In Defense of Noble Womanhood
Given by the mother of King Lemuel
to her son
For generations, modern culture has chosen to believe the lie that women and men should be considered equal in every way. We can date this fabrication back at least to the Women’s Suffragette Movement of the early 1900’s, if not all the way back to Eve, who chose to believe Satan rather than God, thus establishing the foundation for modern-day feminism. The separate roles God created “in the beginning” for each sex have largely been spurned by our culture and substituted with a false idea of equality that in no way resembles God’s original plan, when He created woman from the rib of man and arranged for future humans to spring from the womb of woman, thus establishing a healthy co-dependency for the continuance of life.
Those who adhere to the world’s ideas about womanhood point an accusing finger at stay-at-home women who have more than 1.5 children and no outside job. The feminists view women whose goal is that of being a help meet for her husband, together raising as many children as God will give them, as stuck at home. Surely she must be discontent and ashamed of her plight in life. The feminist view from the wrong end of the telescope, without the filtering lens of the Scriptures, read with regenerate eyes, seems forlorn indeed. Apparently, her husband, though hard-working, is unsympathetic to her needs. He is often gone eight hours or more a day and only comes home to eat, sleep, and father more children, it would seem. Surely her children suck her dry, with their constant demands on her time and energy, until, alas, she can no longer fit the image of the successful woman of the times. Just look at her! Her once slim shapely figure is now (probably) sagging and stippled with broken veins. Her beautiful face, once radiant with the dew of youth, is now lined with care. Her once luxuriant hair has thinned and grayed. She no longer possesses boundless energy -- her quick step has slowed to a determined pace. Although she is always combed and clean, her fashion sense may seem stuck in a time warp, with an emphasis on femininity and modesty. Clearly she is neglected and miserable and has no sense of self-worth, thinks the feminist! Will she ever be able to break loose from this bondage and prove herself as capable as men (or more so), as she dresses in power suits and seductive fashions, becomes head of a corporation and makes men grovel? Only then, they suppose, will she gain respect from the world and perhaps make an appearance on a talk show to tell all about her struggles to the sympathetic thousands who will run to the nearest bookstore and buy her book. So says the world; but the world is sadly deceived!
Observe true satisfaction! In contrast to the worldly-wise woman who is “ever learning, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth,” examine the woman whose heart, mind and body belong to Jesus. Watch her smile in contentment as she writes “homemaker” on questionnaires. Try to realize the joy that fills her heart as she watches her children grow into spiritually mature, productive adults who faithfully nurture and pass on the eternal values they have learned at her feet to their own children and into the future, down through many generations of “those who have yet to be born.” How blessed is that woman whose home is full of the joyful chaos of many children!
Attest to radiant beauty as you see a life blessed by satisfaction in her noble calling as wife and mother! Full of kindness and grace, such a woman is an adornment to her husband, and in him, she finds the haven for which her heart has longed. Place her on a pedestal, young women, rather than those women whose manipulative whining and self-centered priorities may have coerced the lifestyle they crave; but whose skin-deep beauty and self-centered priorities have brought them no lasting satisfaction. Watch the Christ-centered woman walk with poise amongst the most elegantly attired, though her countenance may be more sober than many at times. The beauty of holiness shines through the window of her eyes from a heart full of gratitude for God’s grace and is softened by sorrows bravely borne. A deep contrition for her own sinfulness, coupled with the joy that flows from sins forgiven, radiates from her and blesses all who know her. Her joy is contagious as it flows from the deep inner peace which her faith in a sovereign God brings to her life, regardless of her outward circumstances.
