Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

The God-Fearing Woman

Proverbs 31:10,30.

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies… Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” 

The Charming Woman:

There are three common descriptions given to women in today’s Proverb. The first one is favour. This comes from the Hebrew word chen which means grace, favour or charm. In other words, a graceful or charming woman. Charm, King Lemuel says, is deceitful – a lie, deception, disappointment, and a falsehood. Don’t be deceived by a charming woman!

I’m so glad that I’m done with the dating scene. This coming March, my wife and I will be celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary. I don’t miss the dating days at all! When you meet someone new and you are romantically interested in them, an unfortunate thing often happens – both of you will put your best foot forward, trying to impress the other person, and sadly, you don’t really get to know that person well. They might seem charming, but it could be an act.

This is why I think it’s so important for you to get to know a person on a friendship level for an extended period of time before you even consider dating (or courting, whatever you prefer). My wife Liza and I got to know each other in this way and had become best friends for about a year before we ever started dating. In doing so, we had a chance to observe and evaluate the other person’s character without fear of charming deception. It’s a wise thing to do.

The Beautiful Woman:

The second description that King Lemuel gives to a woman is that of beauty. But beauty, he says, is vain – vanity, a vapor, or a breath. In other words, it’s not going to last! How many men have chosen a woman to marry just because she was beautiful, and yet she lacked any sort of inner beauty or godly character? Now, this is not to say that men looking for a wife need to look for someone who’s as ugly as a dog – no! But what it means is that there is something far more important and valuable than an external beauty that will one day fade away, and that is an inner beauty of the character of a woman who fears the Lord.

A God-Fearing Woman:

At the beginning of his poem, King Lemuel asks the question: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” As we come to the end of his treatise, he declares: “A woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” In other words, the ultimate character trait of a virtuous woman is someone who fears and respects the Lord. She not only calls Him Lord, but she also submits her life to Him and His Word. She shuns sin, and strives to live a pure and holy life. And this is the sort of woman who will be praised, and shine brightly!

This is my final devotional post on the Proverbial Thought blog. It has been a joy and a blessing to write alongside of such a great team of men (and one young lady) from around the world, and I wish you all the best as you continue to serve the Lord in every area of your lives. And reader – may you be richly blessed as you put God’s Word first in your life, too!

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The Rejoicing Woman

Proverbs 31:10,25.

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies… Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” (KJV).
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future.” (NLT).

The Strong Woman:

The first thing we learn about our virtuous woman in this verse is that she is strong. Daniel 11:32b declares: “but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” When we take the time to get to know God, and cultivate our personal relationship with Him, we become strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 gets her strength from the Lord.

Do you want to have the strength to serve the Lord, and do everything you need to do today? The key is found in the Bible: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31). Amen!

The Honored Woman:

Not only is a virtuous woman strong, but she is also one who will be honored. Other translations of the Bible render that word honor as dignity, self-respect, beauty and nobility. A little later in King Lemuel’s poem, he writes: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Women who respect God will be honored by others.

And notice that King Lemuel says that she wears her strength and honor like clothing. She doesn’t need fancy clothes or jewelry to look beautiful – her beauty shines from the inside out.

The Rejoicing Woman:

Finally, we see that a virtuous woman shall rejoice in time to come. There is a joy that comes from living a godly, virtuous life that can’t be found anywhere else! It’s unfortunate that many people have bought the lie that anything that’s fun is sinful, and Christians can’t have fun. The Bible says that Jesus came to bring us life, and that more abundantly (John 10:10). One of my favourite Scriptures is Psalm 16:11: “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Do you need more joy in your life? Joy unspeakable and full of glory? The joy of the Lord that is your strength? Then walk in the pathway of life. Live in God’s presence, where there is fullness of joy, and eternal pleasures! As you walk in holiness, happiness is not far behind. You can rejoice in the Lord always. Taste and see that the Lord is good!

p.s. Happy Valentine’s Day!


The Generous Woman

Proverbs 31:10,20.

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies… She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” (KJV). 

The Virtuous Woman:

In Proverbs 31:10-31, we have a portrait of the ideal, perfect, virtuous woman. These are the qualities that a man should look for in a wife, and that a godly woman should strive to be. A woman who attains this character is called a virtuous woman, and the Bible says that she is more valuable than rubies or any precious jewels.

