JMathis had to mention the Proverbs 31 woman, didn’t she? I actually don’t mind her too much. She works. Prov. 31:16, 24. She’s involved in her community. Prov. 31:20. She has a maid. Prov. 31:15. She’s sexy, dresses well and has great things to say. Prov. 31:18 (her light doesn’t go out at night), 22, 26. Not bad. The praise of this woman is wrapped up in verse 30 – – Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.
Mmmm, well, I don’t think of myself as particularly charming. Certainly smiley, but not chatty or nearly charismatic enough to be charming. But, beauty, that’s a bit more of a personal question. What do you think about yourself? Wherever your confidence falls on the 1-10 scale, we can all agree that IT IS PASSING.
I used to make light of my girlfriend’s passing birthdays. She’s about four years older than I am. I laughed as she carried on about turning 30. I told her it didn’t matter when she turned 35. Now that I am 35, I shut up really fast when she mused sarcastically about turning 40 this fall. Ugh. It is passing.
Sometimes I take my first a.m. look in the mirror and determine that I either have two black eyes or I am seriously aging. I remember giving my best newborn advice to my pregnant best friend – – pull off brushing your teeth before your husband wakes up and you’ve done well. I more recently have taken my mom’s advise – – after years of not wearing make-up – – once you turn 35, don’t leave home without it!
So, for me, charm is irrelevant, beauty IS passing, but a woman who fears the Lord . . . The fearing the Lord concept is, I think, perfect. But the language doesn’t translate very well. To me, the fear concept is my acknowledgement that I am very small and broken and He is very big and whole. Even when I fail, the rocks cry out in praise of Him. Luke 19:40. That is a creation that fears the Lord. I can do the same.
That leaves us with praise from Him. I will tell you that this is recent find for me. I have spent a whole lot of time feeling partially unworthy and inadequate. Not the kind that causes you to hide under a turtle shell, but the kind that holds you back from really receiving the love of the Lord. Now, because God is so good, He used my faulty feelings about myself to bring me squarely face to face with Him. And in my inadequacy and failures and independent choices, He makes sweet, pink lemonade. And then He really bursts my heart by giving me the credit for becoming more like Him. He gives me praise.
That’s where I am going to leave you this Mother’s Day weekend. Receive your praise. I bet this weekend you are going to get some handmade cards, maybe flowers, sweetie-pie kisses. You may even feel the Holy Spirit reminding you how faithful you have been with your little ones and how He is so pleased with you. Drink it in. Don’t wait as long as I did to see how much He loves you and how little He cares about your human failures. Belt it out in praise of Him; He’s right back atcha!