Friday, October 7, 2011

For Women Only (& Update)

Sometimes I tear through the scriptures, appropriating nearly every verse for myself - - every verse, that is, except the ones that speak directly to women, to me.  Sometimes I don't like them very much so I  conveniently look the other way when they disrupt one of my appropriations.

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves 
to your own husbands so that, if any of them 
do not believe the word, they may be won over 
without words by the behavior of their wives,
when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment ...
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, 
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, 
which is of great worth in God’s sight 
(the NKJV renders this: which is very precious 
in the sight of God) 
1 Peter 3:1-5

It's that gentle & quiet stuff that's hard to come by!

And who can ignore the Proverbs 31 (10-12) woman?

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her (
the NKJV
  renders this "The heart of her husband safely trusts her")
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

This collection goes on to tell of her industry & productivity; her intentionality & resourcefulness; her kindness & generosity; her wisdom & well-guarded tongue.  This woman is not born; she's made.  And she's not self-made, but God-crafted.  How do we know?  Because she's humble, above all.  She's not seeking recognition or reward; nor is she laboring under the "woe is me"s.  She's not a victim, but a victor (or victoress).

There are many more such verses for we ladies, but this set will suffice for the challenge of my heart today.  Much has been said of submission: what it is; what it's not.  I could certainly get high-centered there, but that's not my heart's focus.  Today it ponders the gentleness, quietness & trustworthiness to be found within it, and in what measure - if it's to be found at all.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds, 
because you know that the testing of your faith 
produces perseverance.  
Let perseverance finish its work so that you 
may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, 
who gives generously to all without finding fault, 
and it will be given to you.  
James 1:2-5

The weapons with which the ill dispositions of the world 
are to be combated are moderation, gentleness, 
a little indulgence of others, 
and a great distrust of ourselves. 
~ Edmund Burke

EPILOGUE:  After penning & posting this, I went out for my early morning walk accompanied by my IPOD.  Today it was in the rain, and by the time I returned I wasn't sure if it was rain's work or God's that left tears in my eyes.  This is why ...


Cindy said...

I love this post and it is a great reminder that those characteristics are not of weakness but of strength.

Just a little something from Judy said...

The line I like the most in this post is, "not self made but God crafted", for as far as I see it all, that is the only way these characteristics will exemplify themselves in my character. Thank goodness for God's willingness to craft them in me...however long it may take Him, and because it is Him doing the crafting, it allows no room for pride from me.

Sonja said...

What a true word! That is the passage that my hubby and I have chuckled over and been serious over many times through the years. It's so true... 'This woman is not born; she's made. And she's not self-made, but God-crafted.'... I am a work in progress, but thank God... there HAS been progress, and I am also not who I used to be! It's all HIM, and His work in me. Such a good word... that 'submission' word trips up a lot of women. God's view of it is so right and it fits so well when it's HIS way! :)


Rebecca said...

It IS easy to explain away the parts of God's Word that clearly apply to us. "Written for another time", "doesn't apply today", "legalistic", "not literal"...

I'm liking Sonja's comment, too.

Thanks for bringing it up, Kathleen. I, too, am a work in progress & He's still working on me :)

Beth E. said...

I cannot imagine your heart having anything in it other than gentleness, quietness, and trustworthiness. :-) In fact, when I ponder the verses of Proverbs 31 and Titus 2, you are one of the ladies who comes to my mind!

Now, me...woe is me...well, let's just say I'm also a work in progress!


Rosezilla said...

Lovely post, and so true... God knows what He's talking about, and if we have the courage to obey Him, He creates the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Why would we not want to be the kind of women he approves of? (I have been told that Ruth Graham's tombstone says "Construction now complete. Thank you for your patience." I love that!)

myletterstoemily said...

well, you nailed me, but it felt good.
those scriptures are always so full
of life to me. it is good to be quiet,
peaceful and encouraging.

i certainly do NOT want to be a
clanging cymbal!

Denise said...

Awesome post.

LisaShaw said...

This is powerful Kathleen! Thank you for sharing and I have to ditto BethE about you!

Love you!