From Proverbs 31:10-31
- Woman who fears the Lord, you’re awesome! (BIG fan. HUGE.)
- Woman who fears the Lord, you’re a force to be reckoned with!
- Woman who fears the Lord, you fear the Lord – that’s why you’re WORTH it.
- Woman who fears the Lord, God sees all the millions of “little” things you do! (And He thinks it’s pretty big of you…) Like this:
- Clothing your loved ones appropriately for the weather
- Grocery shopping
- Getting your loves ones out the door ready for the day
- Doing your job well
- Getting good deals
- Paying the bills
- Having and using your skills faithfully
- Making your loved ones wear their coats
- Making your home comfortable
- Dressing appropriately for the weather
- Supporting your husband(/employer)
- Contributing to the economy
- Trusting God
- Teaching kids wisdom and truth
- Working super hard to take care of yourself and others
We’ve discussed a little about where all this comes from, and at the risk of irritating those who don’t like to be told a thousand times, I’ll say it again: This comes from her relationship with the Lord.
How so? How does a relationship with the Lord end up looking a lot like working really hard for other people? And is that what we really want? Wait a second…it’s a TRAP!
Goodness gracious no, it’s not a trap. It’s called love. Or, more accurately, being loved.
Yes. I said that right.
“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
This woman has a secret: it is not what she does, but what is done to her. Someone loves her. She is secure in that love.
Her needs are met.
What would you do if your needs were met?
No, no. No, no. Back up. Read it again. And think for a while. Answer the question. What if your needs – for attention, affection, security, and appreciation – were all met, for good? What if you had nothing more to worry about – what if you were completely satisfied? What would you do then?
Well, when you’ve had enough attention, you can stop performing. When you’ve had enough affection, you can stop pandering. When you’ve had enough appreciation, you can stop perfecting. And when you’ve had enough security (food, shelter, love, that sort of thing), you can stop worrying.
So, then, what would be left?
If you had nothing more to do for you, what would you do?
Think about it for a while. Doesn’t it make you feel free?
Look at what God says He wants for us:
“The LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11
“The LORD is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3a
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17b-19
“I am the good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down My life for My sheep.” John 10:14-15
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Galatians 5:1
This is the woman’s secret! Her needs are met. She has given them over to God, her Shepherd, and she is free! She no longer has to do anything; so what’s left? Well, whatever she so chooses.
So what does she choose?
She chooses to love, as she has been loved, because when you don’t have to do anything, there is nothing better to do in the world.
God has spent His life for her, and she chooses to spend hers for others.
Here’s the thing: She’s not doing it because she wants God to do something for her; that would be the need for security, which God has already met (“I lack nothing.”) She’s not doing it because she wants other people to notice, to see her; that would be that need for attention, which God has already met (“I know my sheep…”). She’s not doing it because she wants her family to depend on her, to need her, and so in some twisted, self-loving way, to love her; that would be the need for affection, which God has already met (“how wide and long and high and deep…”). And she’s not doing it because she feels obligated by the gift God has given her or like she owes Him or He won’t love her anymore; that would be that need to feel appreciated, to feel worth something, which God has already met – by going so far as to send His Son for her, because she’s worth that much to Him.
She is doing it all with no strings attached.
Proverbs 31 is a poem – a song – an exultation – about a woman who is free. She is the most beautiful, powerful thing in all the world – rarer, and more valuable, than many, many rubies.
She is you, my love. She is you in Christ.
“31What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us,who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39