For the last three assignments – from Abigail to Bathsheba and now Jezebel – my mind would want to ‘park’ at the virtuous woman beautifully described in Proverbs 31.
With Abigail, we saw her resourcefulness epitomized the Proverbs 31 woman’s charitableness (She is known by her extravagant generosity to the poor, for she always reaches out her hands to those in need. v 20)
In Bathsheba’s life it was a mother’s wisdom of what godly womanhood looked like. Bible historians believe Solomon’s Proverb is the poem Bathsheba taught him. (Her teachings are filled with wisdom and kindness.. v 26)
And…Jezebel, by all means, was the total contrast of a God-fearing woman.
Today, our culture’s perspective of an ideal woman is strikingly different from scripture. Mostly, it ascribes to women having certain qualities and/or behaviors men possess.
As women, our divine design and uniqueness is for purpose; so why would we desire to be anything other than God’s design for us?
There is much to be said for women now having a “place at the table,” especially in the political and business worlds. And, those seats can be filled with women who live virtuously and who lead confidently knowing their identity is in Christ.
In the book, “Understanding the Purpose and Power of Woman,” the late Dr. Myles Munroe examined society’s attitudes toward women and the challenges most women encounter. His belief that women of every culture were facing the dilemma of identity was the driving force behind his writing the book. Dr. Munroe’s, “Understanding the Purpose and Power of Woman,” gives women a new awareness of who they are and provides us with new skills to meet today’s challenges.
In the conclusion of Dr. Munroe’s book, he stated that no book about the purpose and power of women would be complete without discussing the woman who is considered the epitome of womanhood and power. He wrote, “Proverbs 31 gives tremendous perspective on what a woman is TO BE. And, to not become overwhelmed reading all that the woman does that you miss the central message of who she IS“:
- She knows that she is to trust God and draw her strength from Him so that she will not be paralyzed by anxiety; her family and others with whom she is in relationship with will be able to put their confidence in her; they will know she has their best interests in mind (vv. 11-15)
- She knows that God values her abilities and intelligence, and she is free to pursue opportunities and make plans for expanding her realm of influence (vv. 16-18, 24)
- She knows that God is her ultimate Source and desires to bless her, sets about her work with energy and anticipation. She has a good attitude and doesn’t complain (v.17)
- Since God has blessed her, she desires to be a blessing to others, and she reaches out to those less fortunate than she (v. 20)
- Because she knows her worth comes from her position in God, she treats herself with respect (v. 25)
- She has immersed herself in God’s Word in order to know His ways, and therefore she is able to give godly wisdom and instruction to others. She honors Jesus with her life (v. 26).
- Because she has come to know the God of all encouragement, she is an encouragement to her husband, children, friends, and coworkers and invest herself in their lives (v. 28)
Dr. Munroe’s final remarks are crucial reminders for today’s aspiring Proverbs 31 woman. He said the world tells women to prove their worth by what they can accomplish — by how much they are doing for others and/or how many activities they are involved in. Dr. Munroe encouraged that the Bible tells us to accept our worth in the One who loves us. His final encouragement was for women to accept the freedom given in Christ; and to develop the creative ideas and to use the many gifts and talents God has placed within them.
“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. it’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike, “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.” Romans 8:15
So, as the world beckons us to prove our worth by what we accomplish, let us BE the Proverbs 31 women who live in the power of knowing our worth is in the One who loves us. And, let us boldly celebrate our design and uniqueness and unapologetically, live it out before the world.