Monday, May 11, 2020

The Proverbs 31 Woman

Today begins the family series which we've been doing about 30 years.

Message = The Proverbs 31 Woman, or The Virtuous Woman
or, A Wife of Noble Character, etc.

The passage = an Acrostic Poem  (22 lines/verses) which makes it
(1)  Memorable (in Hebrew!)
(2) Slightly (and intentionally) exaggerated!!  (for proper emphasis/to give due recognition and honor)
(3)  Universally applicable

Prov. 31:10-31

#1.  this = poetic tribute to a Real woman  (not fantasy, not make believe)
Therefore, this woman also experiences 'bad days'!!
(short temper, depression, anxiety, anger!!  Rom. 3:23 - real woman in a real world!

#2.  This = a poetic tribute to a particular type of woman.  The text is NOT primarily about abilities and activities.... but about her character.
Example:  not about spinning wool, making clothes.  But about a type, kind of woman!!  Don't have to duplicate her acts!

Traits that describe her:
She's a.....
#1.  Worker - scripture places high value on this!  Bible = woman who serves not who has lots of servants.
Hence "the Protestant work ethic"

#2.  Manager of her household!  her realm!!

#3.  Edifier (one who builds up) - an enhancer; a builder of people!!! -
Note:  her husband respected Partly due to her character.  Rarely is a man considered wise if he has a foolish wife.
Prov. 14:1 - "touchstone verse" - foolish woman tears down
This NOT always easy;  requires discipline and effort and self-denial

#4.  Teacher ... Prov. 31:26 - she speaks with "loving instruction, gentle wisdom" - is not about Homeschooling.  Is about life schooling.
Note:  Prov. 31:1-9

#5.  A model of character, not appearance  (Prov 11:22)
A model to sons and daughters, a model to other young people - of what a wife and mother should look like!  When woman is this kind of model, has more to model at age 70 that at age 25!

#6.  Woman of faith - thought not prominent in the text ... it is (nevertheless) a given  - Prob. 31:30
Faith = foundation of who she is.  This is right, this is Godly.
#7.  A testimony TO the faith!! - be yourself but build on the same foundation as this woman.

APPLICATION - pretty simple

I.  Ladies - wife, mom, or NOT ... these - characteristics of "a woman of excellence"
So... don't strive to do these exact things,
But, strive to be this Kind of woman  (Character!!)
Prov. 14:1 - wise woman builds ... her family, her legacy!!

II.  Men ... have you got a lady like this?
Then should (A) Praise God!!  Prov. 19:14 - prudent wife is from the Lord
           and   (B) Support her - with praise, encouragement, opportunity, assistance to be all she can be

"A woman's self-esteem generally determined by 2 men in her life ... ie:  her father and her 1st. husband!!
You can choose to be her anchor (and hold her down) or her Sail! (to help her go further)

III.  Kids - on one hand parents job is to 'edify' kids.
However, kids can have a part in edifying parents!!
Example:  The 1st. word in the second tablet (of the Ten Commandments) #5 - Deut. 5:16 'honor your father and mother' - with Eph. 6:1-3
Choose ... to be her anchor or her Sail!!

IF you aspire to be (come) a woman of Excellence
                                            man of Excellence
                                            child of Excellence
THEN you can grow, develop, improve with Self-Help  (many resources available)

But:  here at OBC as we promote man and family... we will promote:

            (1)  Jesus as Personal Savior and Lord - (redemption, reconciliation, restoration, indwelling of Holy Spirit, etc.)
Can never reach full potential of what we were created to be apart from Christ.

            (2)  Scripture as God's Recorded Revelation to us.  (this = handbook, playbook, roadmap)

            (3)  the Biblical Model
Will NOT always line up with the current, secular model.
BUT = God's Unchanging blueprint and plan for man and family.

           (4)  the Christian Lifestyle
This is more than philosophy, more than theory ... = Lifestyle and Behavior!!

           (5)  The Local Church -
the place of Christian gathering - corporate worship
                                              -  fellowship with bros. and sisters in Christ
                                              -  learning  (growth)

You can have a good (great) Marriage and Family without this.
BUT, the Best is found in God's will and way!!

No comments: