Monday, October 26, 2015

Marriage Monday: Model P31: A Woman that Fears the Lord




Welcome back to Marriage Monday!  I'm so glad you've joined me as we focus on strengthening and promoting godly marriages, both in our nation and in our own backyards.  {The need for this has never been greater!}

Today I am continuing my series for wives (and future wives) based on the ideal wife of Proverbs 31. It is both fun and challenging to look at this passage verse by verse and then examine our own lives and look for practical ways to apply these timeless principles. Please join me each Monday as we continue to examine the character and wisdom of this noble woman and learn how we can each become a Model P31! 




Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord,
she shall be praised. 
~ Proverbs 31:30


While the Proverbs 31 woman certainly may have been a beautiful woman, her beauty was not "skin deep." True beauty begins in the heart and radiates outward. It doesn't depend on the perfect features or figure or the most fashionable wardrobe!

Real beauty is a result of having a heart that is yielded to God in obedience and loving submission to His will, a character that is formed by His word and work, and a desire to be beautiful in God's eyes above all. 

The world's idea of beauty is always changing.  (Have you ever considered those pictures of Victorian women? They would be considered obese by our modern anorexic standards! And while modern women may spend hours in the sun or a tanning bed to obtain the perfect sun-bronzed skin, there was a time when women wore sun bonnets to avoid getting even the slightest tan, because the goal was delicate, pale white skin!) 

Sadly, the idea of beauty in this modern age is photo-shopped perfection on the outside and emptiness on the inside. It reminds me of eggs, with their contents blown-out and their shells brightly decorated for an Easter Egg hunt.

True beauty is so much richer and fuller and takes into account the beauty of a woman who has given birth a dozen times and serves her family and community in love from before dawn until late at night.  (As I type this, I have a mental image of Marmee from the movie, Little Women. She lived a life of beautiful self-sacrificial service to her family and her community.)

The thing about beauty and charm is that they may lure and captivate, but they are fickle and fleeting. Neither outward beauty nor charm is capable of producing happiness or getting the work of life done. And neither one is lasting -- they are like a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow.

The beauty of a woman who fears the Lord is lasting and eternal. Instead of vanishing like a vapor, true beauty can actually increase with time. I truly believe my own mother is more beautiful today in the winter season of her life than she ever was!  And I'm not just talking about inner beauty!

Elizabeth George sums it up so well in Beautiful in God's Eyes:

Rather than the clothes you wear, the hairstyle you choose, the car you drive, or the house you decorate, you are to be primarily concerned about living out the holy character that God works in you as you live in His presence. You are to seek the praise of God rather than men. You are to shun the transitory vanities of this world and pursue instead the eternal beauty of the Lord. These -- not face and form -- are the interests of a womn who fears the Lord. It is your fear of the Lord that sanctifies every other part of your life and shows the internal majesty of God that is at your very core.

I love that quote! It's not that we are to ignore the outward appearance or consider it sinful to be outwardly beautiful, but we are to allow the reverential fear of the Lord to sanctify us from the inside out, creating a true and lasting beauty that impacts those around us! I believe that our appearance should incorporate the beauty, the order, and the creativity that God has woven into His creation, and should reflect well on our Heavenly Father and our earthly father and/or husband. As in every area of life, if we keep Christ at the center, everything else will fall into place!

 So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. ~ Matthew 6:28-33

Especially for Single P31s:

As a single P31, you may feel the pressure to conform to the beauty of this world more than anyone else! I encourage you to focus on developing true inner beauty as you cultivate a love realationship with Jesus! It will serve you well whether single or married! Don't neglect your outer appearance . . . I do think it is important, especially in the world we live in today, to look our best.  But, remember that 
a joyful spirit, a smiling face, a loving heart, and a vibrant zest for life can make even the plainest features Radiant and Beautiful!  :)

If you are a single woman who longs for a husband, don't fall into the trap of thinking you must resort to worldly charm and Hollywood's definition of beauty to get a man. One of my sons is an avid fisherman, and I notice that he uses different bait, hooks and lures based on what type of fish he is hoping to catch. If you want a "good catch" -- a godly husband who will be the spiritual leader of your home, who treats you with respect and values children, why would you try to "lure" him with worldly devices??  Stick to prayer and a godly life and trust God to bring the right man in His perfect timing!  :)



Project P31, Mission #21:

This is a good time to stop and evaulate whether you are spending most of your time and money on creating or augmenting your outer beauty or on developing your inner beauty?  I encourage you to focus on your relationship with Jesus, and allow Him to make you beautiful from the inside out!  



Your Turn to Share:

I hope you'll take time to complete your mission for this week and share your thoughts here!  

Please leave a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at elizabeth@yestheyareallours.com if you wish to share a private testimony or a guest post.



If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!








Monday, October 12, 2015

Marriage Monday: Model P31: But Thou Excellest Them All




Welcome back to Marriage Monday!  I'm so glad you've joined me as we focus on strengthening and promoting godly marriages, both in our nation and in our own backyards.  {The need for this has never been greater!}

Today I am continuing my series for wives (and future wives) based on the ideal wife of Proverbs 31. It is both fun and challenging to look at this passage verse by verse and then examine our own lives and look for practical ways to apply these timeless principles. Please join me each Monday as we continue to examine the character and wisdom of this noble woman and learn how we can each become a Model P31! 




{Her husband also, and he praiseth her:}  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
~ Proverbs 31:29


In my last post, I talked about the blessing of children rising up and praising and honoring the virtuous woman with their words and with their lives. Today, the focus is on the husband's praise. Don't you love this?  He is saying, in essence, many young women have become good mothers and godly wives, but you excel them all! Wow! Wouldn't you love to hear your husband say that about you??  :)

The Amplified Bible translates that verse this way:


Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength
of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all.

What made the P31 excel all other women?  It was her spiritual and practical devotion to God, which permeated every area and relationship of her life!! We will explore the secret to her strength and virtue in next week's post!

Think about this - her husband knows her better than anyone except God, and he gives her the highest praise! 

It has to make us wonder if our husbands would praise us so highly?? It's a sobering question, is it not?? 

What made the virtuous wife so praiseworthy?

She was devoted to the Lord, her husband, and her children.
She used her time wisely.
She took good care of her home. 
She reached out to others in love and compassion.
She was productive.

My goal is to be such a woman, who is worthy of my husband's highest praise!  How about you?


Especially for Single P31s:

As a single P31, I encourage you to begin now to develop the qualities of the virtuous wife. Encourage and build up the marriages of those around you, and pray that God will use your waiting time to build in you the character of a model P31!  



Project P31, Mission #20:

Examine your life as a wife. Are you an encouraging, helpful, wife who makes your husband's life better? Are you devoted to your husband and to your calling to be a helpmeet?? Identify at least one area where you could improve!




Your Turn to Share:

I hope you'll take time to complete your mission for this week and share your thoughts here!  

Please leave a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at elizabeth@yestheyareallours.com if you wish to share a private testimony or a guest post.



If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!



Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!



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NOTE:  Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post.  Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name!  Thanks!

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