“Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”---Proverbs 31:10-12 (NKJV)
“A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.”---Proverbs 31:10-12 (Message)
Virtuous: conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright
Synonyms: blameless, celibate, efficient, faithful, GUILTLESS, high-principled, HONEST, legit, noble, “ON THE LEVEL”, praiseworthy, righteous, right-minded, untainted, without reproach, WORTHY
Good: satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree; of high quality; right; proper; fit; well-behaved; kind, beneficent, or friendly; honorable or worthy; in good standing; educated and refined; financially sound or safe; genuine; not counterfeit; reliable; dependable; responsible; favorable; propitious; cheerful; optimistic; amiable; free of distress or pain; comfortable; attractive; close or intimate; warm; advantageous; SATISFACTORY FOR THE PURPOSE; clever; REMAINING AVAILABLE TO ONE; fertile; loyal
Synonyms: admirable, agreeable, boss, choice, exceptional, FAVORABLE, gratifying, marvelous, pleasing, positive, PRECIOUS, reputable, SATISFYING, sound, WONDERFUL
NOTE TO THE BROTHAS: MAKE SURE YOU READ THIS, TOO. I'll be getting on...I mean, TO YOU, before this is all said and done. OK, this is the Proverbs 31 “I'm Every Woman” remix message. However, since a lot of women are not this kind of woman (yet), I'm gonna be honest with you: Some of you (both men and women) are not going to like me very much by the time this is over, but again, don't shoot the messenger. Whom God loves, he chastens. (Hebrews 12:6) It really is time to get right...or get left.
You know, it's funny because I often hear one of two extremes re: Proverbs 31. Either a woman will say, “I'm discouraged because I can't live up to that”, or “It's just a 'theory'...no woman can live up to that.” I believe that both resolves are based in deep-rooted insecurity sprinkled with a bit of denial. The Bible that I read says that I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13) and I John 5:14 assures us that if we ask ANYTHING according to God's will, he hears us. Ladies, you have to have the FAITH (Hebrews 11:1 & 6) that you can become the woman that not only Solomon said you could be...not only the woman you may desire to be...but the woman GOD CALLED YOU to be!
Psalm 149:2 (NKJV) says, “Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.”
Christ said in Mark 3:35 (NKJV), “For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”
Do you see the legacy that you are a part of? You are considered a CHILD of the Creator and a SISTER of the Savior. Automatically, as a believer, that makes you nothin' to mess with (literally)! It's sooooooo time out for settling for less than who God says that you are: BOSS, CELIBATE, EXCEPTIONAL, FAITHFUL, HIGH-PRINCIPLED, POSITIVE, RIGHTEOUS, RIGHT-MINDED, WONDERFUL.
You see, the Proverbs 31 woman isn't just some “ideal”. It's the spiritual DNA that lies within every woman. Just because you may not act that way...just because you may have settled for not being treated that way...just because you may not have been properly taught how to be that way, that doesn't mean that God did not make you (and after this message will expect you) to be that way. Today, God is going to speak HEALING and PURPOSE and REVELATION into who and whose you are:
“Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more.”---Zephaniah 3:14-15 (NKJV)
No more disasters (an occurrence causing widespread destruction and distress). How wonderful. Oh, but to be considered a daughter of Zion, choices have to be made...sacrifices have to be made...CHANGES HAVE TO BE MADE. Earlier tonight, while in my sleep (my body clock is all over the place these days), the Holy Spirit really let me have it. (John 14:26):
So, you think you are ready to become one with someone? Not quite. Shellie, we think better of you than the men you've liked. They are not a mirror reflection of your worth....they have a lot of work to do. ALL OF THEM. You are not with them because they are not worthy of you. BUT they are not worthy of you because you don't believe that you are worthy of you...yet. When you expect more, they'll do/be more. They settle because you settle. You want to be a helpmate and you already are. You are helping them to treat you as less than the royalty that we created you to be.
WOOOOOOOOOW. I wasn't sure if I heard him right...at first. But then, when I went back over all of the definitions of “virtuous” and “good”, of course, he was dead on.
When I feel guilty about my past, of course, I will let a man say defeating things to me.
When I listen to the lies that the Enemy speaks about my self-worth, of course, I will let the beauty of another woman intimidate me.
When I don't have my own finances in order, of course, I will allow the temptation of a man's wallet rather than his character seduce me.
When I am not comfortable in my own skin, of course, I will entertain somebody trying to change me.
When I am not self-loyal, of course, I will tolerate men not being faithful (in their commitment to our friendship/relationship) to me.
The light bulb moment, ladies: You think the Proverbs 31 woman is unrealistic because you don't think being truly virtuous and good are attainable. You have been disillusioned for so long that you have accepted the counterfeit version of yourself. God didn't make his daughters to be sleeping around with men they are not married to...to be having children outside of covenant...to be financially/emotionally/relationally destitute...to have bad reputations and negative outlooks on life. THAT WAS NEVER A PART OF HIS PLAN. Women, you are a part of a ROYAL priesthood. (I Peter 2:9) Do you get what that means? Do you really? That means you are a descendant of a king; you are “appropriate to or befitting a sovereign”; you are MAGNIFICENT. And, do you know what that means?
