This week my study was on the Ideal Woman. I've always known her as the Proverbs 31 Woman, but she really is ideal. I think as Christian women, single, married, divorced, widowed, that we should strive to be like this woman.
Laurie Cole, author of the study, says, "The Ideal Woman is no fancy cream puff or sugar-filled bonbon. She leads a purposeful and significant life. And although she wears many hats and juggles many responsibilities, she balances the various aspects of her life with wisdom, prudence, and integrity."
Wow. I don't know about you, but I want to be that woman. This woman is "virtuous," meaning: strength, influence, and character.
Laurie goes on to state, "The Ideal Woman is a strong woman, an influential woman, and a woman whose character empowers her in every area of her life. As a result, she is successful and respected."
Here are some things that I've learned about the Ideal Woman from Proverbs 31 (or things I've known that have been reinforced):
- She doesn't talk negatively about her husband in public. She continually builds him up.
- Her children respect her and bless her. She disciplines her kids as well as guides them in the direction they should go.
- Housekeeping is important...it's a definite aspect of Biblical beauty. But more than that, she gives attention to "heartkeeping" of those who visits her home.
- She's a servant to her family.
- She isn't lazy. She's either busy working in her home or she's busy with her business. She's a self-starter.
- She's a good steward of her money: she buys what is needed for her family, and she has money leftover to give to the poor and needy. She's a gracious giver.
- She's a wise, kind example, educator, and encourager.
- She teaches the younger women (Titus 2:3-5)
- She's a woman who reverences the Lord and gives Him priority in her life.
There are so many more things that I've learned this week. But the one thing that kept coming back to me is this: my mother is a Proverbs 31 woman. I know that I talk about my momma a lot, but she's one of my best friends. I can't not talk about her. I think that she's such a wonderful Godly example to everyone she's around. I see all of these things in her life, and I'm so thankful that she is such a close example to me in my life.
My momma has a heart for other people. She wants to train and teach younger women. She's never lazy; she has a clean house; I don't ever hear her talk badly about my daddy in public; she is a gracious giver (people are more important than money...that's the philosophy my parents taught us); She's wise; She's kind; She's a fantastic encourager; She's an educator; and most importantly, she fears the Lord and continually makes Him her priority.
She has been such a blessing to me. I know that when I grow up I want to be like her. She always has her eye on the Lord. I know that my parents will be getting extra jewels in their crowns when they get to Heaven because they had to raise me. :]
One thing that caught me off guard this week was the passage in Titus 2:3-5. I know that I wrote about a Women's Retreat that I went to last fall that was based on that passage. You can read about that retreat here.
This passage talks about the older women training the younger women. It's a command that the Lord has given us. I've always thought of myself as a "younger woman," but this week I learned differently. In our daily conversations with others, God's goal is for our words to minister wisdom to them. God's calling us to spiritually teach and instruct others, as mentioned in the passage in Titus. I am supposed to be preparing now to teach the next generation to become an Ideal Woman. Oh! I was sooooo wrong in my thinking.
I hope that I can be half the woman my momma is. I want to be shining God's love for everyone around me to see. I want others to know there is something different about me, because I put God first in my life. I want others to know that it is still possible to become Biblically beautiful. :]