It’s May, the typical month for pastors to select sermon texts that challenge women to choose to become women who please God. Consider Ruth’s response when her pastor announces the Scripture topic for his sermon: The Incredible Search . . . The Quest for Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God. Inwardly she groans. Oh, great. I am going to leave today’s service on another guilt trip rather than encouraged and edified. Perhaps I can plan my week’s menus or work on my Bible study while appearing to look interested.
The Pastor begins his sermon by stating that Proverbs 31:10-31 introduces a woman whose lifestyle, values, and character align with the Word of God. This timeless passage paints a word portrait of a woman whose life twenty-first-century Christian women are challenged to emulate. He states that the immutability (changelessness) of God is in question if women do not believe that Proverbs 31:10-31 is not relevant them.
He then suggests that the description of the godly woman of Proverbs 31:10-31 is not designed to give women an inferiority complex. Her mind begins to form the thought, easy for you to say. Men don’t have twenty-one consecutive verses that make them feel inadequate. But then his next words draw you back to his line of reasoning. The passage provides a biblical foundation for the creation of principles by which the woman who desires to be considered a woman who pleases God prioritizes her life.
Eleven principles inspire the woman seeking to please God. She is virtuous, trustworthy, energetic, physically fit, economical, unselfish, honorable, lovable, prepared, and God-fearing. But she has heard all this before. And she never seems to measure up. That’s why she tries to “zone out” on the pastor’s sermon. But several words from the pulpit catch her attention.
Her pastor asks the congregation to take a moment to reflect on the heart of the eleven principles of the Proverbs 31 woman.
Virtuousness (31:10) is an inner quality that instinctively demands respect. Moral excellence characterizes this woman’s behavior (Ruth 3:11).
Trustworthiness (31:11-12) is the ability to keep another’s confidence. A godly woman’s speech is encouraging, sympathetic, and tactful (Proverbs 25:11). Her love of her Lord is evident (John 14:15), and dependability is exhibited in her lifestyle (Proverbs 25:23).
Energetic (31:13-16, 19, 24, 27) suggests that a godly woman is a worker and not a shirker (Proverbs 10:4). Her Christianity is practical (James 1:17). She enjoys her work (John 4:36) and attacks it with a cheery attitude (Colossians 3:17).
Physically Fit (31:17) reminds us that to perform our duties efficiently we must be healthy. Women who want to please God seek to understand their personal limitations and then work within them (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Unselfishness (31:18) is displayed in her willingness to share her most valuable asset—her time—with others. A godly woman is not so busy with her own affairs that she can’t lend a helping hand to others. Her words bring comfort, hope, cheer, and, when necessary, correction to those who touch her life (Galatians 6:10).
Honorable (31:25) is reflected in her choice to “stay away from every form of evil”
(1 Thessalonians 5:22). She dresses modestly and understands the importance of maintaining a reputation of integrity (Proverbs 22:1).
Lovable (31:28-29) is manifested in the consistency of her lifestyle. She enjoys relationships that have depth because she seeks to sharpen her friends spiritually and intellectually (Proverbs 27:17).
Preparedness (31:21-22) allows a godly woman to cope with unforeseen circumstances with confidence (Philippians 4:13).
Prudent (31:26) implies that a wise woman is careful of the consequences; that is, she is cautious. When she speaks, she can be firm, yet kind (Proverbs 27:9b).
God-fearing (31:30) suggests that her actions and lifestyle consistently reflect that she stands in awe of her Lord (Proverbs 1:7) and loves Him with all her heart (Matthew 22:37).
Her pastor phrases the question, “Would you like some practical suggestions to make these eleven principles a part of your life?” Her heart soars as she realizes she is being provided with tangible techniques to become a woman who pleases God. Grabbing her pen and bulletin she writes as rapidly as she can to capture his thoughts:
- Daily build your spiritual stamina. Then when turbulent times occur you can approach them with peace and confidence rather than fear or anxiety (Psalm 119:11).
- Choose to adorn yourself with the garment of humility; its flowing design allows you the freedom to graciously serve others (1 Peter 5:5-6).
- Intentionally give your cares and concerns to your heavenly Father. He alone is adequate to remedy them (Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:8).
- Select your words carefully. You will never be remorseful for those things that you did not say (Proverbs 31:26).
- Consistently show love to others—even when you do not feel like it. Remember that love is never rude (1 Corinthians 13:5).
- Be countercultural! Twenty-first-century society urges women to be assertive and stand up for their rights. Keep focused on the truth that becoming a woman who pleases God is a sign of strength rather than weakness (1 Peter 2:18-25).
- Enjoy every day of your life. Women who please God are peaceful, serene, and have an abundant life (John 10:10).
- Believe that through our Lord’s strength you can become a woman who pleases God (Philippians 4:13).
He then asks a final question, “Are you willing to begin the quest?” Ruth bows her head and considers the implications of his message. She knows her response to this question determines whether or not she truly desires to be a woman who pleases God.
The sermon is over. The recessional begins. The menus and Bible study are forgotten. Ruth leaves the church encouraged and edified. How about you? “Are you willing to begin the quest?” May I encourage you to prayerfully study each of the principles taught by Ruth’s pastor and begin to apply just one today? If you work on one principle each month by May of 2016 you will be ready to record your rewards. Blessings on your quest!
THE EVERYDAY HOMEMAKER’S MONTHLY MEDITATION THOUGHT
God has said, “Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Therefore, I may boldly say, “I am under God’s constant care.”
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