Magnificent:of exceptional beauty, size, etc.; extraordinarily fine; superb; grand or noble in thought or deed; exalted; outstanding of its kind; superlative
Now, did you catch the first definition? EXCEPTIONAL IN BEAUTY, SIZE, etc. Now, when was the last time you used the word, “magnificent” to describe your size 10, size 14, size 20 figure? Oh, how far away we have gotten from what God's Word says about us. And do you know why?
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.”---James 1:22-24 (NKJV)
Get off of the phone, MySpace, Facebook with that boy and get into the Word! No one can show you your value...no one can validate you...no one can esteem and restore you like the ONE WHO CREATED YOU can! Men are not our mirror reflection...GOD IS. (Genesis 1:26-27) Just earlier today, as I was writing out my own marriage vision, the Holy Spirit led me to Psalm 45 (NCV):
“Beautiful words fill my mind. I am speaking of royal things. My tongue is like the pen of a skilled writer. You are more handsome than anyone, and you are an excellent speaker, so God has blessed you forever. Put on your sword, powerful warrior. Show your glory and majesty. In your majesty win the victory for what is true and right. Your power will do amazing things. Your sharp arrows will enter the hearts of the king's enemies. Nations will be defeated before you. God, your throne will last forever and ever. You will rule your kingdom with fairness. You love right and hate evil, so God has chosen you from among your friends; he has set you apart with much joy. Your clothes smell like myrrh, aloes, and cassia. From palaces of ivory music comes to make you happy. Kings' daughters are among your honored women. Your bride stands at your right side wearing gold from Ophir.
Listen to me, daughter; look and pay attention. Forget your people and your father's family. The king loves your beauty. Because he is your master, you should obey him. People from the city of Tyre have brought a gift. Wealthy people will want to meet you. The princess is very beautiful. Her gown is woven with gold. In her beautiful clothes she is brought to the king. Her bridesmaids follow behind her, and they are also brought to him. They come with happiness and joy; they enter the king's palace. You will have sons to replace your fathers. You will make them rulers through all the land. I will make your name famous from now on, so people will praise you forever and ever.”
Do you know what rocked me to the very core? Last fall, God told me the kind of wife that I would be: A WARRIOR'S WIFE (I wrote an entire devotional about it, actually). In this wedding song (as it's listed in certain translations of the Bible) it says in verse 3, “PUT ON YOUR SWORD, POWERFUL WARRIOR”. God is so into the details...so into affirming and confirming. First God showed me the kind of wife I would be...then he showed me the kind of wedding that I would have. (Amazing!!!) But you see, here's the thing: While God may not reveal himself to you in this exact way (he's the Creator...stop copying all of the time. Let him be creative!), what I can assure you of is being royal means that he has royal things (include a king and wedding fit for a queen) in mind for you...if you let him. See, here's the other thing I relearned tonight as it relates to women and their self-worth (or rather, lack thereof):
“There are things about him that people cannot see—his eternal power and all the things that make him God. But since the beginning of the world those things have been easy to understand by what God has made. So people have no excuse for the bad things they do. They knew God, but they did not give glory to God or thank him. Their thinking became useless. Their foolish minds were filled with darkness. They said they were wise, but they became fools. They traded the glory of God who lives forever for the worship of idols made to look like earthly people, birds, animals, and snakes.
Because they did these things, God left them and let them go their sinful way, wanting only to do evil. As a result, they became full of sexual sin, using their bodies wrongly with each other. They traded the truth of God for a lie. They worshiped and served what had been created instead of the God who created those things, who should be praised forever. Amen.
Because people did those things, God left them and let them do the shameful things they wanted to do. Women stopped having natural sex and started having sex with other women. In the same way, men stopped having natural sex and began wanting each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and in their bodies they received the punishment for those wrongs.
People did not think it was important to have a true knowledge of God. So God left them and allowed them to have their own worthless thinking and to do things they should not do.”---Romans 1:20-28 (NCV)
Your current state of mind, is direct result of your choices and consequences; sowing and reaping. (Galatians 6:7-8) You can't just “know” God. You must give him glory and thanks. You cannot be worshiping (stalking, obsessing over, manipulating, seducing) his creations; you have to put your focus on the Creator of those creations. And, you can't minimize the importance of God's presence and purpose in your life; if you do, you will be left to believe that you are worthless. You will be caught up in doing things that you know you should not do...with people who also are not honoring God...who are worshiping his creations...and partaking in their own worthless thinking.
Bottom line? With God, there is no lukewarm state. (Revelations 3:16) You can either be a Proverbs 31 woman or a Romans 1 harlot. What I love about the Word is that it shows you how to become and avoid being both. There are no surprises here. EVERYTHING is cause and effect. And here is where we split up.
