She gives food to her household and an allotted share to her maidens. Proverbs 31:15
I managed a women clothing store for two years. It was an interesting experience to say the least. There was a lot of butt checking, arm wiggling, and tummy tucking. There was a great deal of comments like, “I’d never wear that” and “But you should…”
During my time there, my little store did fashion shows. We would take eight volunteers and dress them up in three different outfits each and then allow them to parade through a crowd of other women who were all wishing they knew how to put together outfits like these. We all had a good time. At the beginning of the fashion show all the newly named models were prim and proper. Buy round two, a few began to sashay. And on the final round, there was undoubtably be one or two who felt the need to show off their chorus line moves. It was all great fun.
One of the last events that I did was for a large… as not to offend anyone, lets say… Organization. It’s one of those Organization where large numbers of people go on a Sunday morning and fewer attend Organizational Meetings throughout the week. These newly named models who attend this Organization unanimously won the ‘nastiest group we’ve ever encountered’ award. It was a new award as we had never needed it before.
As a writer, I could go in many different directions with this topic. But the one that blasted like a fog horn in my ears is taken from a Proverb called the Virtuous Woman. It’s the famous one; where the woman gets up before dawn, is wise in her business dealings, tends to her children’s needs for which they in-turn rise up and call her blessed; all while her well known husband sits at the city gates. Ya, that one.
There is a one liner in this well known Proverb that tells us this rare woman cares for her servants. Most of us would say we don’t have servants but would admit we would like a few.
I consider this question of who are our servants and realized they are all around us.
I believe its the person who checks me out at the grocery store, or the teacher who spends eight hours a day with my grandchildren. It’s the kid who takes my dry cleaning and young women who writes down my order and dutifully serves me my food. It’s the guy who has been assigned to answer my customer service call, and the barista who hands me my latte. These are my modern day servants. According to this Proverb, I need to care for my servant’s needs and watch out for their wellbeing.
How do I do that from the other side of the counter? That’s simple. It’s with kindness, gentleness and self-control. Be gracious. Be complimentative. Be present for them in the few short moments you are together. Making their life, day, or just moment better because they encountered someone who truly cares. Care more about them rather what they can do for you. Do it even when you’ve encountered some of the nastiest people ever.
I remind myself every day that I am to care for my servants, no matter where they work. After all, my children need a reason to call me blessed and my husband needs something to talk about while he sits all day at the gate.
Servants, I Have Many is taken from a study on Proverbs 31 titled, Moxy 31. These lessons have been recorded and can be found on youtube.
Audio Lesson: https://youtu.be/1kyVPYuurX8
Each year I find myself revisiting Proverbs 31. It’s been a proverb that I have loved and read since a teen. Back then, this Proverb was all about being the perfect wife – HA!- the perfect wife only exists when there is a perfect husband – HA!HA!
In my 30’s it spoke to me on a new level. It became a guide on how to manage a crazy life and pretend that you have it all. Honey, only 30 year olds believe they can have it all. HA!HA!HA!
In my 40’s, Moxy started to shine a new light on the importance of building character, being a strong, courageous woman, and living without fear.
In my 50’s Moxy has become a good friend, a wise old woman who has hidden secrets that she reveals when she feels like it or when the reader is finally listening.
A few months ago I was going to start a study on her at our church, but one thing led to another and it was postponed until fall. Somewhere between writing the workbook and trying to figure out childcare for those attending the study, the idea of recording each week snuck in.
So here it is; Moxy, A Study of Proverbs 31. Twenty lessons on a woman who I adore. So pour yourself a drink, turn on your favorite background music, get comfy, and take a listen. She will not disappoint.
jeanniegb YouTube Channel:
Down through history, this proverb has been minimized to describing the perfect wife. If that is what you are looking for, you will certainly find her tucked away in these verses. But Proverbs 31 is so much more than that. It is a detailed description of all that a woman can be. It is an artists rendering of a portrait of the ultimate woman, of all she is capable of, of all she can attain. The woman described in Proverbs 31 is a woman I call Moxy: she’s a force of character, determination, courage and nerve.
These 20 studies examines, perhaps, the most ‘put together’ woman on record. Moxy has it all and does it all. She’s a partner, a parent, a business woman, an adventurer, an explorer and traveler.
I fell in love with her the first time I met her. I’ve studied her character since I was a teen. I plan to become her, even if it will take the rest of my life to do so.
At the beginning of Proverbs 31, Queen Mum is giving instruction about what kind of woman her son should seek in a partner. She wasn’t saying “find this wife and take her from her current husband”. She was describing the qualities required to be a wife, mother, and partner. She was describing a woman first, a woman worthy of being her son’s partner.
We get caught up in all of her successes of a dutiful wife, but that is not the Queen Mum’s intent. She was saying, look for these qualities in a woman.
We start as a woman. We are an individual with a brain, a soul, a heart, and a purpose – according to Queen Mum – that purpose is to be the best woman we can be. Isn’t this what we desire for our daughters, and for our sons? Isn’t this the kind of woman we want to be friends with, be in partnership with, be in business with? Isn’t this who we desire to become?
I pray that you find the desire to become a woman of valor. May you walk each day knowing that you are becoming everything you were intended to be. May you lack for nothing, and may you know where your strength comes from. May your children rise up and call you blessed and may your praises be song at the gates. And if some day we are fortunate enough to meet, I trust we will know in our souls that we are kindred sisters, we are woman of valor.
This concludes our look into the character of a woman of valor. Thanks for following!
Her children rise and call her fortunate; her husband praises her.
This is where the saying, they will rise up and call her blessed comes from. Heard many children speaking to their parents recently? There’s not a lot of rising up and blessings going on. It’s rare. Just as rare as our women of valor. Perhaps there is a connection.
Ever observed someone boasting about their partner? It too is rare, but when it happens, it catches other’s attention. There are few greater feelings than to meet your partner’s co- worker for the first time and be informed that you are spoken highly of. It makes you feel like a priceless pearl.
Many women have acquired wealth, but you surpass them all.
The rewards of being a woman of valor are tangible and intangible. Wise business woman make profits, they acquire wealth. It takes money to buy silk and wool and wear purple gowns. However, it’s the intangible ones that really matter. They are priceless. They are worth any effort required in becoming a woman of valor.
Charm is false and beauty is futile; a God-fearing woman is to be praised.
Interesting that this is the only reference to God in the entire proverb. It’s also interesting that the only reference to God is simple and uncomplicated. God-fearing. Not God-consumed, or God-controlled, or God-busy. Nope – just God-fearing.
Give her the fruits of her hands, and her deeds will praise her in the gates.
In the end, all the blessings and praise and wealth are extra. This woman is content with the fruits of her labor. The others are nice to have and nice to hear, but they don’t define her. She is satisfied knowing that she has given her best, enjoyed some success, and learned from her failures.
Her deeds stand on their own and they bring her praise. This praise comes from a specific place, it comes from those sitting in the gates. Who is sitting at the gates? The city elders. Not a bad group to be singing your praises.
Moxy – Where are you? We need you?
You are what makes our world better!!!