Women: A Different Standard

“My son, I gave birth to you.  You are the son I prayed for” (Proverbs 31:2).  King Lemuel’s mother wanted a son, she prayed for one and God answered.  What’s your desire?  Have you ever thought it would be a selfish prayer?  Maybe God doesn’t see it that way.  Will you believe Him for your answer?


“In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. …  She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. …  She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:19, 22, 27).  I must confess I find these some of the most daunting verses in the whole Bible and, reading this blog-post yesterday, I can see I’m not the only one.  I can totally identify with Ginger’s unfavourable comparisons, E.G. this Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t eat the bread of idleness; I’m sometimes still in my dressing-gown at 10 am.  This woman holds a distaff (a tool used in spinning to keep fibres unknotted), and a spindle (used before a spinning wheel).  She makes coverings for her bed; I can’t even sew a button on, but comparison isn’t wise or helpful, so what about these verses?


Let’s take them one by one:  First, the distaff and the spindle.  When I think of sewing, I think of dressmakers and the like.  If every good wife made bedcovers and clothes for their families, how would they stay in business?  Could it be that we all have different gifts, and not all of us have the gift of sewing?


The Proverbs 31 woman is ‘Clothed in fine linen and purple’ or, as the NCV puts it, “linen and other expensive material”, but are expensive clothes really that important to God?  If they were, why would Paul and Peter encourage women to be more concerned with what’s in their hearts than the clothes they wear?


It seems to me that as Christian women, we have a different (and more attainable) standard than women did in the past.  We’re still responsible for watching over the affairs of our household (teaching our children; keeping those we love in prayer), and we can all choose not to give in to laziness, but to make the best use of our time … so if I’m not going out till later in the day and I want to read my Bible in my dressing-gown some mornings, maybe God doesn’t mind all that much.

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Thank you for your likes and comments this month, and especially if you’ve taken up the challenge of reading Proverbs in 31 days.  I know I’ve found it very helpful – not only reading the chapters, but mulling them over and finding something to write about them.  I hope these posts have inspired you to spend time reading God’s Word and to know Him better.

Eye for an Eye

In my previous post, I linked to an article about Islam and its attack on a Christian.  I want to follow that up by saying that nowhere in the Bible are Christians encouraged to mistreat each other.  One possible exception is when God said:  “An eye for an eye”, but even that was written for our protection.


God knows how impulsive and angry human beings can get.  He saw the incident where Moses came across an Egyptian fighting a Hebrew, and Moses killed the Egyptian for abusing his people.  I believe God was saying:  If someone attacks you and you lose your eye, don’t take his life; the maximum you have a right to is an eye for an eye.  The problem is that, like a lot of things, people don’t ask themselves what’s behind the words.


In the New Testament, Jesus would sometimes start with a verse like this and take it a step further.  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’  But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person.  If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well” – Matthew 5:38-40.


If anyone was tempted to resort to the Old Testament Law, it must have been Jesus.  He had rights.  He had the right to defend Himself; He stayed silent.  The amount those soldiers beat Him, He could lawfully have returned the beatings; but as you saw in His quote above, Jesus set a higher standard than that of the Law, and He was willing to give up His rights and take that punishment, for He knew it was the only way you and I could be set free.  I don’t know about you, but that leaves me wanting to thank Him and live my life His way.


Ok, time for church.