If you missed the Intro to this series I’m going to start on the blog, you can read it HERE!
Basically, I have been inspired lately to quit admiring and striving to be like (most of) the women that are celebrated in our society. I have instead been trying to become more like the women that I admire in the Bible, starting with the Proverbs 31 Woman. So today, I want to draw your attention to a few things and focus on the first verse.
This section of the Bible (starting in Chapter 31 verse 10) is called “The Wife of Noble Character” in several different translations. The NKJV titles it “The Virtuous Wife”. In seeing this difference, the first thing that I wanted to know was what exactly these words meant.
Noble is defined as “having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideas.”
Virtuous has basically the same definition “having or showing high moral standards.”
Okay, so now that we know what “The Wife of Noble Character” or “The Virtuous Wife” actually means, let’s look at one more thing.
Several of my Bibles had a study note that said that this section of the passage describing this amazing woman (verses 10-31) form an acrostic poem in which each verse begins with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order. In other words, this section of the Bible describing her is lovely. It is beautiful, creative, and artistic. And, it gives a clear picture of everything about her as the verses emulate an “A to Z” or “beginning to end” mindset.
Now let’s look at verse 10.
The first thing that I notice here is that it starts with a question, suggesting that a wife of noble character is rare. She’s hard to find. The writer is asking “who can even find a woman like this?” In striving to be like the Proverbs 31 woman, I think that one truth that is sometimes hard to wrap our head around is that
WE ARE GOING TO BE DIFFERENT.
In John 15:9, Jesus says that we are “….not of this world, but I chose you out of this world…”
Most of the time, it is easier to look like the world though. It doesn’t cost us anything. It is the popular thing to do. But Jesus commands us to ” deny ourselves” and “take up our cross and follow” in Matthew 16:24. So in order to become this rare treasure of a woman, we need to realize that we are going to have to do some things that might be different from our friends, things that are unpopular, things that might even cost us something.
The times when I feel the MOST convicted are the times when I have looked like the world. The times when I felt I didn’t stand out for doing the right thing. The times when I did the wrong thing or took the easy way out. Never have I ever done something that I knew was right and then been like “Bummer…I shouldn’t have done that.” Am I saying that doing the right thing has always been doing the easy thing? Absolutely not. But I am saying that even when I felt uncomfortable doing the right thing, I didn’t feel convicted because I knew I did the wrong thing.
The times when I was brave and did what I knew was right despite my circumstances or what I knew the outcome could be are the times when I have felt the most at peace about my decision and had absolutely no regrets.
So in attempting to become more “Proverbs 31-esque”, I think that we just need to realize that sometimes, we are going to be called to do things that might not be popular. But we also need to remember that
These are the things that separate us from the world, and turn us into the holy women that we are called to be.
So have courage! Be bold! Do what you know is right! And know that when you do, you are becoming a little bit more like the Proverbs 31 Woman.
The next part of the verse says that the Virtuous Wife is more precious than rubies. Wow. A few translations use “diamonds” or “jewels,” but rubies is definitely the most used, at least in the translations that I have. But then I wondered, “Well, why are rubies specifically such a thing?” I wanted to know from both a scientific and Biblical standpoint.
Scientifically speaking, “Rubies in particular have been prized by monarchs as a symbol of their wealth and power.” I also found that “Rubies are the world’s most expensive gemstones, the best Burmese rubies being valued more than an equivalent-sized flawless diamond.” Click HERE for the article where I found both of these quotes- this is not my own research (#notascientist)! lol.
Biblically speaking, “rubies” are mentioned several other times in the Old Testament. Four of those times, “rubies” and “wisdom” are in the same sentence (well, “wise words” is one time- lol). In addition to that, we read about this “Virtuous Woman” at the end of Proverbs, the book all about wisdom and “Lady Wisdom”. And Proverbs 4:7 tells us that “wisdom is supreme.”
So rubies are the most expensive gemstone and are also compared to wisdom…which is also “supreme” in the Bible. Nice!
As you can see, scientifically and Biblically, rubies are worth alot!!!! So the fact that this wife is valued at more than rubies means that she is rare, valued, and treasured. But, how do we apply this truth?
I think for me, remembering that becoming the woman God has called me to be and chasing after Him helps me to refocus on what is actually important. It helps me to remember that the latest designer bag, or a house beautifully decorated, or being the best at baking cookies isn’t what is going to give me worth and value to either the Lord or my husband.
But being a wife of noble character, that is what is going to magnify my worth and set me apart.
I hope that this first post in the series blessed you! The next thing we will be looking at is how the Proverbs 31 woman interacts with her husband!
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