Proverbs 30-What?

"Honestly, have YOU EVER TRIED TO SHEAR A SHEEP, spin the wool into thread, and design clothing for your entire family IN ONE DAY?"

SOME MORNINGS I feel like the Proverbs 31 woman, only more modern and completely incapable of doing one thing she does. And so I fall back on the thought, Since I can't possibly be her, I have no ability to bob and weave, that that Scripture is the most outlandish one of all. Since when is virtue tied to any of those things? The woman’s working her can off. Meanwhile, her husband's sitting in the gate, nodding his grizzled head, the children, little olive plants around his table.

I had a revelation once about these verses that solved the conundrum for me, and it involved the word VIRTUOUS. To be VIRTUOUS is the same word used of King David when he was young and sporting, only because he is a man, it was called VALOR. Yes, ladies, they King Jamesed our COURAGE right out of us, slapped us in a purple gown and put a spinning wheel in our hands.

Honestly, have YOU EVER TRIED TO SHEAR A SHEEP, spin the wool into thread, and design clothing for your entire family IN ONE DAY?

Okay, maybe that was a bit sarcastic, but the word etymology is true. So if a woman is VIRTUOUS then she is also full of VALOR, and if a man is full of VALOR, then He's also supposed to be VIRTUOUS. There is no double standard, only a difference in gender, and as it reads, a bit out of date. But did you know God is actually aware of what the modern woman can-do slash is allowed-to-do? With, of course, the huge exception of pregnancy, which a man cannot do either physically or mentally. (Insert man in one of those pregnant outfits undergoing faux labor pains. Let's all have a moment, women.)

It takes courage to be a woman at any age. God asks faith and patience and love for one another of all of us. It takes virtue to stand for His morality in the face of culture that screams otherwise. We are old fashioned. Weak. Submissive. (Tires screeching.) Have to stop you there because we are all supposed to submit. As any gender TO GOD. As anyone, to one another and to authorities placed over us. As wives we submit to our husbands. And here's the reason — because they are supposed to love us like Christ, and as much as (to the same quantity that) they love themselves. They have a role to play and to play willingly. We submit to them because love like that brings out the best in us.

I realize this seems like a tremendous ideal, and it is. But submission is done under the strength of self-control and patience and, often, in faith, all of which come through the Holy Spirit. We are to walk in the Spirit and be led by Him to behaviors which bring out the best in us. Male or female. Husbands and wives who choose to model the strength of VIRTUE and VALOR that seems outmoded but really isn't. What people see in us sets an ideal that, believe it (there’s no “or not”), draws them to Christ, and that, for some, in today’s day-and-age, who are confused by the roles God created, is life changing. We plant the Seed God has grown in us into their lives, and He gives the increase.

So hike up that skirt, women, hold your candles up high, and set out to market! We have girdles to sell with a smile on our face and rejoicing in our work. We'll plant the vineyard later. Chop chop! Honestly, some days, that man. I have to do everything around here ....

“Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” (Hebrews 11:11)

God has announced your destiny, but it is only accomplished by the ache of the heart that causes me, like a Hannah, to cry out for a child when I am barren. She cries out, and it wasn’t until she was able to mirror the anguish in God’s heart … She wanted a son. God wanted a prophet. And when she mirrored the ache of His heart for a prophet, that’s when the two met, and God granted her what she requested. | Bill Johnson

Suzanne D. Williams, Author