A woman of valour who can find? She is far more precious than rubies.Proverbs 31:10
We start 2020 with our traditional January bridal issue, I know from personal friendships and family that marriages that may have been on hold for several years due to the great recession are now in full bloom. The strong job market has given young couples the confidence to do what generations have done before them.
The newly wedded brides have been working in a variety of jobs, and getting married won’t change those endeavors. Office buildings and corporate offices are filled with women working in every line of business at all levels of company responsibilities. Our schools are filled with female teachers. The real estate market is dominated by female agents. Civic organizations rely heavily on female volunteers. Stores of all types are filled with females shopping for the needs of their families.
Restaurants and shops are heavily staffed with women of all ages serving the public. Carpool lanes are full of mothers picking up their children. I submit to you that much more than 50% of all cars on the road are filled with women either going to work to provide for their families or going somewhere to meet a need of their family. One of my favorite passages of scripture is Proverbs 31, I love it because when you fully understand Proverbs 31, you will never again believe that the Judea-Christian faiths historically teach that a woman’s position in society is lesser than her husband’s place is in the home. Different yes and arguably much more important, since the working woman more often than not is still taking on the primary role of caregiver to her children.
To understand the message of Proverbs 31, one must put in context the economic and social environment in which it was written. The Jewish household of its day was, in fact, a large working farm being run by the woman of the house while her husband was off tending to the matters of the Jewish State. She was running the family business, while seeing to needs of her family and her employees. In verse 16, she is seen expanding the business as she manages all her other responsibilities. The passage has been labeled many things: “The Noble Wife,” “The Godly Woman,” “The Women of Character,” “A Virtuous Woman,” “A Woman of Valour,” but for me she is simply a woman taking care of business. In Memphis, just as the woman of this message of Proverbs , a woman’s responsibilities require her to do many different things while sacrificing much to take care of the needs of others. The last verse of the Proverb proclaims “let her works praise her;” even today in the Jewish community it is one of the most loved passages being recited every Friday night by the husband to his wife to
thank her for all she has done for him and the family.
4Memphis joins the author of Proverbs in lifting up and praising newlyweds, and the hard work of women of Memphis.
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Excerpts from Proverbs 31
10 A woman of valour who can find? She is far more precious than rubies.
13 She seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant-ships; she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises also while it is yet night, and gives food to her household, and a portion to her servants.
16 She considers a field, and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength, and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good; her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She lays her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
24 She makes linens garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing; and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom; and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness.
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