Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Woman Worth Having


Today I was with a group of friends studying what the Bible says about being female. It was a lively discussion and at one point, we turned to Proverbs 31. I've always loved that passage, even when it made me feel completely inadequate, if only because it helped me to aim at a lofty goal. Until today, however, I viewed the passage as a description of a woman who's at least 60; someone well seasoned by life's experiences with the maturity to show for it.

These verses still inspire me to strive for excellence, but now I see them differently. Though they're about a married woman in the context of her family, they were written primarily for young men to remind them that women who make good wives are hidden. Like precious gems they're hard to find. It takes looking. It takes work. It takes diligence.

For women, these verses are vital instruction for what makes them desirable for marriage.

When the single men we know tell me they've met a great girl, now I'll ask more than "what does she look like?" I want to know if she has wisdom: Is her beauty enhanced by her soul? Is she compassionate and just? What makes her eyes light up? What are her skills and how does she use them? Will she embrace the gift of children? When the babies arrive, will she "come home"?

And to the single female friend who wonders if maybe she's not pretty enough for the men she knows, I'd encourage her to not worry so exclusively about outward appearance. Yes, it's important to make the most of what you've been given -- woman is, after all, the glory of man. And some of that glory has to do with physical beauty. But a deep and lovely soul adds inestimable value while one that's selfish and shallow can make even a perfect face and figure ugly.

2 Comments:

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Good thoughts, Candice. Have you heard that the book of Ruth followed Proverbs 31 in the original Hebrew order of the Bible? If you read about Ruth, you see the characteristics listed in Proverbs 31 — as if she is an example of this kind of woman. Pretty cool.

 
At 8:37 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

So...as a young woman...how do you practice these principles?

 

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