What did the buffalo say to his son as his son was going off to college? This joke, hands down (or hands up, in praise to God!), is probably one of my top ten favorite jokes in the world. If you want to find out the answer to the joke, read on! : )
If you will allow me, today I want to share with my single sista’s out there! If you’re not single or you are not a “sista” do not count yourself out! It is okay to still read this! : ) In our reading for today I want to zero in on Proverbs 31:10-31*.
This passage starts out with: A good woman is hard to find! Haha, I am only joking! It actually starts something like this:
A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman who can find? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She comforts, encourages, and does him only good all the days of her life. [Proverbs 31:10-12]
I’m going to pause there for a moment and be pretty vulnerable here, is that okay? : ) At the present time, I have been gifted with a season of singleness. So, a while ago when I would first meditate over these passages I felt like a lot of it did not really apply to me...then the Holy Spirit gave me this incredible revelation.
Proverbs 31:12 (NIV) says: She brings him good not harm, all the days of her life.
All the days of her life means, that EVEN while she has not yet met this handsome, wonderful, hilarious, man who God has set apart for her; she will bring him good! A woman of noble character brings her future husband GOOD and not harm ALL the days of her life!
Before going any further, I also want to say that there is no such thing as a perfect human being. If there is, someone please share your secret with me! It can be easy to be intimidated when reading this passage. No worries though! I want to reassure you that the distinguishing quality in this kind of woman is that Christ is the center of everything she does. Jesus is the center of her life. Whether you are single, engaged, married, widowed ----> Jesus must be the center. If we were to strive to make ourselves good, we would get no where! We cannot achieve anything with our own works. I do not believe this passage was written to make us feel like we are not good enough or that we will never attain anything, but rather this was written to exemplify what the overflow of a life that clings to Jesus will personify in the life of a woman.
This kind of woman is diligent in the things she is responsible for. For many of us that may look different; some are homemakers, students, caretakers, and the like. In whatever the Lord has entrusted to us, He will also give us the grace and strength to do! We also read about her heart for the poor. True religion in the sight of God is that we would reach out to the orphans and widows (James 1:27) and we see just that exemplified. The life of integrity that she lives is also attributed to her husband as he is a leader within the city. (Proverbs 31:13-24)
She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future. 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 (gossip, discontent, and self-pity). Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many woman do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Quite possibly one of my most favorite parts in this passage is that the woman of noble character laughs without fear of the future. Have you ever experienced one of those amazing, stomach-hurting, eye-watering, out of breath, laughing episodes!? Just thinking about those (frequent!) moments in my life brings a smile to my face! I believe this kind of woman can laugh without fear because she is solidly standing upon her foundation in Christ. She understands that God is watching over every single detail of her life; God is orchestrating everything. She does not need to worry about provision, her husband, her family, or her various activities because if God is the center, then He will work all things out for her good! (Romans 8:28). She is also cautious of what she allows into her home. I believe we can apply that not only to our physical home but to our spiritual home. What are we allowing in? (Philippians 4:8) Are we making decisions with God’s wisdom and making sure that in all things we are striving to honor him? What about speech? This kind of woman understands the power of the tongue (James 3) and humbly submits her speech and conversation to the Lord.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who reverently and worshipfully 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. [Proverbs 31:30-31]
I am so thankful that the Lord looks at the heart and not at the the outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7). Fashions, trends, and appearances are here today and then gone tomorrow. Charm and beauty will fade; they do not last forever. What does last forever is a heart that is continuously falling more in love with Jesus. After all, it is the condition of our heart that truly matters. I know that for a woman who reads this passage it can cause pressure to perform and to strive to achieve these things. However, the primary message I want to encourage you with today is to put Jesus first. Make Jesus the center of your life, your relationship, your day, your responsibilities and you will see that everything else will become an overflow of your relationship with Jesus. I am so thankful for the grace that is extended to me everyday! I do not have to worry about completing a checklist with Christ! He knows me and He knows my abilities! The Lord wants us to put Him first and wants us to fall in love with Him first...everything else will just be an overflow, including laughter! Laughter is joy overflowing, and His joy is the strength (Nehemiah 8:10) we need to persevere!
My encouragement today for the single ladies who find themselves in this season? Fall in love with Jesus. Honor your husband even before you are married to him. Laugh without fear of the future. Cultivate the inner beauty of a heart that is in constant pursuit of the Lord...and everything else will be added unto you! : )
Lord, today we ask that You would rise up a generation of modern day Esther's; women of noble character. We ask that You would help us to rely on Your strength and not on our own. We cannot achieve anything with our own works and we realize that You want to help us! Lord, we invite You into every area of our life. Make us more like You. You have already gone before us, You have already prepared the path. We follow Your lead. We put You at the center of it all. Amen!
Oh! And one more thing...What did the buffalo say to his son?...Bison! : )