Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
This week I decided to combine the last two chapters of our book.
Let’s start with the word vain. It can be translated into delusion, emptiness, or idol. I think the translation that stands out the most to me is ‘idol’. Our desire for beauty as the world sees it can be an idol to us. I am guilty of focusing far too much energy and emotion on the image in the mirror. Tearing down the creation that God himself crafted. Trying to cover all my physical ‘imperfections’. But what I see as imperfect is actually what God used to make me special. A couple things that bugs me about my appearance is my pale skin and freckles. I hardly ever wear shorts to cover my extremely white legs, I wear concealor on my face to cover my freckles, and I color my hair to hide my greying, thining hair. Is that what God sees when He looks at me though?
It isn’t neccessarily that we have a golden cast set up of ourselves in our house but look at how much time and effort goes into looking beautiful. Look at how often our emotions are affected by how bloated we feel or how terrible our hair looks. As we can see in our verse, that is not what God sees as beautiful. Whether our physical appearance meets the standards seen in magazines is not what God wanted for us. He created each of individually and in His image. Our distaste for something about our appearance is a distaste for what God created to make us an individual. Your laugh, your eyes, your sense of humor, everything about you was carefully crafted and what He wants from us is a reverent love for Him.
The second part of verse 30 tells ‘a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised’. It isn’t the fear that you have of something scary but the word ‘fear’ is translated as ‘reverent’. It means that you have a feeling or show deep and solemn respect for the Lord. This reverent love God deeply desires is shown in your obedience to the first 20 verses we have been studying for the past twenty-two weeks. That is what God sees as beautiful. Not the make-up we put on or the jewlry we adorne but the reverence we have for Him. As you can see, the worldly beauty we seek is vain, empyt, meaningless. It is not what God wanted for us.
Our instructions end with something profound that I do not see often enough. Our verse 31 says ‘Honor her for all that her hands have done…’ Who is to honor this lady? We already saw that her husband and children honor her but then we see it again. I like to think that this is telling us, as other women, are to honor her. We are to lift each other up and encourage each other in praise for the work each of us have done. I see too often women tearing each other down for following the instructions from God. Last week we talked about what if my husband doesn’t sing of my praises for all the work I have done? What if we were to sing the praises of each other? That woman that feels unappreciated at home, think of the difference it could cause. Look for ways to lift each other up. Look for the ways to sing the praises of another beautiful woman.
Now that we have reached the end of our book, I pray that each of you continue this journey. Continue in your endevor to be more beautiful in God’s eyes than you already are. Even if you don’t meet every aspect of the Proverbs 31 woman yet, know that you are a precious creation in the eyes of our God. He loves you more than you could ever know regardless of any faults you see in yourself.