Proverbs 31:10 - A wife of noble character who can find?
Proverbs 31:10 - A wife of noble character who can find?According to http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/noble, NOBLE is defined as-adjective
1.distinguished by rank or title.
2.pertaining to persons so distinguished.
3.of, belonging to, or constituting a hereditary class that has special social or political status in a country or state; of or pertaining to the aristocracy.
4.of an exalted moral or mental character or excellence; 5.admirable in dignity of conception, manner of expression,execution, or composition: a noble poem.
6.very impressive or imposing in appearance; stately;magnificent: a noble monument.
7.of an admirably high quality; notably superior; excellent.8.famous; illustrious; renowned
Women have a delicate, sweet surrender in the way we stretch our arms toward heaven for God's perfect will in our lives like a toddler reaching for those initial steps toward a loving parent. We must stretch our thoughts and our minds toward what makes us admirably high quality according to standards which God lays out for us through His word. These are the things that sets us apart as renowned, excellent and illustrious - we can only be these things when we exist in Christ. When I think about the importance of dignity within conception I think of my children. My sons are 5 and 6 years old. They are certainly my greatest gift and definitely were admired from the moment they were created in my womb, they are forever honorable to me and I admire their presence. What makes them amazing to me is not that they did anything special other than just being born. As a result, I am reminded of one very clear reality; every woman should have a goal to be born into who we are in God in a submissive sense beyond the grace of just being born, beyond the place of just being cute and getting by in life. A woman must have a standard that makes her a lady and that standard is built on nobility in the things of God. She need not have the smallest waste, roundest hips or be thin as nails. She must only be born again into the joy, peace and love of God in order for her distinguishing characteristics to reveal a hereditary standard of excellence.
Quite naturally, being born into God takes hard work. It takes a form of submittance that many of us take for granted because we are relying on being the independent women and doing things for ourselves. It is important that we are empowered and also that we are required to be submitted to God so that He can teach us how to exist in Him and trust Him for all that we need to become. God is the one who provides our needs, we have to honor God by appreciating His presence, His love and His role in our lives. Part of stepping into our role as noble women is to first accept that God is the one who we are ultimately impressing, not a man, a woman or any other individual. Our first commitment is to Him and Him ALONE. So when we wake up each morning, let's make an effort to seek out God in ourselves. Talk to God each morning and even before bed at night. Let's keep ourselves tidy, well-groomed and neat, so that God may be pleased with the fragrance of our love for ourselves and in-turn, our love for Him. Throw away the moo moo dresses and the unfortunate two sizes too, small outfits where many of us find comfort. It is true that when you know better, you should do better. I am not insisting that everyone dress their best as much as I am saying be your personal best and if your best does not include a moo dress, throw it away.
I appreciate the wisdom of my elders much more today because I understand the path that must be set for me to be here to be here at this moment, and it is certainly not an easy path to take. Something my late Grandma Irma used to say is that "there was a time when women wore a slip, stockings, a full dress and some nice shoes just to go up the road to the local market". There was a time when women truly carried dignity in the attitude of their outward personality and not in the desire to please people. In addition to having integrity and dignity in the upkeep of ourselves, there is also an identical standard in how we interact with those around us. I have not grown fond of hearing the 'female dog' term as one which a few women use to refer to each other. It is an unfortunate occurrence, whether men or women use the term or not. When God created heaven and earth, day and night, the animals and every living creature, He made Adam(man) & Eve(woman) ruler over ALL living things. Therefore, why have we found a way to degrade ourselves to the standard of an animal, our subordinate species? Whatever reason you have painstakingly gathered in your thoughts; consider this, In Deuteronomy 32:9 it is written, "For the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. (10) He found him in a desert land, and the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye." The theory of being the apple of God's eye is not a mild one, it's a standard in which to cling toward God's view of His people. If God views you as far above rubies and the apple of His eye, and we allow ourselves to be referred to as less than that, we have already stepped away of the definition God has already used to define who we are designed to be.
Another aspect that I would be amiss not to address is the poise of nobility in how we address men. There is a standard in how an unmarried woman should address an unmarried man. The standard is one of humility, self-identity and posture. You are a woman of excellence, so behave that way! Let's not throw ourselves into the faces of men simply because they exist in our space. Allow a man to seek after you which is the way a courtship is intended. A woman should allow a man to ask her to date him. I know about the whole modern initiative of many women who find their own man and then even ask their own man to marry them however, roles are in place for a reason. Going against the natural roles is like playing russian roulette with your future, you just never know what you are going to get! We have to also acknowledge the perception of many women who say, "what if he never asks"? If he never asks and you go and ask him, he may be forever left with the impression that you are going to take the lead within the entire relationship. That you may be comfortable taking care of him instead of the natural order of courtship. When we disturb roles, we disturb order and that causes dysfunction, thus the first fall at the Garden of Eden. I would just suggest allowing a man to be a man and just like his interest in sports, his career, and his car, he will pursue an interest in you if it is a genuine interest. Just because he is unmarried and you are unmarried does not allow a rite of passage for sex. Too many christian women are allowing ourselves to fall into a marriage before marriage posture is in place (usually one has a posture of marriage after they have taken vows) and finding ourselves at the prey of those of whom we have prematurely shared our treasures. Sex is a very sacred experience designed for covenant extended relationship. Women are made to receive and Men are made to give, our bodies are naturally designed that way. Therefore, if you allow a man to give to you his manhood and then he takes it away to another house, a different residence where he lives, and keep coming back to you, he has no justifiable reason to have a covenant with you. If you are made to receive, your security, your emotions and your identity within the relationship will more frequently be attached to whether he is really faithful, really loves me, and am I really the one. With a covenant, these questions have answers and even in a mistake there is room for healing through repentance, counseling, etc. Something my Mom still says is, "why would he buy the cow when he can get the milk for free". The statement is just as true today as it has always been. We have to stop giving away our treasure expecting for a man to value what we bring to the table when we are not setting a standard for God's priceless possessions - which is you.
