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Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Good Woman - Part II

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.  She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. (Proverbs 31:15)

We began to look at the characteristics of a "good woman" yesterday.  We pick up this morning with this passage.  In the midst of this mother’s description of her son’s “perfect woman”, I see opportunities and measures of hope in my own life – areas in my life that God’s Spirit has been faithful to work and where I have been affected by his touch.  I dare to say that each of us, regardless of our circumstances, single or married, mother or not, can draw out nougats of truth from this passage of Scripture that challenge us, open us afresh to God’s moving in our lives, and even create a sense of contented assurance in our inner being because we see God in us at work in that area of our life. 

Although I rise early each morning and prepare for work in the workplace, not every woman finds themselves preparing to venture into the workplace outside of the four walls of their home each day.  In speaking with women, I find that some feel that the work of the one who finds her workplace to be confined to the walls of her own home is just not as significant, intriguing, or glamorous as the work of the one who ventures into the community daily, putting in her forty hour work week, and “bringing home the bacon”.  


Given the chance, I’d argue that point with anyone that wants to debate the issue with me.  The work of a mother, a wife, or even a daughter caring for her elderly parents, is indeed “work” despite the fact that someone did not need to leave the confines of their home to do that work.  The dictionary defines “work” as any activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something.  It is any task that we engage in that is a part or phase of some larger activity.  Therefore, even laundry, washing the dishes, vacuuming up the spilled Cheerios, and changing soiled diapers is “work”.  You just don’t earn tangible wages for what you undertake to accomplish each day. 

King Lemuel’s mother had great insight into the matter of a virtuous or good woman.  It is very interesting to me to learn of some of the old customs that serve as insight into the meaning of words used in the times that the Scriptures were written.  It was a common practice to assign a “worth” to a coin of the time based on its weight and the metal that the coin was fashioned from.  As the coin circulated the “worth” of that coin diminished, because the coin lost some of its weight and therefore, some of its value to the bearer of the coin.  Coins made of brass or silver were 'worth less' than the coin made of finer metals such as gold.  Is it any wonder to us that we often feel our “worth” is affected by how “important” or “valuable” we feel our contributions are to society?  Sometimes we may feel that our daily pursuits are “brass” quality vs. the “gold” quality of the work of the corporate executive landing the multi-million dollar contract.  Lemuel’s mom knew that what was most important was not the type of work that one is engaged in, but that she sensed the “worth” of her work. 

In examining the meaning of worth in the dictionary, I find that it is the value of something measured by its qualities or by the esteem in which it is held.  Whatever we regard highly and prize accordingly will be that which we sense to be worthwhile in pursuing in our lives.  If we come to see the significance of our daily tasks, even those that we may see as mundane and routine, we then begin to sense the worth of even the simplest of tasks.  Never give into the idea that what you do, who you are as a person, is insignificant or of lesser value than someone else.  God has placed a very special value on your very life and he is delighted in the value of your contributions to his kingdom!