The Generous Woman:

In verse 20, we learn that a virtuous woman is one who is generous – one who stretches out her hand to help the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. This message is so timely for today’s generation! Our whole culture, it seems, promotes selfishness, a ‘me-first’ mentality, get-all-you-can-and-keep-it-for-yourself-ism. Advertising and commercialism tells us: “You deserve it! Get all you can and get it now! Buy, buy, buy! More, more, more!” However, the Bible teaches us that we should be content with what we have, and be generous with the same.

I’m so thankful that I am married to a godly woman who is generous. Sometimes people give her a hard time because she likes to shop, and she likes nice things, but there is nothing selfish about her. Her hearts beats for helping others, and extending her heart and hands to the poor and the needy. Whenever she and I are presented with an opportunity to help someone in need, and we both contemplate how much to give to that person or need, she almost always purposes a higher, more generous amount than I do – to my shame.

Do Whatever You Can!

I’m so thankful that I have a wife who believes that what we have is not our own. We are merely called to be stewards of the resources that the Lord puts into our hands. We tithe our income to the church, sponsor a child through World Vision Canada, and more often than not, have at least one or more people in our home to love and care for. We most recently took in a teenage single mom and her daughter for three months after she gave birth to her baby, to help them get on their feet. I praise the Lord that I have a wife who values generosity as much as I do!

So the challenge – to women and men alike – is for us to be generous. Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters (Gal. 6:10). We should do whatever we can to help the poor and the needy, and share what we have with others. In doing this, we will be letting our good deeds shine before men, bringing honour and glory to our Father in Heaven.


The Diligent Woman

Proverbs 31:10,15.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies… She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.” (KJV). 

The Virtuous Woman:

As we continue through Proverbs 31:10-31, we learn more and more about the ideal virtuous woman. We have already learned that this virtuous woman is valuable (v.10), she is trusted by her husband (v.11), she does good to her husband (v.12), she works hard with her hands (v.13), and she goes the distance to get what her family needs (v.14). In today’s passage, we learn another important fact about this virtuous woman: She is diligent and takes care of her family.

The Diligent Woman:

There are two things that King Lemuel teaches us about the perfect Proverbs 31 woman in this passage: She rises while it is yet night, and she provides food for her household. The fact that she rises while it is yet night tells us that she is diligent: She is not a lazy woman who lies around watching soap operas and eating bonbons (whatever bonbons are!). Rather, she gets up in the morning to take care of her duties in the household.

Secondly, we learn that she provides food for her household. In other words, she takes care of her family. Now, this is not in any way to say that a woman must be a homemaker while her husband has a job outside of the house. There is nothing wrong with a woman wanting to have a career and be in the workforce making a living. However, whether she stays at home or has a job outside of the house, the point is that she contributes her part to taking care of the family – just as her husband also should.

Over and over in the Scriptures, God commends hard work and diligence and condemns laziness and slothfulness. A good wife is diligent and does her part to build her household.


The ABC’s of a Virtuous Woman

Proverbs 31:10.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”

Background to the Poem:

This final passage of Scripture in the Book of Proverbs is actually a 22 verse poem, with each verse beginning with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order from Alpha to Omega. So in a way, you could call this section the “ABC’s of a Virtuous Woman.” Here you will find a description of a valuable, virtuous woman – the kind of wife every woman should strive to be, and every man should strive to find. Here we are going to examine the first verse in this passage:

A Virtuous Woman:

If you compare this translation of Proverbs 31:10 with others, you will find the word virtuous translated as worthy, competent, capable, valiant, excellent, good, noble and with strong character. Here King Lemuel says, “Who can find a virtuous woman?” The question is rhetorical of course, and what he is saying is that it is very difficult to find such a woman.

It is easy to find a charming woman. It is easy to find a beautiful woman. But to find a woman of virtue, with a noble, strong character? Good luck! Later in this passage, King Lemuel writes: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (v.30). Who then is a virtuous woman? A woman who fears the Lord, and obeys His commands.

I Found One!

Before I became a Christian and started following Jesus at the age of 18, I dated many different girls, and I’m ashamed to admit that virtue wasn’t always the first thing I looked for in a girl. But after I gave my life to Jesus Christ, I started looking for a woman who loved the Lord, and had a desire to please Him with her life. I’m happy to say that I found such a woman – Liza Woods. One of the things that attracted me to her was her virtue. She was a beautiful woman on the outside, yes, but on the inside, she had an excellent character that drew me to her.