If we think that casual sex does not affect us we have been lying to ourselves so long, we don't recognize it. Speaking of which, it is far more difficult to see the signs and red flags of an unhealthy relationship while the endorphins, hormones etc. associated with sex are raging. It is like adding a little more paint to the Mona Lisa, it is just fine the way it is designed to be. Don't try to add more to the courtship process than what belongs which is a set of pleasant, loving, nurturing experiences - good fun with a man who is willing to show you why you should pick him to spend your life with and cares enough about you to be better and help you to do the same. Your job is to be your best, be encouraging, be fun, be Christ driven and most importantly, be prayerful but be who God created you to be. We must to stay glued to God in order to know if the person who is there is the person God sent. Let discernment be your guide, it is POWERFUL. Noble Character is not just in our appearance and in the words we speak, but in our actions as well.
There is also a standard in how an unmarried woman should address a married or unavailable man. Let me just be clear, a man who is married or exclusively dating someone is unavailable. Here is why, if a man is married it means that he has taken a public covenant to share his bed, his life and his name with another woman. It is not for you to decide if he is about to get a divorce or if the spouse treats him badly or any of the other interesting stories he tells you about her. Entertaining a married man leaves opportunity for sin, heartache, heartbreak and unnecessary pain that God did not intend for you to experience. If a man really serious about a serious relationship, he will wait until he is divorced before approaching you in the first place. If a man is exclusively dating someone for any extended period of time, its different for everyone but I would say that there has been some form of emotional investment made and and vice versa. Why women allow ourselves to be involved in competing for the affection of a man when God has a man already set aside, is once again setting ourselves up for hurt. If a man is not mature enough to tell you he is seeing someone, integrity is already a red flag. A woman of character and excellence has to have standards. Our interaction with a married man should be minimal at best and limited to small talk and cordially respectful conversation. Even our working relationships should be focused toward Godly conversation and adoration for the male co-worker as one with his significant other, this is what I mean by cordially respectful. Respecting our fellow sisters is a responsibility that we each have as women of excellence. Respect never has anything to do with anyone accept ourselves. Within ministry, I come in contact with men often, many of which are married, and already in relationships. When and if I must communicate, I prefer to have Godly conversations and those which edify the mindset. I prefer to discuss the spouse/significant other in an encouraging, uplifting manner, never saying anything negative and never entertaining negative talk about the courtship. As women, we have a naturally alluring presence and our love for God is easily present so if a woman loves God, any man will be able to see that in you. It is up to you to guard your conversation in the grace of the Lord. In order to properly humble ourselves in conversation, we have to speak in the love of God. Always basing the conversation on those things because all it takes is one wrong decision within one vulnerable moment to fall. We have to be on guard from fleshly, selfish, envious desires ourselves as well as the enemies devices that are thrown at us amidst our own vulnerability.
Many women are not trusting of female relationships because of the very obvious way inappropriate conversation has been perceived time and time again in the experiences with women. We have not carried a high level of dignity in the way we love our sisters, in the way we respect the covenant that is shared. I have seen women completely disrespect the first lady in the pulpit to get to the Pastor with no regard for the role of a wife. All too often Pastors entertain women in a far too friendly manner but I believe this is heading into a different blog post so I will try and stay on track. Often times, women are left with titles that create and build guilt such as caty or insecure. An insecure woman is one who does not have confidence in God for who she is in life within any area, not just a relationship. It sounds rather harsh but it is what it is. When we believe God for anything, He is our strength - this includes believing Him for His thoughts regarding how we should see ourselves. A woman who is concerned about the presence of females in and around her spouse/significant other is called reason for concern IF the man has shown signs of being adulterous in any way. Keep in mind that this includes even looking at a woman in the presence of a courtship. Now I know that sounds a bit extreme but we have to know that a man who only has eyes for you is just that. We have to start calling a spade a spade and quit making excuses for men by saying things like, "well a man is going to look". That is just not necessarily the case. There are men who will respect you because you are worthy and because you belong to God. There are men who will honor you because you are noble and excellent. Being noble is in how we approach everything from our dress to our character. In everything from our need to feel loved and to feel as though we are enough, we must cling to God to have the need met so that He can appoint someone special for you, with whom to share seasons in your life.
Allow yourself to be noble, to speak with excellence, to live with integrity and carry a standard of excellence that screams "I belong to God, treat me well". We have to be willing to see ourselves differently in order to be different. We have to be willing to step outside of the boxes position around our lives as a result of the challenges, hurts and insecurities we face. The only way to move past hurt is to cry out to God, repent to God, read God's word, talk to God, listen to God, take action in God and most importantly trust God. All of these initiatives are very simple to say, but they are about as easy to complete as pulling nails out of a cemented wall, even within the most submitted heart, this process is not a walk in the park. If you are attempting these tasks every now and then, it may be easy for you. If you are living a lifestyle as a sinful human being like the rest of us, you struggle with being perfect, you struggle getting every aspect of that easily read 'to do' list right. Keeping in mind that we never become perfect and that is why God sent the image of Himself in pure perfection to die for us. The beauty of serving God is knowing that Christ already paid the price, He knows your name, He has gone away to prepare a place for you and I, He can make your heart clean and fill your life with joy no man can offer. Anything that we want from God will require diligence, consistency and complete submission. Not based on our interest but God's interest as outlined for us in His word. We all have the capacity to be noble because it is written. I am excited about the journey you and I will take together toward more of God's noble character being embedded in us.
Blessings to you and everyone around you....T... 'The Encourager'