Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. She stretches out her hand to the poor; yes, she reaches forth her hands to the needy. Strength and honor are her clothing, and she will rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness. – Proverbs 31:10, 20, 25-26
How many of us are selfish and possessive of what we hold? How many of us are anxious of the future? How many of us do not respond with wisdom and grace to people who do stupid things?
After reading all of Proverbs 31, it makes me wonder if any woman can be called a Proverbs 31 Woman.
Some of us dream of attaining a measure of grace and beauty that can only be matched by those who also love the Lord with all their heart, strength, soul, and mind. Yet, all our dreams serve only to remind us that we are still asleep. Some of us spend so much time in front of a mirror, making sure everything looks just right, but then we step away from the mirror, from our safe zone, and everything falls apart. (James 1:19-25)
We cannot spend our lives dreaming and/or staring in mirrors, because that is not living; it is just a shadow life, a fantasy.
Our pursuit of perfection is in vain. Instead of dreaming about what we should be doing and what we should be pursuing, we should actually serve and pursue the One Who is worthy of our worship, Jesus Christ.
For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. – Galatians 3:26-29
More than physical clothing, we have a daily need to be clothed with Christ. And this need is not simply for women, but for all people; whether young or old, slave or free, male or female.
If you want to be a Proverbs 31 Woman or a Job 29-31 Man, I will not begrudge that desire, but I want you to ask yourself a couple questions.
Why am I striving to be a Proverbs 31 Woman (or a Job 29-31 Man)?
Am I pursuing my future husband (or wife), am I pursuing the approval of others, or am I pursuing the glory of Christ?
“Pursuing maturity in Christ should be a consistent theme in any believer’s life, but never as currency to spend on something else. We pursue Christ not to ‘earn’ a spouse, but in order to know Christ. (Philippians 3:10)” (Calley Sivils)
In pursuing Christ, we should not be trying to earn anything. For one, the gift of eternal life is freely given to every humble and repentant heart that trusts in Jesus, and secondly, the Lord provides for His children, whether they deserve it or not; that is the wonder of grace. We should not pursue Jesus to earn anything, but we should pursue Him because He is worthy of our pursuit and praise, and because, in His presence, we receive all fullness of joy and rest. The truth is, we can earn nothing from Him, yet He continually gives and gives.
Marriage is not a requirement in the pursuit to become a man or woman after God’s own heart, and neither is singleness. The only requirement to accomplish any eternally worthy and rewarding thing is not as much of a requirement as it is a necessity; to daily put on Christ and seek His glory in your life.
What is the most important thing in your life? Who is the most important person in your life? What do you treasure and talk about more than anything else? Who do you treasure and talk about more than anyone else? What would cause the world to wonder where you came from and what makes you, you?
May the answer be; Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)
Ultimately, our greatest source of beauty, strength, and hope is not something we are born with. We know, all too well, how imperfect and weak we are. If everyone saw the ugly that hides beneath the surface, there would be no hope for love. But Christ in us, His Holy Spirit in us, transforms our mortal, sinful bodies into temples of the Living God. Though our minds were once polluted by greed and selfishness, the Holy Spirit works in us to bear timeless fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)
So, whatever is true, whatever is honest, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8
All the verses I’ve mentioned above are encouraging and empowering, but the question remains; is it really possible to be a Proverbs 31 Woman or a Job 29-31 Man?
My answer to all those reading, as well as to myself, is, “Yes!”
Though there is so much beyond the reach of humankind, so much that is impossible for us, yet with Christ as our clothing, there is absolutely nothing that is impossible.
This journey of growing up and becoming a woman or man of God is not an easy or quick process, neither is it for the faint of heart. It takes courage and strength, but mostly, it takes a deep and steadfast faith. Faith, just a little faith, is all it takes to move mountains. With one prayer of faith, the grace of God swoops in, transforming the humble and weak into instruments of mercy and grace.
Without faith, there would be no reason to move, and no hope that anyone would be saved, much less that anyone would be a man or woman after God’s own heart.
In this world, kindness and love are often seen as weaknesses, and they are left trampled in the dust. Even empathy does more to kill than to save, because too many people cry about what’s going on in the world, letting sorrow weigh on their hearts, and they neglect to cry out to Jesus for help or ask Him to use them in big and/or small ways.
Our world is dying, wearing away like old clothing, and people all around us are choosing to waste away along with the world. Every soul desperately needs to see Jesus here on earth and they need to know that there is nothing He cannot do, nothing He cannot bring His children through. Though there is pain in the offering and pain in the following, yet we are heirs according to the promise; our hope is not buried in a tomb, but walking among us, within us. Our hope is Jesus Christ.
He took our sin and dirtiness upon Himself, clothing Himself with our weaknesses, so that we might have the choice to clothe ourselves with righteousness; to clothe ourselves with Christ. But Jesus did not clothe Himself with darkness and then call it good. By His power and might, He cast off the darkness of our sin, leaving it dead and buried. He conquered it, and now those who call upon His name have that same victory. This is why I urge you to put on Christ, because He gave Himself up on your behalf, His body for yours. It is not a fair trade, Christ for dust, but it is full of grace, mercy, love, and power. For Jesus came back to life, regaining His holy body, to teach us and show us that victory is in Him alone.
If you do not except the gift of Christ’s life for your sin, then where is your hope? What truth do you cling to? Where is your house built? With one storm, one small flood, one strong wind, your house will come crumbling down on top of you and no one will remember you were even there. But from everlasting to everlasting, the Lord’s love and mercy is with those who fear Him. (Psalm 103:17) There is no need to fear death or hardship, when you have perfect love for your Creator.
If you desire to be clothed with strength and honor, you must first be clothed with Christ.
It takes practice to dress yourself well. Sometimes, you fumble and make terrible choices. Often, you need assistance, and even as you grow older, there will still be things you have to learn in order to dress yourself well. But as long as you remember that first step, putting on Christ, then His Holy Spirit will give you strength and wisdom to do the rest.
The path we walk is not as impossible as the world would have us to believe. But we must choose who we will believe; the world, which offers us no quarter and no hope, or Jesus Christ, the One who offers us immeasurable grace and eternal hope.
As for me, I choose to put on Christ, and, by His grace, He is making me into a woman after His own heart. Amen
Now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. – Romans 13:11-14
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