Liza was 25 years old when we got married on March 25, 1995, and because she had devoted her life to Jesus Christ, she had never been with another man sexually before me. Because she was a virgin when we got married, and she had saved herself for me, I have never had fears or doubts about her faithfulness to me after we got married. For almost 20 years now, my life has been blessed and enriched by having a faithful, righteous, God-fearing woman as my wife. As verse 11 says, “The heart of her husband safely trusts her.” She is a virtuous woman indeed!

Chris & Liza

Chris & Liza

A Valuable Woman:

The second part of this verse tells us that a virtuous woman is worth far more than rubies. Translation? She is valuable! A virtuous woman is a gift and a treasure. And so here is the application to this Proverb: If you are a woman, then strive to be this Proverbs 31 woman. Be a virtuous woman who fears the Lord! And if you are a single man looking for a woman to marry, then seek out a virtuous woman. You’ll never regret a decision like that.


Leaders and Alcohol

Proverbs 31:4-5.

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.” (KJV).

Confusion Surrounding Alcohol:

There is a huge debate that is going on within the Christian community surrounding the use of alcohol. On one side are those who say that Christians should never drink alcohol, period. They like to quote Scriptures like Proverbs 20:1: “Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise” and Ephesians 5:18: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” They preach that all alcohol use is evil and sinful.

On the other side are those who say that it’s okay for Christians to drink as long as they do so in moderation. They quote Scriptures like Psalm 104:14-15: “He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the service of man, That he may bring forth food from the earth, And wine that makes glad the heart of man” and talk about how Jesus drank wine, and turned water into wine at a wedding (John 2:1-11).

(Then, of course, there are the liberals who say: “We’re under grace, not law, so Christians can eat, drink, be merry, and get drunk if they want to!” But they’re idiots, so we won’t consider their claims here).

What Does the Bible Say?

Although the Bible is abundantly clear that drunkenness is a sin, and that it can ruin your life (see Proverbs 23:29-35 and Isaiah 5:11), there are no Scriptures that explicitly forbid the consumption of alcohol in moderation. However, it does have a lot to say to leaders and their use of alcohol.

  • The Apostle Paul said that those who are called to be leaders in the church must not be given to much wine, or not heavy drinkers (1 Timothy 3:8).
  • In Leviticus, the Bible says that those who are called to the priesthood must not drink wine or intoxicating drink (10:8-10).

In today’s Proverb, there is a warning against kings or princes drinking wine or strong (alcoholic) drinks. The reason given for this warning is that if they drink alcohol, then they will forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Or, as Eugene Peterson says, “they don’t know right from wrong, and the people who depend on them are hurt.” (Message). Simply put, a leader who drinks alcohol will not be able to lead well.

The Leadership Challenge:

The challenge then to leaders is this: Although under the new covenant of grace, all things may be lawful for us, but not all things are beneficial. And if you are called to be a leader, alcohol will impair your ability to lead well. So, to be a good steward of your leadership gifting and calling, make a decision to say no to alcohol, and be the best leader you can be!


A Bug’s Life

Proverbs 30:24-25.

“There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer.” (KJV).

ants

Little Ants:
In this passage of Scripture, we are about to be introduced to four little things, each one which will teach us an important lesson about life. Today’s first little thing is the ants. Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve been introduced to these little bugs. Solomon first referenced them earlier in Proverbs:

“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8).

Wise Ants:
What do we learn about the ants? Even though they are little, they are wise. Even though they don’t have a captain, overseer or a boss, they gather their food and supplies to last them throughout the winter. That’s wisdom!

That’s amazing! Ants are bugs. Insects. The littlest, most insignificant of all of God’s creation. And yet, even without a mind or a soul, they are sometimes wiser than people! We would do well to look at the ant and learn a lesson from its life – if you can call it that.

Be the Bug:
In today’s Proverb, Agur adds some wisdom to what Solomon has previously taught us about the ants. He says that even though ants are not strong, they are wise and they plan ahead. What a great example for us! We might not be strong – and hey, we might not even be wise – but if we trust God and His Word and His wisdom, we can plan and prepare for the future. We can seek God’s wisdom and guidance from the Holy Scriptures every day, and avoid some of the pitfalls of life.

Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Likewise, Joshua 1:8 says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” If you want to live a bug’s life – planning for the future, then get into God’s Word.

For over twenty years now – since I first gave my life to Jesus Christ – I have endeavored to live my life in obedience to God’s Word. And although I haven’t done it perfectly, I can testify that it has brought me joy, hope, peace and provision that I wouldn’t have had if I had neglected God’s Wisdom.

Be wise. Be prepared. Be the bug!