Thursday, November 20, 2008

Her Character II

We are continuing our study of the book "Beautiful in God's Eyes" by Elizabeth George. To see the other parts of this study go here.

What does beautiful mean to you? Beautiful, to me, used to mean, slim, tall, tan, muscle, great hair, the trendiest clothing... Thank God, that He doesn't define beauty in the same way. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

"Who can find a virtuous woman?" Proverbs 31:10

EG says "The meaning of the word "virtuous" can be likened to the two sides of a coin. Power of Mind (moral principles and attitudes) makes up the image on the one side, and Power of body (potency and effectiveness) makes up the other."

Let's dive into these two ideas a little bit.

Powerful Mind

A woman who is beautiful to God is:

  • Pure- a woman of virtue (Prov. 31:10)
  • Honest- the heart of her husband safely trusts her (vs 11-12)
  • Industrious- she is busy from sunup to sundown managing her interests and expanding her enterprises (vs 13-19, 21-22, 24, 27, 31)
  • Thrifty- her skill with finances enables her to care for her loved ones and increase her property (vs 14, 16)
  • Strong in Character- She faces the daily challenges of life with undaunted courage (vs 25, 29)
  • Kind- Compassion for the unfortunate governs her life and sweet speech flows from her lips (vs 20, 26)
  • Wise- walking in wisdom is her way of life (vs 26)
  • Holy- She wholeheartedly loves the Lord (vs 30)

Powerful Body

  • She works willingly with her hands (Proverbs 31:13)
  • Those willing hands plant a vineyard (vs 16)
  • They also operate a spindle and a distaff (vs 19)
  • She works from early in the morning (vs 15) until late at night (vs 18)
  • She nurses the needy (vs 20)
  • She weaves the cloth for her family's clothes (vs 21), for her household needs (vs 22), and for sale as a professional (vs 24)
  • Never idle, she watches over and builds her home (vs 27)

***These 2 lists come straight from EG's book**

Wow... OK! There is already a lot to digest there, but I want to move on, and we will come back to these in a minute!

First of all, when we say "virtuous", what does that mean? EG says that the Hebrew word for "virtuous" is 200-plus times in the Bible to describe an army. "This Old Testament word refers to a force and is used to mean able, capable, mighty, strong, valiant, powerful, efficient, wealthy, and worthy." Wow, so God uses the word "virtuous" to describe this woman, who is beautiful in His eyes!

OK, this is a TON to absorb now! And if you aren't feeling convicted by all of this today... well, maybe you SHOULD be! Because NONE of us is perfect, NOT ONE! We all need to strive to be obedient to God's Words.

In Elizabeth George's book, she has in each section, "The How-To's of Beauty". This is how we can put these things into action! So here are her suggestions on how we can hope to achieve these goals:

  • Cultivate the desire- what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? What will your children and children's children say about you??? This should motivate us to continue on the path of seeking His desires for us.
  • Give it time- No, this does not happen over night! You will not just wake up one morning and BE the Virtuous Woman! It will take time. Time to fine tune and build the skills, that maybe, you were never taught, or never desired to learn before! But if we have that desire now, that is the first step!
  • Time Reading God's Word- this needs to be a priority if we really desire His will
  • Time Memorizing God's Word- another great priority
  • Time with Other Women- (Titus 2:3) More specifically surround yourself with Godly women. This helps build each other up,by loving on one another, encouraging and praying for each other.
  • Time Today- Decide today is the day you are going to live according to His will, and how He wants you to. Start today. Don't put it off!
  • Time Over a Lifetime- It is going to take time to become a woman who is truly beautiful to God. So don't get discouraged over the list of beautiful qualities, that seem so hard to achieve! You need to allow yourself some time to work at these things!

So! I hope that gives us all something to think about, and start digesting today. And I know there is a LOT to absorb. But our purpose of desiring to be this woman, is not for ourselves, or SHOULDN'T be. It should be FOR GOD. The more we are like this woman, the more people will be able to see God in us, and also desire to be His son or daughter.

So, what is your #1 needed improvement??? Oh man, I have so many... One day at a time though!

Lord- I pray right now that women who read this and who are following along with this study, will be encouraged and not overwhelmed. The list of things that we ARE NOT can be overwhelming! Help us to take them a day at a time. Help us to desire these things, not for ourselves, but for You and Your kingdom! Help us us realize that we should work diligently at these daily. Help us also to achieve this things that ARE POSSIBLE, through YOU! God, we love You and desire You so much. Thank You for loving us so much. ~Amen