Proverbs 31:29-31 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
If you read of the perfect woman in Proverbs 31, like me you may think she is surely a fictional woman. That type of perfection is IMPOSSIBLE!
Well, I have had to change my thought process on that bit of scripture, at least part of it anyway. God brought a woman into my life eighteen months ago. One whom I have been privileged and blessed to learn from. A quiet spoken, humble woman, named Ms. Moffett. I have only known two other such ladies my entire life with the same attributes.
The first one I met when I was still in my teens. She was a member of the church that my boyfriend (now husband) grew up in. “Ms. Mildred.” I can still see Ms. Mildred’s sweet smile and hear her melodic alto voice that brought music to life as she sang hymns of praise and adoration in the choir. She too was a soft spoken woman. She was such a prayer warrior and taught me so much about prayer. She was so in tune to the Holy Spirit that I was sometimes in awe of how she “just knew” things. For instance, one morning about three months after my father died, she stopped by my house on her way to work. She said the Holy Spirit told her I needed her that morning and she MUST go see me before she went to work. For you see, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I had not had the opportunity to grieve my father’s passing, when three months from the day he died, that my grandfather died. I had been praying the morning Ms. Mildred stopped by. I had been playing the blame game, accusing God of not caring. I asked Him to please, please help me understand. Then, not twenty minutes later, Ms. Mildred knocks at my door and asks if she may come in and pray with me. She helped me let go of the anger and hurt so I could grieve. She gave me that sweet little smile and a hug and was on her way. I have never forgotten Ms. Mildred. She went home to Jesus a few years ago. Every time I pass the house where she used to live, I am reminded of how she would go into her prayer closet, literally a closet, and have conversations with God, lifting others in prayer.
The second woman was Mrs. Bean. You know, I don’t think I ever knew her first name. Everyone called her, “Mrs. Bean” or “Grandma Bean.” She was in her mid-eighties when I met her. She became a member of the church my husband and I joined after we left the church he grew up in. I got to know Ms. Bean while I was doing an oral history paper for one of my college classes. I had the privilege of sitting with her and her ninety-two year old sister for six weeks while listening to their life stories. Ms. Bean was another woman who believed in having personal conversations with God. Towards the end of our time together, a financial hardship fell on my family. Ms. Bean pulled me into her bedroom one afternoon. She wanted to give me some money. I wasn’t about to accept it, knowing that she lived on a fixed income and needed it more than we did. I told her I couldn’t accept it. She kept insisting I take the gift. So, to appease her, I said I would have to talk to my husband first. Ohhhhh, that did not sit well with her! Her come back to me was, and I quote, “YOU do not have to talk with anyone, because I talked to the Lord, and HE said you were to have this.” How did one argue with that? She too, is now with Jesus.
Ms. Moffett, a Presbyterian minister, came into my life when a healing balm was needed. I and the congregation for whom I work needed healing from hurtful actions from previous leaders. (No, much as we would like to think, there is no perfect church on earth.) I digress… back to Ms. Moffett, a gentle soul who offers encouragement with a quiet word and a gentle hug. She leads in such a way that even uncomfortable tasks or ministries become a joy and blessing. She teaches scripture in such a way that even a little child can understand. Never have I met anyone that exemplified the fruits of the spirit as she does. (22 But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things. Galatians 5:22-23)
It was such a bittersweet time to listen to her last sermon and to rejoice with the members of the church as they honored her with a farewell luncheon. Many words of affirmation were spoken as tears flowed down our cheeks and hers as we spoke our goodbyes and well wishes.
One of the things that she said made me stop and think and ponder over it. She spoke from 1 Corinthians where Paul speaks of where he planted and Apollos watered. She went on to talk about how God has orchestrated the people and events from creation to the present time to be foundations to build upon to lead the church and lead the lost to Christ, and that she is thankful to be part of that foundation.
Yes. I have had to change my thoughts about the Proverbs woman. For some, it is attainable.
Prayer: Oh Heavenly Father, thank you for placing “Proverbs” women in my life as I journey with Christ. You know my weaknesses, Father. I pray that I will always bring to remembrance the examples of those women as I seek to become a “Proverbs” woman.