Courage Becomes Her



Isaiah 35:3 Strengthen the weak hands, make firm the feeble knees.

Are you exhausted? Overwhelmed? If you are married, are the responsibilities of home and family sapping you? If you are single, are you disinterested in assuming those same responsibilities someday? How can a woman be super-mom and corporate queen and all the things in between?

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night¦She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy¦She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed with fine linen and purple¦She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:10-27

Wow¦just hearing about the life of this ideal woman makes us tired! Is this really what God has in mind for women? What is meant to be a picture of how we should or could be instead becomes a picture of how far we fall short. We feel condemned by her uber-perfect life. Allow me to be honest for a moment . Many of us women can™t stand the proverbial Proverbs 31 Woman.

However, BJ Arnett, a gifted speaker at a recent women™s event at church, offered a different view on Proverbs 31. She challenged us by reminding us that God created women, and He knows what is in a woman. He knows how we are wired, how we are gifted, and our capacity to accomplish many things (at once!). He knows that women have extraordinary inherent abilities to care for, organize, network, manage, encourage, and provide for those in our lives. We were custom-designed for it. He knows, like Peggy Lee, the immense potential and downright giftedness locked inside of us¦

I’m A Woman
Song by Peggy Lee

I can wash out 44 pairs of socks and have ’em hangin out on the line
I can starch & iron 2 dozen shirts ‘fore you can count from 1 to 9
I can scoop up a great big dipper full of lard from the drippins can
Throw it in the skillet, go out & do my shopping, be back before it melts in the pan
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again

I can rub & scrub this old house til it’s shinin™ like a dime
Feed the baby, grease the car, & powder my face at the same time
Get all dressed up, go out and swing til 4 a.m. and then
Lay down at 5, jump up at 6, and start all over again
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again

If you come to me sickly you know I’m gonna make you well
If you come to me all hexed up you know I’m gonna break the spell
If you come to me hungry you know I’m gonna fill you full of grits
If it’s lovin you’re likin, I’ll kiss you and give you the shiverin’ fits
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again

I can stretch a green black dollar bill from here to kingdom come!
I can play the numbers, pay the bills and still end up with some!
I got a twenty-dollar gold piece says there ain’t nothing I can’t do
I can make a dress out of a feed bag and I can make a man out of you
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, and that’s all.

We women need to rise up into our calling. We were created to nurture, to empower, to facilitate, to bring into order things in our lives¦whether this be in the workplace or kitchen, whether with girl friends, a boyfriend, husband, children or clients. How?, you may ask. You must have a large dose of COURAGE. Both the Proverbs 31 woman and the W-O-M-A-N in the song possessed this quality in abundant measure, and it enabled them to accomplish virtual miracles with limited space, time, and energy.

Let me be clear: this is not a call to bury your gifts in order to be a slave for a man. It is a call to RISE UP into your gifts–gifts that women have received from God, enabling us to benefit, strengthen, empower, and bless those around us. Take courage, and be a W-O-M-A-N:

  • Try that recipe you are intimidated by. Last week, I made my first three-layer cake–a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. Yields: A great sense of accomplishment and plenty to share!
  • Invest in knowledge–read a book. (Which is not the same as surfing the internet, my darlings.)
  • Purge your closet and give to the needy. (Call it ˜spring cleaning™, if you like.)
  • Take up sewing or thrift store shopping.
  • Tackle an extra project at work.
  • Rise early and open His good book. Expect to be surprised.
  • Go on a short-term trip to a third-world country.
  • Write notes of thanks to people who bless your life.
  • Do whatever it is that you have been too overwhelmed, fearful, or lazy to do: ­­­___________________________________

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

As for the Proverbs woman:
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ˜Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:28-31

Now, that’s a woman.

Song for the Week:
Just Showed Up For My Own Life by Sara Groves


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