Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Perfect Woman?

I am facilitating Beth Moore's study When Godly People Do Ungodly Things, in my home on Wednesday evenings. I tell you, I have the most wonderful group of woman joining me... I cannot tell you what a joy it is to share Jesus with them. Each one is so distinctly different, but we share the commonality of being sisters in the Lord - no matter where we are in our faith walk.

One of the gals wanted to share Proverbs 31 with us at the end of our study. Her husband came home from his Saturday morning men's Bible study with the scriptures readings they had studied for the day. One reading for the week was Proverbs 31. Her husband brought the printed sheet home and stated the men said this describes the perfect woman.

The Wife of Noble Character
10 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 dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 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 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

The Wife of Noble Character is a beautiful portion of scripture. Today I have to tell you what I feel compelled to share is not a verse by verse breakdown, but a problem I had with the statement "this describes the perfect woman. I had an issue with someone stating this passage is describing the "perfect" woman. I see a difference in perfection and being noble. I was struggling with my thoughts because we live in a time where we are force fed what society views as "perfect" - I was bothered that the word perfect was used - because sisters, we struggle enough with our insecurities - how can we ever live up to what the definition of perfection is? With that said - this morning I pulled out my old Websters Collegiate Dictionary (yes, it's quite old) and looked up the words Perfect, Noble and Virtuous (as this passage is sometimes referred to The Virtuous Woman)

Perfect: Being entirely without fault or defect, flawless

Noble: Possessing outstanding qualities

Virtue: strength, a commendable quality or trait

Well, I know I am not perfect, nor do I know anyone who is with the exception of our Lord Jesus, nor do I think that our Lord is using Proverbs 31:10-31 to describe "perfection". I looked up the word perfect in my concordance - there were many, many scriptures listed where the words perfect/perfected etc were used.

Deuteronomy 32:4 says: He is the rock his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.
1 Sam 22:1 - As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.

These are just two -however, what I saw as I was reading through about 10 of the scripture verses listed is the common theme that God is perfect. His ways are perfect, Christ is the perfect, sin removing sacrifice. Beloved, we aren't the perfect ones. But, we can be noble, we can have virtue. If this passage of scripture was describing The perfect woman - God would have titled it The Wife of Perfection - not The Wife of Noble Character. Sisters - we can't be perfect - perfection will come at the Day of Completion, but we can strive to be noble, to be virtuous. We won't be without sin as our perfect savior Jesus - but we can live in His perfect grace and live out our lives of faith as His Servant of Noble Character!

Bless You and your day!


SeekingHim! said...

Amen sister! Our goodness comes from the Lord! Thanks for sharing!

Shelly said...

Great word sister!

May our imperfections even give glory to the Perfect One as we surrender them to Him, and allow Him to mold us.

Let us release ourselves from such an impossible standard and cease the self-condemnation!