Men: I remember a pastor once rebuking one of my “blasts from the past” by telling him, “You need to leave those 'half-saved' women alone. She is trying to get herself together.” Good lookin' out, pastor! And now, I pass that torch of wisdom/warning on to you. Going to church to seek out broken women...using the “nice guy approach” to violate the vulnerable...lying about your true intentions with a weak-minded woman...FOR THAT GOD WILL JUDGE YOU. (Psalm 7:11)
If you want to treat yourself as less than what God made you to be, that is unfortunate, but Solomon also mapped out the kind of woman for you to have. You can find her in Proverbs 5. I recall one of my exes telling me that when it comes to a prostitute, a harlot, a whore, a HO, men don't pay them for sex, but to leave. If you want to live out your lusts, get one of those chicks. I'm so sick of you being surprised when you are intimate with a WOMAN and she's wanting a relationship because of it. WE ARE WIRED THAT WAY and if she ends up bonding with you, to be honest, that means God is still working on her...she has a conscience...she feels convicted.
Yesterday, I was reading a very sad and semi-disturbing article on Kanye West and his “sex addiction”; one that he seemed to be almost bragging about. All of that money...all of that fame...and still, so many voids. And do you know the scripture that immediately came to mind?
"What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?"---Matthew 16:26 (Message)
All of the sex...all of the women...all of the “so-called status” and attention. If it comes at the cost/risk of losing who you are in God and the destiny that he has in mind for you, is it really worth it? I'm gonna tell you what. The healthier I get, the more disgusting unhealthy becomes to me. Not that I don't love ya'll (Proverbs 10:12), but that certainly does not mean that I have to “one myself” with you...or even be intimate friends with you. God also called you to be a part of a royal priesthood. Stop spiritually castrating (to deprive of strength, power, or efficiency; weaken) yourselves by letting your flesh rule over you all of the time. To a queen, it's unattractive...to your Father, it's unnecessary. ONLY KINGS GET QUEENS.
The reason why the Proverbs 31 wife was able to be praised by her husband (verse 28) is because he had the spiritual discernment and maturity to know a good woman when he saw one. Your flesh is carnal...it's fleeting and on a lot of levels, it's stupid. You can't decide what woman is right for you based on how she makes your flesh feel. A SPIRITUAL UNION REQUIRES THE MERGING OF TWO SPIRITS. A man who bows down to his flesh when he has been fully-equipped to make it surrender to him...he comes off as very effeminate (in this context: characterized by excessive softness, delicacy, self-indulgence, etc.) Try ruling over yourself before finding a woman to lead....PLEASE, for all of our sakes and the generations to come. MAN UP. God sees you as a king. Your crown shouldn't be bigger than your character.
Women: Well, I don't have too much more to say to you other than, a lot of us are not waiting on God; he is waiting on us to come to him and fully allow him to restore us. This message was a rebuke, but also a wake-up call. It's not a coincidence that you are reading this right now...on this day...at this time. You were called and created, “...for such a time as this” (Esther 2:12). If you haven't purchased the books, “Hadassah: One Night With the King” AND ""Finding Favor With the King" (Tommy Tenney), it's a very worthwhile investment for this season in your life. Some of you are much closer to your king than you think (which is why the temptations are greater-I Corinthians 10:13), but even more preparations must be made. THIS BOOK WILL PREPARE YOU.
In the meantime, be very cautious about who---both male and female---that you allow into your intimate space. If they are not speaking words of healing, encouragement, affirmation and restoration, you can best believe they are on assignment, but it's not God's. You cannot be reprogrammed mentally, made-over physically or redeemed spiritually if you remain the head/heart space of people don't POSITIVELY challenge, motivate and inspire you. Now, that doesn't mean build up a fan club. Faithful are the wounds of a friend (Proverbs 27:6). But, what it does mean is that true love makes you a better person. Surround yourself with people who expect, give and want better for you. It's hard for peasant boys to come into the presence of a queen. They have to go through a lot of people to get that kind of permission/access. It should be that way for you socially and personally.
You don't just want to be “some” wife. You want to be a virtuous wife...one whose worth is far greater than that 3-carat ring you've been dreaming about. The Word says that a virtuous woman is above a ruby's worth (which is above a diamond's worth) and I recently read that an ounce of a ruby gemstone is worth about $7,000. You are compromised of many, many, many ounces!
One of my “love brothers” said today that I was far too priceless to have to challenge a man to love me. If he's worth anything, he will see my value and he will simply love me on his own. And not just “any ole' love”...the kind of love that I, a queen, a child of God and a sister of the Savior am worthy of.
My sistahs, the same goes for you. Don't worry about when/where/how he's coming. (Luke 12:22-34) Just make sure that you are the kind of woman that he doesn't regret one day of his life committing himself to when he gets there.
A noble woman...a praiseworthy woman...a favorable woman...a wonderful woman...A VIRTUOUS WOMAN.
Just as God intended and created you to be.
©Shellie R. Warren/2009