Mother’s Day, and every day, thank God for virtuous women
Every time I read Proverbs 31, I see room for improvement.
This particular Bible passage describes a virtuous woman, and it’s become one of my absolute favorites over the years.
Just the other day I was throwing a little pity party about how much I had to do at home. There’s the cooking and the cleaning and the laundry and … well, you get the point. Anyway, nobody showed up for my pity party except for me.
The next time I’m in a snit, I really need look no further than Proverbs 31 to adjust my attitude.
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies … . Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life … .
“She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family … . She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks … . She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy … . When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet … .
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue … .
“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness … . Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised … .”
Thankfully, God has allowed me to cross paths with several virtuous women over the years. Many of them have since gone home to be with the Lord, but when I think of them, I’m thankful for their influence and Godly example.
One of the very first such women I recall is Ms. Nellie, a never-married children’s church teacher I had the privilege of knowing when I was about 12. With no children of her own, she was blessed to be surrounded by dozens of children every Sunday as she enthusiastically shared her faith and instilled in me the truth that Jesus loves me.
There’s my late friend Martha, whom I was blessed to work alongside on mission trips to the Midwest in years past. She, too, worked tirelessly to fulfill her calling of sharing the gospel with children, always with a smile on her face and a kind word on her lips.
I think of my husband’s late grandmother, Ruby, and how fitting that this Godly woman was named for a precious gem. Though I never really had the opportunity to know her before her death, I can tell from my husband’s recollections that she was a sweet Christian lady for whom he had a tremendous amount of love and respect.
I also think about my husband’s aunt, Edna, who passed on just a few weeks ago. The passage about the virtuous woman was prominent at her funeral and was a fitting tribute to a woman who spent part of her life volunteering in missions overseas with her husband of nearly 70 years.
Only days ago, God welcomed home one of the most virtuous women I’ve ever had the privilege to know. Ms. Trudy, though small in stature, was a giant among prayer warriors. She never failed to let her light shine for the Lord and she greeted everyone the same — with a broad smile and outstretched arms ready to embrace.
And there are other virtuous women I’ve been blessed to know through our own church family. Several of them have gone on to be with the Lord in recent years, while others remain in our midst to teach by example. Many of them are those precious conservative white-haired women whose priorities are church and family, the kind of gentile Southern ladies who exude quiet strength and who never utter an unkind word.
Of course, I would be remiss in reading Proverbs 31 if it didn’t bring back memories of my own maternal grandmother. It was only a year ago that my family stood at her grave and heard one of the great-granddaughters read those precious verses. They aptly described how she cared for her family and home over the years.
A few days ago, I received my grandmother’s sapphire ring, a treasure I remember seeing her wear on special occasions when I was a child. She’d always promised it would be mine after her death.
Several times I’ve opened the velvet box containing the ring and run my fingers across the deep blue stones as I admired their brilliance and beauty. But I haven’t worn it yet. I suppose I’m still in awe of it and still think of it as belonging to my grandmother.
I believe wearing the ring should be a reminder to me that a virtuous woman is worth far more than rubies or sapphires or any other precious gems.
And I think this Sunday — Mother’s Day — will be the perfect time to finally take it out of the box.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 5.9.08