Attend to true wisdom! She holds in light regard all things but those that possess eternal value. Her perspectives and priorities, shaped by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God, inform and beautify her life’s callings. She daily increases her scope of learning because she knows that all truth, goodness, and beauty reflect her Creator/Redeemer, the Source of all things true, beautiful, and of good report. She develops her gifts and graces for the benefit of her husband, children, and the kingdom of Christ. Her goals and choices are not self-directed, but Christ-directed, as she seeks to do all to the glory of God. His Word informs and guides her goals, her behavior, and her words. Her conversation, countenance, and actions are inspired by a mind rooted in sound theology. This theology is made practical, as from the heart, in its daily application to every area of life, by the power of the Holy Spirit. She works diligently to carry out every small task as a calling from and praise to God. She is dependable and consistent as she finds her focus each day, not in living for herself, nor even for others, but in devotion to Christ and the wisdom she finds in His living Word, the Holy Scriptures.
Mark true strength! She makes her arms strong physically by taking care of herself for the sake of Christ, her husband, and children. In all humility, she recognizes that she has no strength in and of herself, regardless of the success of her exercise routine. Her endurance comes from her reliance on God, who carries her through the trials of life and empowers her with His strength in her times of weakness. She smiles at the future, not because of her efforts, but because she trusts her strong Redeemer, Jehovah Jireh, to continue to supply her needs and those of her family, as He ordains, from His storehouse of riches in glory. As her reliance on the indwelling Holy Spirit’s work in her life increases, she finds her core of strength becomes stronger, though her body becomes weaker through age or illness. She learns the lesson well, “In my weakness, I am made strong as I rely on the strength of my Savior.”
Learn sincere compassion. The godly woman is full of patience and compassion for those still walking in darkness, as well as for her little ones, who learn love as they see her live it. She knows how and when to speak, with constrained plainness and sincere kindness. She has learned to discipline her tongue and can be patiently quiet. Heedless of scorn and disdain from those who do not know and love her Lord, she persists in rightly dividing the Word of Truth, so that she will be ready with answers for those who ask, being bold as a lion and gentle as a dove. The law of kindness is always on her tongue. Like her Savior, there is neither harshness nor bitterness in her. She is truly meek, having been tamed of God. Her thoughtfulness and winsome speech decorate her with such light and warmth that those who are cast about in a cold and heartless world may safely come to her to be warmed and fed. She is a haven in the storms of life, a safe harbor. To be with her is always to be nourished.
Stand amazed by her accomplishments! Her husband’s love ennobles her. She seeks no higher calling than to be his companion and helper. Their marriage reflects the sacrificial love of Christ for His bride the church and the bride’s glad submission to her husband and is marked by tenderness, intimate passion for the other alone and enduring love. Her children, who rise up and bless her, though reflecting her teachings throughout their lives, learn solo flight, developing their own nuances and unique gifts within the safe framework of eternal truth. Together, she and her husband shoot their children into the future, confident that the God Who planned their lives before the foundations of the earth was laid, will keep and use them as sharp arrows to pierce the hearts of His enemies and bring great increase to His Kingdom on earth. When her husband thinks of her, he smiles. As she and her husband think of and pray for their children and their future generations of children’s children's children, they smile as well, with tears of gratitude to a covenant-keeping God.
The attractions of this world and those who devote themselves to obtaining possessions and acclaim will pass off the scene and be replaced with the next generation’s empty schemes; but the woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Her works will follow her, not to her credit, nor would she have it so, but to the praise of His glorious grace Who holds her heart captive and makes her life count for all eternity.
This woman, this Proverbs 31 woman, is the woman after God’s own heart. Although as we as sinners will never attain to the perfections of God’s goals for us as women, we can know the contentment and deep joy that comes from His grace abounding as we lay down our lives every day for those God has placed around us to serve. During the kaleidoscope of our lives as women, through its various ages and stages, may we do all that God has called and gifted us to do for His glory alone, one day at a time. May God bless us to learn the ways of the godly woman described in Proverbs 31 by King Lemuel’s mother and imitate her. As He blesses our efforts, may we experience the nobility which God intended for us when He planned the very day of our birth and set the limits for our moment in history, long before we were created.
Soli Deo Gloria!
To the praise of His glorious grace,
Rebecca Belcher Morecraft
October 7, A.D. 2005
(Revised and expanded May 22, A.D. 2007, Jan. 31, A.D. 2012))