Treading Water In the Proverbs 31 Pool
I regularly ask God to reveal what I need to see, and if there might be something that is hindering my walk with Him. While listening to a sermon on the subject of Biblical womanhood recently and Proverbs was quoted:
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
When I heard that verse, it was as if God turned the volume up as high as it could go! I began to wonder exactly what is meant by “strength and dignity are her clothing…“. If those things are what she is supposed to be wearing, I want to know exactly what they look like!
I took a little detour from my Bible reading plan and plunged into the Proverbs 31 pool. I’m treading water there for awhile. God has been treading water right beside me so I don’t get tired and drown. My Facebook status that first day of reading Proverbs 31 was this: “I’m studying the Proverbs 31 woman and she is kicking me in the behind!!” Yes. She was. But she was doing it in love.
I like to think she was putting Psalm 141:5 into practice. It says:
Let a righteous man strike me–it is a kindness; let him rebuke me–it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it.
“Strength and dignity are her clothing…”
These qualities are so much a part of the Proverbs 31 woman’s character and conduct that they seem to almost be like her clothing. The word for strength here is “chayil.” It means strong, mighty, powerful (as an army). It is a strength that flows out of her relationship with the Father. It is the spiritual, mental, and physical fitness she needs to possess in order to accomplish the tasks that God has given her to do!
She girds herself with strength. Spiritual, mental and physical strength. She prepares for action, spiritually, mentally, and physically. I was reminded of something that a friend shared with me recently. He reminded me that we are physical, mental, and spiritual beings. We need to deal with all three of those aspects in our lives… not just the spiritual. One can affect the other. I have been praying and evaluating each of the three aspects of who I am, that I might see what is lacking. Here is what I am finding:
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
( I was hit with the first wave of conviction! )
The highest priority is to maintain my spiritual strength, since all the rest flows from my relationship with the Father. Most mornings I get up, eat breakfast, take my vitamins, get my cup of coffee, and catch up on my e-mail etc. If I have gotten up early enough, I have my time in the Word. If I haven’t gotten up early enough, I put it off for another time in the day, and I move on to do my daily work out.
I am sensing that, for me, I need to make that time in the Word the first priority each morning. I need to block out a good amount of time for Bible time and prayer each morning and not put it off. There have even been times that, because I have put it off, I ended up not doing it at all that day.
I don’t mean to be legalistic about this. I know that whether or not I have my time in the Word, God’s love for me does not change. I just know that I need to maintain and nurture my relationship with God regularly and seek His face for the battle each day. I need it in order to be fit!
So I am changing things. I am striving to make it the first thing on my schedule. I am also going to look for opportunities to speak the Word to others. When I am with other believers I want to begin asking about what they are learning. I want to receive the Word from others. I want to share what He is teaching me. What better gift can we give to each other?
Next, I’ll talk about Physical Strength.