Monday, February 7, 2011

An Excellent Wife Who Can Find - I Can't Find Myself, and I'm Not Even Married!

Proverbs 31:10 "An excellent wife who can find?"

Excellent: the Hebrew word is a masculine noun for strength, ability, translated as able, capable, full, strong, substantial, a warrior, valiant, and worthy. The dictionary definition of excellent is “possessing outstanding quality or superior merit; remarkably good; extraordinary.

Wife: is the Hebrew feminine noun defined as woman (opposite of man), female, and in the NAS is translated and used often for a variety of women (from harlot to single to married to widow).

When I read the word for wife (woman), and how it’s used for so many women, I think of the song by Chaka Khan (and later Whitney Houston) “I’m Every Woman”. I also think of the old Peggy Lee song, “”Cause I’m a Woman (W-O-M-A-N). And how can we forget the 70’s feminist theme song by Helen Reddy “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar”? The definitions swirl in my head as I try to sort it all out.

Add to the mix the fact that I am an unmarried woman, so where do I find my place in this beginning of the first verse of the Scripture passage on the “Proverbs Woman”? It’s taken me years to tackle this section but now my heart desires to really, truly understand what it means, and what it means personally to me/about me/for me to emulate. What makes me an excellent woman?

I am immediately drawn to the words “strength”, “valiant”, “warrior”, and “substantial”. This ain’t no milk toast mama we’re talking about here – this female is fierce! My first visual is that of a Christian Amazon woman! (Believe me, considering all the books I buy, I already qualify as an Amazon woman … but I digress). I’m digging this already, but wondering how I balance this woman with the phrases “submissive” and “quiet and gentle spirit” from other sections of Scripture. Hmmm… That will have to be a whole ‘nuther blog post!

Where to first? Okay, excellence – from whence does my excellence come? It must come from Christ – He must be my example. Christ an example of an excellent woman? Whoa, hold on, won’t that get me tossed off the women’s ministry team and possibly excommunicated??? No, because His example rises so far above the boundaries of male/female. He is Savior, Lord, Perfection. When I define myself I must find my identity first in Him. My worth, my substance, any strength or valor comes from His Holy Spirit living in me, helping me each day be more Christlike. Romans 11:36 tells me all things are from Him and through Him, and Philippians 4:13 tells me I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Let’s not forget warrior – as a “warrior woman” I am to put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and battle the enemy daily. Another song comes to mind: “Onward Christian Soldiers”. Finally, worthy – to be worthy – I find my worth in Him as well, not in another person here on earth or in my own efforts, but in knowing Christ’s love for me and His sacrifice for me on the Cross, and the Father’s love/forgiveness for me. When I think on these things, how can I not recognize my worth to Him? To Him I am far more precious than jewels (as the second half of Proverbs 31:10 is written).

So there you go – today I will see myself through His eyes, and to join my sisters worldwide in the journey and goal of being a woman of excellence.

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