This is the final post in the series illustrating a beautiful portrait of humanity; of men and women who without even realizing it, strive to embody qualities Proverbs 31 embraces in all life areas – personally, with their family, professionally, spiritually, and in their love life too. Whether you’re a “Proverbs 31” man or a woman, you stand out from the rest; you’re a red rose among a field of yellow roses. You’re a man or woman of and for all ages, a role model of timeless strength and beauty, virtue and responsibility; a cherished life partner and a powerful entrepreneur too!
Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
What better way is there to end this series of posts and the book of Proverbs than with a reward? The book of Proverbs is truly about wisdom and the rewards that follow when you choose to take this narrow path. In the first chapter, we are first introduced to a Woman of Wisdom. With the exception of God, she is the most important (and compelling) character in this book. In addition to being wise, she is known for her purity, strength, honesty, boldness, generosity, and compassion. A woman after my own heart, she walks among the people in the public square, reaching out to whoever will listen and offering lessons in living a long, prosperous life – all the while holding onto her good reputation. It’s not until the last chapter of Proverbs, Chapter 31, that our heroine, the Woman of Wisdom is beautifully expressed in the form of a Hebrew acrostic. It is in this beautiful biblical poem that wisdom is personified as a woman to illustrate wisdom at work. In reaching her full potential, the Woman of Wisdom is praised, with her value far greater than rubies.
What is truly remarkable about this book is that not only was it written thousands of years ago, but realizing the role culture plays in it. Think about it. In today’s world, no one would have trouble visualizing a Woman of Wisdom. In fact, why shouldn’t Wisdom be a woman? It doesn’t matter whether Wisdom is a man or a woman. What’s important is what he or she is saying. Right? But in the culture this book was written, this image was considered shocking to say the least. Back then many would ask…”Where is this woman’s father or husband?” Or, “Where is the man who is responsible for her, to whom she has to answer? Why is she out in the streets trying to teach men, when she should be at home, minding her own business? And why should any man be at all interested in anything this woman has to say?”
While drawn in accordance with the customs of Eastern nations, the moral teachings of Proverbs 31 remain timeless. One of the greatest lessons we can learn about Wisdom is that she doesn’t always come to you in the way you expect. Within this lies a very fundamental truth. Wisdom will not always come from someone you like or respect, much less want to listen to. If you truly value Wisdom though, you will ignore her exterior, take a closer look, and most of all… listen to all that she is willing to share.
Will you recognize Wisdom when she presents herself to you? What if she comes to you as a small child? A homeless man? An acquaintance, a co-worker you can’t stand, your boss, a handyman, a former love who betrayed you, or your spouse? Will you recognize Wisdom during a heated argument, at the height of passion, or in the middle of being bored out of your skull? If we really want Wisdom to come to us, we need to get to a place where we recognize God’s voice no matter who He’s speaking through.
So where does the Woman of Wisdom reside? Take a real close look. Her words and actions define her. Living among us, she walks down your street, and may even be found at the store or living with you at home. For the Woman of Wisdom is everywhere and right where you least expect to find her.
Thank you for the opportunity to share these personal posts in such a public forum. In studying Proverbs 31 this past year, the rewards have been many, with the sheer abundance being truly humbling. In learning about the Woman of Wisdom along with her strength, beauty, dignity, and wisdom, I’ve come to rely on my own inner strengths; have come to see an inner beauty within my own self that leaves me in awe; come to feel a confidence and grace that only dignity knows; and have come to know the difference between knowledge and wisdom. What’s more, in learning how to back up my words with actions, I’ve become the woman I am meant to be. The greatest reward though this past year was presented to me during my study of the Woman of Wisdom. It was then this Proverbs 31 woman came to know man of true integrity — a Proverbs 31 man named Justin. No words can ever adequately express my love or my appreciation for encouraging me to learn about the Woman of Wisdom for in her I discovered myself.
Remember … touch a life today “The Little Way” by following the lead and need of others. Also, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community, knew…”, then be sure to visit White Light Communications at http://www.tothewhitelight.com.