you speak disrespectfully about him?

How do you talk about him to your closest friends?

How would your closest friends describe your relationship with your husband?

Do they know too much?

Are you discreet about his business?

Do you reveal his secrets to others?

How often do you compliment him?

Does he consider you his best friend in the world?

Are you the one he confides in?

Do you make the home you share with him a desirable place to be?

Do you give him space?

Do you appreciate him?

Do you tell him so or just assume he knows?

How would you feel if you woke up tomorrow and he was gone?

What are your priorities on any given day?

Who do you run to when you need comfort?

Is it him?

Does he know you have his back?

Can he trust you?

When is the last time you called him just to say "I love you"?

And, finally....
How badly do you want to be a virtuous wife?

Before we go another step in delving into Proverbs 31,
I believe God would be pleased for us to allow these thoughts to sink in....
to stifle our own excuses for not following His Word...
to ask God to renew our minds...
to give us the mind of Christ...
to help us stop seeking out the faults of our husbands...
and to start seeking out our own.

Once we get into the right frame of mind to receive His instruction,
once we are in tune with God's heart,
once we stop trying to justify our own disobedience,
once we are willing to truly listen...
to what God is saying to us....
we can make real progress.

God has a lot to share in Proverbs 31.
I look forward to dissecting it with you.

First, we have to be ready to listen...
to do this study for us....
for our own transformation...
not with motives or intentions to change our husbands...
or anyone else.

Just us.


11 comments:

  1. I am excited about this dissection! I so long to be a virtuous wife!

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Michelle! I am SO sorry I am just now responding!! I don't know what happened or how I overlooked it, but it blessed me so much today! God bless you abundantly!

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  2. Thank you, Michelle! I am so glad you stopped by. It was great to hear from you again. I look forward to sharing all God has placed upon my heart, and I so long to be that virtuous wife, too. I feel I fall so short, but thank God for His amazing grace! I hope you are abundantly blessed as you endeavor to reach His goals! Love to you, Cheryl

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  3. Thank you for sharing this...I really needed it! I shared on my blog site Mommy Miranda on FB I hope you do not mind! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Miranda! I am honored that you shared this post on Facebook! Please always feel free to do so. I am so glad if it blessed you. May God's peace be with you always. Love, Cheryl

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  4. That was a very beautiful post! You have a lovely blog, God bless you!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Jane, and for leaving kind thoughts behind! May the dear Lord bless you and keep you in His care. God's peace to you! Love, Cheryl

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  5. Cheryl, Thank you for the wonderful comments on my grandmas blouse. I have read both parts and they are SUPER. I'm commenting on part 1. My cousin and I clean houses and I can tell you the art of homemaking is almost gone the days of pride of ownership is gone. I have never seen so many grown women that do not know how to mop but would rather spend 15.00 on a box of swifer wet pads or and raising their kids to be worse about not knowing how to do any thing. My Grandma and mother in law never work outside the home, and they worked harder than if they had a paying job. they cooked cleaned washed clothes worked in the garden and helped with the livestock and still had a smile when company came by. That's the KIND of woman I want to be. I worked outside of the home for 17 years at the same job now I'm home with my family and I LOVE it. I'm sorry I get on my soapbox. :) :)

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    1. Dear Sandy, Thank you so much for your wonderful, encouraging comments. You are so right. True homemaking is becoming so unpopular in our modern world. But, oh the joys of it, if we truly understand what God requires and how much contentment it brings when we are in our God-ordained role! It thrills my heart to be a wife and mother...truly it is the calling of my life. I am so thankful and happy for you that you get to stay home with your family now. Enjoy and cherish every moment! You can get on your soapbox here anytime you feel you need to! LOL!! Love and blessings to you...and please stop by anytime!

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  6. So nice to "meet" you! Thank you, Cheryl for your sweet comment on my blog and for following me. I love this series on the Proverbs 31 woman. I'm now following you, too. Have a very blessed Mother's Day, friend! :)

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, Anna! So very thankful to have you on board and for your sweet encouragement!! May the dear Lord bless you, my new friend!!

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