Daily D – Proverbs 31:10-12
Proverbs 31:10-12 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (NIV)
Mother’s Day was last month. In case you do not spend time perusing Twitter, there were quite a few women, some of prominence, who declared their pastors should not preach from Proverbs 31 on that day.
Their disposition regarded how this text has been used as some kind of idealistic template for wives and mothers. Some said it was unfair to expect any one woman to accomplish everything in these verses.
When I read this text, I hear reflections on how this particular woman led and served her family and community over a lifetime. These reflections do not encompass a random Tuesday afternoon or an autumn weekend.
When I read this text, I think about how my mother has accomplished most, if not all, of the wonderful works of the original Proverbs 31 wife and mother. My wife has as well. Our daughter-in-law is sitting here at the table next to me as I write these words. She is taking care of her business via her computer and our internet.
Our daughter has a trial today and several more hours of online work at the same time as she and her husband continue renovating their house and preparing the nest for our granddaughter’s arrival in the next month or so.
Our other daughter was recently accused of doing nothing but sitting around all day. It’s a good thing her son is at camp this week.
It is unfair to compare one woman to another. It is unfair to expect one woman to do everything. It is unfair to place one set of expectations on every woman.
It is wise and good to bless every woman for her particular set of strengths. If you were to write a paean of praise to your mom, your wife, your daughter, or your coworker, what characteristics would you laud? Instead of picking up a greeting card from Hallmark, how would you express your love and affection for the dearest women in your life?
Rather than plopping Proverbs 31 down and expecting every woman to do everything on that particular list, what list would you make to declare what you notice and value? This involves expressing feelings. Television and movies often note men are not so good at this kind of thing. Prove them wrong.
Proverbs 31 is not about comparison, nor is it about contrast. It is a poem of praise for a particular woman at a particular time and place. What do you say about the particular women in your life in this particular time and place?
One other thing: Do not wait until next Mother’s Day to write these reflections. Start today. Continue regularly. Create a life-giving habit. She will be glad you did. So will you. Encouragement is oxygen to the soul. Encouragement provides breathing room.
I will bless my mom, bride, daughters, and daughter-in-law for who they are and what I notice in their lives that creates high value for others.
Our Father, thank you for the opportunity to arise and bless the amazing women in my life. They are smart, wise, hard-working, and fiercely loving. They provide and protect. They comfort and heal. They make life joyful and meaningful. I will celebrate them day by day and not only on special occasions. Amen.
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2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
2 Kings 20:2, 3 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”