Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Being a virtuous woman isn't all about what you do; it's what you are.

Granted, Proverbs 31 focuses mainly on skills, but there are so many other women in the Bible for us to learn from. Women who stand out because of what they were. For example, this morning I overheard my mother talking with one of my sisters about Esther.

"...She had to know how to honor the king and be respectful, and she knew how to cook..."
At this point my sister shook her head. "But she had servants to cook for her! She didn't have to do it."
I couldn't help jumping in. "Yes, perhaps Esther didn't make that huge feast for the king with her own hands, but what about before she was a queen?"
Mom looked at me and nodded.

I like that about Esther - she knew how to serve before she knew how to rule. She was only a simple Jewish girl, going to the well for water, preparing the evening meal, keeping house for her cousin...all these skills. And yet when she becomes a queen we see that she was not under-developed because she was "shut up doing housework." No way. She had strength of character, faith in God, bravery, poise, grace, a compassionate short, inner beauty.

So, do I have that inner beauty? I know I won't attain to the kind of outward beauty Esther had, but that kind fades anyway. I heard my Pastor quote a saying this past Sunday; "Before 20, you can't do anything about your face; you have what you have. After 20, if you have inner beauty it will shine out and make you beautiful." Interesting.

My mother has told me several times "spend at least as much time getting your soul ready for the day as you do your body." If I spend 15 minutes in front of the mirror, getting my hair to lay just right, do I spend at least that much time before the mirror of God's Word, praying to have a certain bad habit banished, or a good one started?

Forget the 15 minutes. What about an hour? What about the whole day? What topics are highlighted in my thought life? What do I ponder at the kitchen sink? The new dress I want to sew, or that neighbor I am praying for? Why do I slave in the kitchen? To be known as a splendid cook, or out of love for my family? What is the driving force in my life? Why do I do what I do? Why are these skills important to me? How much does my Lord consume me?

Lord, make my soul beautiful!

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