Monday, June 2, 2008

A Rare Treasure...Seek One...or...Be One?

I taught a lesson last Wednesday night in the mothering class that I am teaching on the Proverbs 31 woman. I wanted to post some of that lesson here with some further thoughts.

As the mother of two young sons, I can identify with the advice King Lemuel's mother gave him when he was a boy. I can just picture her taking him onto her lap and ruffling his hair as she kisses him on top of the head. She begins to offer him some nuggets of wisdom. She tells him to avoid loose women, avoid strong drink, and speak up and defend those who cannot defend themselves. The advice is not unlike what Chris and I have already had to discuss with our sons. Just within the last couple of weeks we have already had the alcohol and tobacco discussion complete with pictures on how they can ravage the body.

In verse 1o Lemuel's mother begins her discussion on the type of woman Lemuel should search out as a wife. She dedicates the remaining 21 verses to a description of a wife who would benefit and uplift her husband.

"A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman-who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. Prov. 31:10"
As a future King, Lemuel had no doubt been exposed to kingly riches. But a wife who is capable of running his household, wise enough to be a trusted advisor and godly in character would no doubt be his most treasured possession.
The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil.
She comforts, encourages and does him only good as long as there is life within her."
Proverbs 31:11-12

Am I Chris' most treasured possession? I pray that I am. I am amazed at the change that God has worked in my own heart and mind since we married almost eleven years ago. My heart's desire had always been to be a wife and mother, but God continually works on me, refining me into the woman his inspired word has commanded me to be.

As I read the above verse, I am compelled to examine my life. Does Chris confidently trust in me? Does he trust my commitment to him and our marriage? Does he believe in my commitment to be a wise manager of the living he brings home? Does he trust in my ability to train and nurture our children day by day? Does he trust that I will prepare the very best food and clothing for us that his money will provide?

I think he does. I so desire to bring him comfort and encouragement. I pray that each day I live I will do him more good than the day before. But this takes me dying to myself daily. If I am not extremely careful I can let pride take hold and I begin to live for myself. As soon as I become focused on my own self, my own desires and my own needs, I begin to resent serving others.

I'm not implying that I do not enjoy the occasional break, but when I begin searching for it day in and day out, I begin to resent the family that God has entrusted to my care. I'm reminded of Christ and his disciples withdrawing occasionally for some time alone. Many times the crowd followed and Jesus was always moved with compassion to begin ministering once again. When Christ is my example, I will always strive to minister and serve no matter how weary I may become in my own strength because

"My grace is enough for you; ...for My strength and power are made perfect and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 Amp

Proverbs 31 continues with brief glimpses into the life of a woman who is a true treasure.
is a willing worker
provides the best for her household
is an entrepreneur
is productive when she needs to be
she makes cloth and readies her grain
is prepared for the future
she reaches out to the needy
makes garments and sell them
opens her mouth in wisdom and kindness

A life lived in this manner will be cause for our children to rise and up call us blessed. Our husbands will praise our efforts.

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised!"
Proverbs 31:30

Do I fear the Lord enough to live the life he has commanded that I live?

I not only have two sons that I should encourage with these verses as they seek a wife one day, but I have a daughter that I must prepare to be some special man's treasure.

This was the part that made me think the most. I am afraid many parents are not preparing their daughters to be a treasure one day, instead they are preparing their daughters to seek earthly treasures.

You see, our culture today promotes preparing daughters to go to college and establishing a successful career as goal number one. . This mentality is preparing the daughters of today to believe that college and career are the real treasures in life and marriage and family are only secondary. I have major objections to this line of thinking, because it is simply not in keeping with God's word.

Did I go to college? Yes

Do I think it is wrong for a girl to go to college? Not necessarily. But I would caution parents of daughters today to think about the ramifications of countless dollars and hours spent preparing for a career outside the home. Let's teach our daughters that being a Keeper of the Home has great value because they are not only investing in this life, but eternity as they raise Godly children.
How will we raise Shater to embrace the high calling of being a wife and mother? We are still not entirely sure but living and loving my high calling in front of her will speak much louder than any words.

Still Learning...

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