Our culture sends mixed messages to women.
From the time you are a toddler to the time you become a mom, you are constantly under the onslaught of messages from our culture telling you what you are supposed to look like. If you don’t look like a woman that is plastered on the cover of Victoria’s Secret or Sports Illustrated, you can get surgery, you can diet, you can join a Crossfit gym, or you can run till you puke your guts out.
Little girls want to be Barbie.
There are no shortage of TV shows telling the American teenage girl what she is supposed to look like, dress like, and act like.
When you get into college and adulthood, every magazine (Bookstores and grocery stores are full of them) is trying to tell you how to live your life. They tell you that:
- the more skin you show, the more attention you will get
- the top 7 sex moves to keep your guy from leaving you
- if you get pregnant and don’t want to be – there are pills and procedures for that
- what to eat and where to eat to lose that last 20 lbs
There are many, many more.
That is what our culture is telling you.
We also have to clear up something about the Proverbs 31 woman. Some people believe that she is a modest wife/mom by day but when the crap hits the fan, she jumps into a phone booth, rips open her shirt to reveal a bulletproof suit with a cape and an S on her chest.
The Proverbs 31 Woman is not Supergirl, Batgirl or Wonder Woman.
Let’s go see what the Bible says. We are not going to talk about modesty at all in this entire series. I believe that as a woman, you fall in love with Jesus and then you and Jesus can talk about what is or is not appropriate. The Bible does not tell you what to wear, it gives you guidelines to not fall into or lead someone else into sexual immorality. In addition, if you are constantly being transformed by the renewing of your mind, Romans 12:2, then Jesus is going to teach you how to think like Him anyway.
This section of Scripture is an acrostic. It is poem like. It is describing the qualities of what God deems an excellent woman.
The first thing we notice is that an excellent wife is rare.
An excellent wife is better than being rich. She is more precious than the rarest of jewels.
Proverbs 18:22 – Finding a wife is a good thing. But not every man finds a good wife.
A argumentative or quarrelsome wife is not an excellent wife.
An excellent wife is rare and she is precious. That lays the foundation for the first quality of what an excellent wife is.
This is a big deal. Paul reflects on this idea in Ephesians 5. The husband is to love his wife sacrificially and love her the way Christ loves the church. Also, the wife is to respect her husband. Ephesians 5:22-24
Do you understand now why we did the Psalm 1 Man series first?
If the husband is not submitting his life to Jesus and striving to obey Jesus in all of life and be changed by Jesus in all of life – the wife is not going to follow a husband like that.
When the husband is following Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and being led by the Holy Spirit, it makes it easier for the wife to follow the husband as the husband follows Jesus. This means that your husband loves Jesus more than he loves you. If he doesn’t, he is in sin and needs to repent because he has turned you into an object of worship. You became an idol. You are not and should never be an object of worship. Your husband should always love Jesus more than he loves you.
Proverbs 31:11 – The heart of her husband trusts her. This is not a natural thing. You want to be a safe place for your husband. You want to cultivate the heart of your husband. You want to be a safe place for him to let his guard down and be able to open up to you. You want to be able to have him share his dreams, passions, hurts, desires, thoughts, ideas. If your husband does not trust you as that safe place, he is not going to open up to you.
However, you don’t naturally want to be that safe place for your husband or respect him, let alone submit to his leadership. Why? Because sin causes you to want to be him.
Everyone knows that the woman was cursed too. We are all too familiar with the part of the verse where the woman will be cursed with pain in childbearing. That is where most people like to leave it. There is a second half of the verse.
Your natural desire is to usurp the leadership that God has given your husband to lead. You don’t want him to lead in the home because you think that you can do it better. Sin has caused your heart to desire that your husband just remain passive and if anybody asks any questions: You wear the pants in your family.
This is not about home decor or what dishes you use at supper time. This is about the husband taking the leadership in the home and being guided by the Holy Spirit. God is going to hold your husband responsible for what material comes in and out of your house. The raising of your children and what kind of disciples you and your children become rises and falls on your husband. God did not create you for that role.
Are there times where a woman has to lead the home? Yes. In that case, she should pray for her husband to become the man that God created him to be. She should pray for God to raise him up to glorify God and lead his family well.
The whole reason God gives you a husband is so that he can follow Jesus so closely that he gives you a tangible resemblance, an example of what Jesus looks like.
Your husband needs to lead you and the family like Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 11:1 – Be imitators of me as I am of Christ.
That is the kind of man that makes it easier for a woman to submit to and come alongside and be his helper.
What does it look like if the wife does not want to come alongside her husband and be his helper?
*My wife, Kristi was not on board with me going to school until I graduated.
*Kristi was not on board with planting FaithPoint until almost our 1 year anniversary.
It took me and some of my friends praying for her for the Holy Spirit to work in her and cause her heart to change. God changed her heart. She is now my greatest encourager and I cannot imagine taking this journey without her with me.
Let’s remove the husband from the scenario just for a minute.
How can you just be an excellent woman?
Fix your eyes on Jesus.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Be obeying Jesus, keep being changed by Jesus so that you can be used by Jesus.
The Holy Spirit needs to refresh you like a tidal wave and just come crashing down on you in waves of grace and mercy.
The Bible is your filter. The Bible can cut through the crap that our culture is feeding you and sort out what is truth from what is just stupid.
The Bible talks about true beauty – the Holy Spirit changing you from the inside out.
The Bible talks about sex, marriage, immorality, adultery, chastity, and how to glorify God with your body.
The Bible talks about what you should look like – You should be increasing in looking like Jesus.
It’s All About Jesus!
Jesus is in the business of changing you into becoming an excellent, godly, gospel-driven, woman.
If you have put anything in your life ahead of Jesus, repent. Put your focus back on Jesus.
If you are arguing, fighting quarreling with your husband, let’s pray for your marriage. Let’s pray for Jesus to make him a better leader, and pray for you to be a better helper. Through the Holy Spirit’s working, he will love you like Christ loves the church and you will respect and submit to his leadership because he is being led by Jesus.
Let’s pray for your kids. Let’s pray for your husband to step it up and lead well.
Ladies and men – married and single – let’s pray for you that God will stir up a fire in your soul that the gospel message of Jesus would go out into our communities and surrounding areas and he would use you as the vehicle to get his message out.