Saturday, July 17, 2010

Proverbs 31:22

Far Above Rubies

(To read previous posts in this series first, click here.)

I have really been slacking at getting this post written this week. Partly because I have been busy, but also partly because I've struggled a bit with it.

Proverbs 31:22 (NKJV): " She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple."

I think I struggle with this verse because it almost goes against my intuition as to what I would expect it to say about how the virtuous wife would dress. Throughout the years, I've heard many and even taught some lessons about modesty. I know there is a general misconception that modest must equal frumpy, ugly, boring, or even poor quality and perhaps that is what came to the back of my mind when I envision how the worthy woman would dress. However, a woman can dress modestly and still be stylish, pretty, well put-together, and have quality clothing. Although this verse does not specifically mention modesty, I find it hard to think that her clothing would be praised if it were not modest, considering the teaching on modesty throughout the rest of the Scriptures. This verse, however, does mention something about the quality and appearance of her clothing. The terms "fine linen" and "purple" describe clothing that is beautiful and of high quality. I picture this woman as well-put together - something I honestly need to work on. I'm certainly guilty of not caring too much about what I'm wearing, especially when I'm going to be around the house all day.

With all that said, I think it is also important to consider a passage found in 1 Peter 3:1-6: "Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives when they observe your chaste behavior accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel - rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror."

The woman described in 1 Peter had more depth than simply a beautiful appearance and the same can certainly be said of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. Although I plan to discuss it in more detail when we get to that point in the series, I think Proverbs 31:30 should be mentioned here: "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised."