by Cindy Stiverson
When we see a beautiful woman, we try not to stare. And yet, there is just something within us that wants to take a second look, to identify that special something that makes her so attractive. That's how I am feeling this morning about this beautiful Woman of Virtue. I feel compelled to take a second look at these opening lines of Proverbs 31 before moving on.
I especially love the King James Version of the question that begins our search:
"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." Proverbs 31:10KJV
I love the wording of it. It's so lovely and stately and, well, beautiful! It's worth taking a second look at, because just as the subject matter, the words are stunning! They stop you in your tracks when you read them because you know that if a woman like this should come along, she would stop you in your tracks as well. She would command your attention. She would not be your average Walmart shopper!
But there is something else here that I appreciate. King James uses the word woman instead of wife. Most popular versions of the text address her as wife. The Message is a bit more aimed at the Walmart shopper, losing the loveliness with, "a good woman is hard to find". Sounds a bit rugged for describing someone, as it continues, who is "worth more than diamonds". I guess this good woman in The Message is a diamond in the rough!
Lest I digress, the point I am reaching is that singleness does not exclude us from being a virtuous, valuable, desirable, beautiful woman! So, I don't want our single female friends to check out and think this passage is not for you. Ladies, this is for all of us because, in truth, the King's momma is describing a woman who is already totally at peace within herself before she ever finds a mate. How else would she logically be able to recommend this woman to her son as his bride? She would have to be SINGLE!
What makes this woman so beautiful?
It's what is radiating from within, it's the condition of her "inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." I Peter 3:4
But it's so much more than that! This woman is not needy for a man to fill the hole in her heart. She walks with confidence and inner peace because she is already IN a love relationship!
The love that shaped her in her mother's womb.
The love that called out to Israel.
The love that died for us and cries for us.
This woman is loved by the Creator of the universe, and she knows it in the very innermost part of her being. It is woven into the fiber of her heart and soul. And, because of that, SHE loves! She LoVeS! She LOVES because she knows she is loved. She loves because she has discovered the truth of God's love:
"God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them."IJohn 4:16
And because she has fully embraced God's love, she is empowered by the very LOVE that is required to follow the command of Christ:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength...Love your neighbor as yourself."Mark12:30-31
When I found myself feeling very alone, betrayed, and deserted after my husband's suicide, the words of Isaiah 54 brought healing to my heart. Below is a portion, but take some time to read the entire passage.
"For your Maker is your husband—
the LORD Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
he is called the God of all the earth."
MY PRAYER FOR YOU TODAY:
"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." ~Ephesians 3:14-21