25 August 2008

Proverbs 31 Man?

If you are a Christian woman, I'm sure you have read Proverbs 31. Or have gone to a Bible study where they extolled the virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman. You know, the kind of Bible study where you went thinking you would be uplifted and came home only to feel even more inadequate.
In some Christian circles, the Proverbs 31 woman is a goal to be achieved. Women are told they must strive to be this woman. She is the supposed example of the "perfect" woman.
For those who don't know the verses, let me enlighten you:
The Wife of Noble Character
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
Feel guilty and inadequate yet?
During a discussion about this and other "virtues" that some people think women should strive for, an online friend posted this:
(Written by and thanks given to Julie G.)
I always wondered why there wasn't a section that described the perfect husband in scripture. If it was supposed to be an actual "how to"...they need the help as much as we do! :-D

The perfect husband, who can find?
His worth is far beyond his 401K.
The feminine heart of his wife delights in him and she never lacks for passion and romance.
He maintains the home and yard - creating beds of roses to delight her.
He builds furniture and raises exotic trees for wood.
He owns several businesses and money flows into their home -more than they need, with plenty to share.
He is always in a good mood - even when he's hungry or tired.
He styles his daughter's hair, and plays sports endlessly with his son.
He is an avid shopper, who delights in endless trips to the mall.
Kindness and complements are always on his tongue - his wife's beauty inspires sonnets and love poems.
He rises in the quiet hours of the night to comfort a sick or crying child, without regard for his own sleep.
Late in the evening, he can be found kneeling in prayer at the bedsides of his sleeping children.
He maintains the physique of a 20yo, but loves like a man who is wise about women.
He is active in the community, and is respected by all.
He always has time for others, and yet it never seems to impact the time he has for his family.
He rises while it is dark and makes breakfast for his family before his own power breakfast.
His business contacts know him for punctuality, impeccable integrity and perfect wisdom in the ways of the market.
His children rest well, knowing they can go to whatever college they want.
His wife is also secure - she never sees the bills, but knows that everything is taken care of.
Many men father a family, but you, my noble knight, surpass them all.
I don't know about you, but that sounds like a pretty good blueprint for the Husband of Noble Character to me. Julie says her husband refers to her writing as the Proverbs 32 man. Think we can sneak it into the Bible?

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