Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Woman of Valor

Feminine in character, mighty in heart.

The virtuous woman.  I had never looked at this amazing industrious wonder woman described in Proverbs 31 as someone, well, valiant.  Just recently a Bible study revealed that the words virtuous and valor have the same Hebrew word roots and meanings.  Could this mean she had qualities similar to that of the mighty men of valor mentioned throughout the Old Testament?  So started my quest to study out just who these mighty men of valor were and what character traits the virtuous woman had in common with these valor men.  

Mighty men of valor were always about the king's business, at their God appointed leaders side, helping him fight the Lord's battles, and doing the Lord's service. They willingly offered themselves to the Lord for His use. They defended their God, their king, and their homeland. They could be depended on to complete important tasks that required them to be alert, courageous, and timely. They were skilled in what they did and were known for their success in battle.
Now let's change some words from the previous paragraph and wrap our minds around this new meaning we're going to consider. Mighty women of valor, noble character, should always be about their husband's business, at their God-appointed leader's side, helping him fight the Lord's battles, and serving God. They willingly offer their lives to the Lord for His use. Women of valor should defend their position of humble submission and respect to God, their husband, and their home life. They are women who can be depended on to complete important tasks that require alertness, courage, and timeliness at home with their family and in their community. Virtuous women should be skilled at the abilities of a wife, mother, and homemaker that God intended. Women who will be known not for what career status they've accomplished in the world but rather for what they've accomplished on the home-front lines conquering the challenges of each day, proving themselves to be true women.

I had read a book by Kim Meeder called Fierce Beauty. In it she challenged women to be warriors for God. I had wondered if it was appropriate to associate a woman to a warrior, but now I understand that the virtuous woman is a warrior at heart. She is not described as wearing male attire, doing physical combat, acting like a man, nor trying to do a man's job. Instead she is described as a wife and mother, a good steward of her husband's resources, an amazing seamstress, an avid gardener, an early riser, and a wise shopper. This kind of woman is certainly not a wimp nor a lazy couch potato. She is a strong and goal oriented woman.

Wow! Now, for the young ladies reading this, you may be thinking, “Well! This fascinating information is all fine and dandy for maybe my mother, but I'm not married! You're right, and neither am I, but who says it's too early to start preparing now? The family, under the guidance and protection of your parents, is a perfect place to practice. Your brothers and Dad are the perfect men you can practice helping, communicating with, and understanding. I hear you! For some of us it's not as easy! Your Dad may not be someone you look up to.  Your dad may get angry or yell.  There may be some things you want to change about your dad.   He may say unkind things to you.  Perhaps your dad isn't there when your need him most, or his work keeps him away for long periods of time.   When he is home, your dad spends his time watching TV.  Maybe your Dad is not passionate about his relationship with God or he may be lacking the desire to be the leader God intended him to be.  You're not going to like me saying this, and these words threaten to leave a bad taste in my mouth as well. God gave you and me the Dad that is perfect for us. Ouch! Maybe it's time we look and change ourselves.  Sometimes we can be ugly little ladies too.  Yes, your dad may have some bad habits, but you may have habits that need to be changed as well. 

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  
Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 
That it may be well with thee, and thou may live long on the earth."
Ephesians 6:1-3

Then again maybe your Dad really does have a problem. What can you do? First of all pray for him. Prayer makes the biggest impact. It's also hard to not to love someone you're praying for. Second, try to think of at least one thing that you can give him credit for or that you admire about him. If you think of several, that's great! Third, purposely be near him when he's doing something he enjoys or thinks is important. Whether it's just sitting next to him watching a football game for one afternoon, looking underneath a truck hood listening to him rattle off a bunch of vehicle parts, kneeling in the mud handing him tools for the tractor, sitting quietly with him while he's hunting, riding with him places, or eating lunch with him on his break. Now girls, I know some of you like to talk. I'm more quiet so I have an advantage sometimes, but men don't really like to listen to rambling, nonstop chatter. Sure they'll listen to it, but if you're really trying to spend time with your Dad, make your time with him as pleasant for him as possible so he will enjoy your company, even if it means being silent. If he wants to talk. Talk to him. Answer questions short and concise not in story book fashion. Ask him questions about certain things he likes to talk about: whether it's trucks, plumbing, farming, people. You name it. Try to really listen and appear interested in what he says. Trust me, this is good information to have, even if you have no idea what he's talking about, you'll figure it out eventually and I can almost guarantee that you'll pull it out of your memory bank to use one day!

A word about brothers. You may look at them as a pain, Lego fanatics, car-crazy, wrestling show offs, or comedians, but no matter who they are or what they're like, just think, they may get married some day. Yes, there is a girl out there that will love your brother and so should you...with sisterly love that is. God commands it.  

 "If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loves God love his brother also."   
1 John 4:20-21 
"But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another."  
1 Thessalonians 4:9 

Why is it so hard to love our brothers, but so easy to love our friends? We're with each other, sometimes 24/7, so we see each others weaknesses and habits. Guess what, your friends have those too, if you were their sister or brother you may not want to spend time with them anymore. Let's face it. If we can't love our own brothers, our own family members, how can we truly love anyone else, including God? Try praying for your brother and talking to him with courtesy and respect as you would to a friend. The same rules apply to brothers as to dads.

Well ladies. That's what I've been challenged about lately. It is a big work in progress for me. Especially in my tone of voice and words. I'll say something to my Dad or brother and then kick myself thinking, “I just did it again! That wasn't nice or God honoring.” This is where we must ask God to help us. We can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens us!
Hope you all found this as interesting as I did and you had the time to read through all this. Let me know what you think of this post! I would be encouraged to hear what you think, be it criticism or praise!

 "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."
1 John 3:18 

  "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister."
Hebrews 6:10