8.16.2018

A most excellent study with my girls!


My COMMITTED girls!
We just started a fantastic study on the Proverbs 31 woman.
Our pastor chose this chapter as his text for Mother's Day, and it was one of the BEST sermons I have ever heard preached on this icon of virtue. Often, when women hear the phrase "Proverbs 31 Woman" they groan. Audibly. Why? Because she is held up as the standard for all women, and not just any standard, a perfect, unrealistic, and unattainable standard. So we walk away feeling discouraged and disheartened after comparing ourselves to her because, in the comparison, we are found wanting.
But not this time!
Our pastor did a superb job communicating that a) she was not a real woman, but an ideal created by a mother for her beloved son, b) the character qualities we see in her are qualities every Christian should possess whether married, single, male, or female, and c) her attributes should be seen as virtues to strive for, emulate, and rejoice over - not used to compare and despair.

When the girls and I met together in June, we discussed the sermon at length, including our convictions and desire for making purposeful, tangible efforts to grow and mature in the areas for which this woman is praised. After a lively discussion, we decided to pull the sermon apart and study each main point. Instead of listening to the sermon one time, calling it terrific, and moving on with life, we are going to dissect it, point by point, verse by verse until we know this woman so well we feel like she is one of our best friends!

The next seven months will be well spent studying this passage in depth as we ask the Lord to reveal to us where we need to grow and encourage us where fruit is already evident. And the best part is - we will do it TOGETHER! ❤

The monthly assignment:
- listen to the entire sermon
- listen (again) to the specific point we are studying
- record the areas in which you already see success
- record the areas in which you need to grow and mature

The first study - VIRTUE.

She is strong in character in all facets of her life
She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. v. 17
She is a woman of commitment - honor - strong opinions
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. v. 25
Virtuous is translated "able or capable" - powerful, strong, admirable, competent
Her commitment to character is directed to her husband and family, and their lives are enriched because of her
She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. v. 12
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her ... v. 28
She adds reassurance and riches to her husband
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. v. 11
She adds to his reputation
Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. v. 23
 This husband excels because he has an exceedingly good wife
 She is strong - she is spiritual - she is a substantial woman
 She is her husband's cheerleader, advisor, lover, helper
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Genesis 2
✽ She is his helper
✽ She is his equal
She is discerning - she is wise
A virtuous wife uses her strength and excellence to benefit her husband and her children
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” v. 28, 29

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31: 10-31

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