Monday, June 11, 2012

Proverbs 31 Woman Contrasted and Reviewed

I found this image on my newsfeed today for the group of young women going through this Bible Study together that I spoke of in yesterday's blog.

I had wanted to respond to your incredible and thought-provoking comments tonight.  Your words really spoke to my heart and told me that we're working on something together here that's very important to us as women.  We want to be good wives, partners, moms and step moms! 

One thing I notice is that the woman teaching the Proverbs 31 woman is always a beautiful thin young woman.  She's never over weight or less desirable to look at (in one's own opinion) and never a woman who is loud and quirky.  I think this is so wrong on so many levels.  This reminds me of tv and the size 0 models for so many products.  This is why I love DOVE and REAL WOMEN. 

For those who don't know the passage that I refer to I thought that tonight I would outline that here so that you could refer to it when you consider if you are a Modern Proverbs 31 Woman like I know I am and believe you to be as well.


Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [a]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.


When this passage was taught to me in a Christian school it was taught by a sweet woman who you would say is "perfect."  I clung on to her every word and remember promising that day that I would be the Virtuous Woman to my future husband.  I memorized that entire passage and learned what every word meant in Greek and Hebrew later in Christian college where I received my Bachelor's of Science in Bible and Elementary Education.  But who cares about all of that?  What I care about is that you don't get lost in the translation and that you don't view this woman as some perfect woman.  Because she is not!

I found this chart online and just wanted to add it here for something to consider...



THE VOLUPTUOUS WOMAN THE VIRTUOUS
WOMAN
Described in the first nine chapters of Proverbs Described in Proverbs chapter 31
SHE IS LEWD (Proverbs 6:24; 2:17). SHE IS LOYAL (Proverbs 31:11).
SHE IS A HOME BREAKER (Proverbs 7). SHE IS A HOMEMAKER (Proverbs 31).
SHE IS EASY TO FIND (Proverbs 7:10-12). SHE IS HARD TO FIND
(a rare gem) (Proverbs 31:10).
SHE IS CHEAP (Proverbs 30:20) SHE IS PRECIOUS (Proverbs 31:10).
SHE HAS OUTER BEAUTY
Surface attraction (Proverbs 6:25).
SHE HAS INNER BEAUTY
Heart attraction (Proverbs 31:30; 1 Peter 3:4).
SHE WORKS WITH HER MOUTH
(lively lips but no life) (Proverbs 21:9,19; 25:24 etc.).
SHE WORKS WITH HER HANDS
(a lovely life producing loving deeds) (Proverbs 31, many verses).
SHE IS RELIGIOUS (Proverbs 7:14). SHE IS RIGHT WITH GOD (Proverbs 31:30).
SHE IS OUTSIDE THE HOME
(Proverbs 7:11-12).
SHE ABIDES IN THE HOME (Proverbs 31:27).
SHE DOES HER HUSBAND NOTHING BUT HARM (Proverbs 2:17). SHE DOES HER HUSBAND GOOD (Proverbs 31:12).
SHE IS ON THE LOOSE AT NIGHT (Proverbs 7:9,18). SHE IS RESTING AT NIGHT SO SHE CAN AWAKE EARLY (Proverbs 31:15).
SHE KILLS HER VICTIMS (Proverbs 7:23). SHE BLESSES HER FAMILY (Proverbs 31:28).
SHE LIVES BY LUST (Proverbs 7:10). SHE LIVES BY LOVE (Proverbs 31:20).

ref: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/homefam/prov31.htm

Don't get caught up in that chart and find things on the left side that seem to be you and then on the right side that seem to be you and feel like you are not worthy of being called the virtuous woman because you are! (I also think it's a nice thing to be called a voluptuous woman and that the author of this chart made a bad mistake using that word as the label.)


This is the image I leave you with tonight...  and I want to hear from you again if you don't mind.  



9 comments:

Sage said...

Sadly, in most ads or photos, women are rarely depicted overweight or "average" looking. No wonder so many people do not feel comfortable in their own skin.

Beloved said...

Carolyn, BRAVA! There are so many archetypal images of women, men, families, etc., within our society that exclude more than they exclude. I try to remind myself, and others, that God is love. If we begin and remain there, I believe our perspective changes. Not too long ago, in blogging about faith, I wrote "Whoa, what are we doing, folks? Christians aren’t perfect, we are just forgiven; saved by Grace. And since God saw beyond our faults to meet our needs, shouldn’t we be sharing that same Grace? When did it become more about exclusion than welcoming all who would come?" When I remember that, I tend to get less tripped up by images that don't reflect me, standards that I could not possibly stand up to, and try to focus more on loving, despite it all, rather than judging. This has been a great dialogue. You should keep it up.
Peace and good.

Shopping Tips And Tricks said...

Yep, I agree with Sage. Great post again. I am enjoying your insights into Proverbs 31. Thanks!

AMBER EDWARDS said...

I work with the young women in our church; and it worries me the messages they receive every day from our media; even religious media when they only use PERFECT models that are size 0! You can be a virtuous women and be quite beautiful even if you are not perfect! I think we get caught up too much in being perfect and not enough on our hearts striving to please God. A wonderful post and thank you for the reminder that we don't need to be perfect to be virtuous!

Kelly said...

It is sad that the word used to describe the "bad" woman is voluptuous. I do wish there were more positive images of larger women in the media.

Clancy Cash Harrison MS, RD, LDN said...

This is a great post. I love the comparison chart! I hope I can teach my little girl to have virtuous qualities her great grandmother had each day.

It is sad to see skimpy outfits on young girls and woman. The media has such a negative image of woman. Even in health and weight. We need to find peace in ourselves and love ourselves.

nyctalon said...

As a young Christian woman, who is far less then perfect- I have to agree that there is pressure within and outside of the church to look a certain way. However, I know I wasn't called to be perfect (thank God!), and that with the strength of God I can be that proverbs 31 woman- without ever fitting into a size 0. :) Great post!

Kari said...

I appreciate you post. I think it is good to have a reminder of the women God calls us to be without making us feel less than because we are not perfect.

I think authentic faith is so valuable because it makes other people see that you're not just trying to keep up an image- we are human and make mistakes but in the end, our hearts show us for who we really are.

Renee Morrison said...

Just stumbled across your blog love it :)

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