While I realize things have changed radically in the past century, I believe in God’s order of things. He created men in a certain way, and women in a certain way. This is not to say He created robots – we always have a choice. But, in general, women have some natural abilities, some nurturing abilities and the desire (if it has not been squelched) to create a home and to care for it. This job, this position is one of the hardest and most demanding jobs there is. It really can’t be done to its fullest potential without being committed and submitted to God.
I am not a Biblical scholar, but I can read the tools at my disposal. For much of what I say here, I will be getting my information from blueletterbible.org They give Hebrew and Greek meanings to the words in Scripture, helping to make it understandable to us. So, let’s meet the Proverbs 31 woman! I know so many women don’t like her, but I tend to think she is misunderstood. And because she doesn’t have a name, and I don’t want to refer to her as ‘she’ all the time, I’ll be calling her Ruby, because of the comparison to rubies in her description.
One thing to remember, this woman – Ruby – never actually existed. Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, wrote this to him, as a description of the perfect woman for him to take as a wife. For those of us with sons, perhaps we may have written something similar? And before we get started, please don’t take my word for anything. Investigate for yourself. Look up these verses yourself, and make use of the Blue Letter Bible website. If you have different thoughts about anything I write, please don’t hesitate to bring them up. 🙂
Starting with verse 10 of Proverbs 31, “Who can find a virtuous (army) wife? For her worth (value) is far above rubies (a precious stone).” In parenthesis, I wrote the Hebrew meaning. Here’s an interesting bit of information – all three words (army, value and precious stone) are masculine nouns. This woman was no wishy-washy, weakling doormat under her husband’s thumb – she was strong.
- Virtuous – army. Really? This reference to an army took a little bit of thought on my part, but eventually I understood. An army is disciplined, obedient, ready and trained. The General says Go, they Go, and they know what to do. We tend to think of virtuous as having to do with morals. Merriam-Webster says, “a: conformity to a standard of right: morality. b : a particular moral excellence
But it means much more than that. The Hebrew word also covers, “strength, efficiency, wealth.” Strength appears to mean physical strength. You need a bit of this to take care of a home 🙂 Efficiency is also a needful thing – don’t waste resources. Wealth! Would that we all came with a big dowry, but alas, most of us just have what we have. Remember the days of the hope chest? I didn’t look too far into wealth, because there is so much to glean from this verse, but if you have insight into what wealth this is talking about, please let us know. I can envision a wealth of knowledge, of friends, and so on. It may have little to do with money.
- Worth – value. This is not demeaning as we may think of it. This wife – if you can find her – has value. She will add value to his life, she will bring value with her in her knowledge, her training and her qualifications for the job if you will.
- A Precious stone. And here is where the full truth of it comes in, Ruby’s full worth in the eyes of her husband. It means exactly what it says – a precious stone. And in this case, it is rubies. In Proverbs 3:15, ruby’s are compared with wisdom, “She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.” (the she and her are referring to wisdom) Our Proverbs 31 woman has worth far above rubies. Wisdom is more precious than rubies. Do you see the correlation?
These things are not meant to puff us up with pride, but rather, they should humble us as we strive to fill this position in life. A homemaker is far more than a housekeeper and a babysitter. A woman who is a homemaker is wise, strong, efficient, wealthy, disciplined and trained.
This week, think and pray about these things. I can tell you right now, that last sentence (A woman who is a homemaker is wise, strong, efficient, wealthy, disciplined and trained.) does not define my life as a homemaker. I’m lacking in every area. On Friday, I’ll be talking about each of those things in relation to our home. On Monday, I’ll move on to verse 11.
I do encourage you to comment. It’s okay to disagree, just be respectful. 🙂