And so begins the study on the Proverbs 31 woman - that woman that we all love to hate but wish we could be more like. I love studying her and listening to sermons about her - she is such an inspiration and I know that she has a lot to teach me. But I needed a little help, so I have been going through it with the assistance of Courtney Joseph's (from Good Morning Girls and Women Living Well) wonderful ebook 'The Proverbs 31 Woman: One Virtue at a Time' and Elizabeth George's 'Discovering the Treasures of a Godly Woman'. So let's have a look at what this verse says...
"Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies."
The first thing I did when I read this verse was look up the definitions of the key words. Sometimes I think we read things and forget how powerful certain words can be. When I looked up 'virtuous' it says -
"1. Having or showing virtue, especially moral excellence: led a virtuous life.
2. Possessing or characterised by chastity; pure: a virtuous woman."
And 'capable' says -
"Having ability, efficient and able to do a task"
And 'noble' -
"Having or showing qualities of high moral character,
such as courage, generosity, or honour"
Reading these definitions I can start to understand why this woman is so rare and precious! There is so much in this first verse, never mind the rest of the chapter! For this verse Courtney has a list of things a Proverbs 31 wife DOES NOT do - and when I read through Courtney's list I physically cringed. There are more things on that list that I do than I would feel comfortable admitting. There is so much about me that I need to work changing with God's help. I can do nothing without Him, and I think that's obvious from reading the list!! But for the sake of openness and accountability, my top 3 that I need to work on are (in order of the list!) :
She does not mope around and complain about her housework... Oops :( I don't know about you but I still hate housework, even if it is blessing my family!!
She does not overspend and put her family into debt.. While I don't really put us into debt I do have an awful habit of spending money that we don't have and wanting to spend when we can't. :(
She does not spend her days doing...texting, web surfing, playing Candy Crush and watching tv.... And the list goes on - I am a great procrastinator :(
This is going to be a challenging study!! We've only introduced the woman and already I am feeling like a failure, but then I realised that this isn't a bad thing - after all, I can only be the woman God created me to be when I am walking with Him and doing it in His strength. I am praying that this series will encourage us all to walk closer to our Father and shine for the King.
A little point - both the study books I am using are books I enjoyed reading and have gotten a lot from. I wasn't asked to share these books, I'm just telling you about them in case you want to follow along! Elizabeth George's book can be bought online or at any Christian bookshop and Courtney Joseph's ebook can be downloaded as a free gift when you subscribe to her amazing blog - womenlivingwell.org