An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Excellence Is Gender Neutral

(Proverbs 31:10 KJV)  Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Is this a rhetorical question?  If this chapter had been written by Solomon I could see a bit of humor in this line, but verse one tells us Lemuel wrote it.  I think there is a bit of the idealistic hope being expressed.  It would be an interesting exercise to go through this passage and see how these qualities apply to us husbands.  I would be willing to guess that most of the qualities are also important for men to bring to the marriage.  I offer that as an attempt to help us all grow, not as an attempt to be gender neutral.

We see that an “virtuous” (excellent NASB) (2428) “woman” (wife NASB) (802) is a gift of God.
(Proverbs 19:14 KJV)  House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
“Virtuous” (excellent NASB) (2428) is different from the prudent of Proverbs 19:14.  There are a number of different adjectives used to modify the women in our lives.  At the other extreme are things like contentious.  When the negative adjectives are used the word is translated “woman” in the NASB instead of “wife,” but it is the same word.  Don’t get consumed by the nuances at first, look at the big picture and see what God wants us to become.

How does this relate to most of us?  I would venture to guess than many of us are already married.  It is a little late to get a shopping list of qualities we want in a mate.  We also face the danger of trying to apply a standard to others that we are not willing to live up to ourselves.  I would suggest that as you read through this chapter that you not use it as a standard to find fault with your spouse but a description of the character we ourselves should be developing.

So?  If you are like me, this list is humbling.  I can see that I am in the minor leagues.  The glory of it is that the Holy Spirit will be working on us all of our lives, honing, sanding, tweeking, in a word, sanctifying.  But remember it is hard to wash a child’s ears if he won’t sit still.  Read, learn and make yourself available.

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