Archive for the ‘Proverbs 31’ Category


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 31:19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

A woman’s hands are important and valuable. They are for more than carrying a diamond ring. They are for more than regular manicures. They are for more than holding while walking in the park. They are for manual labor, and a virtuous woman is willing to use them diligently and skillfully. She is not afraid to dirty her hands to get a job done, and she is not afraid to acquire skills with her hands to serve her family and build the estate.

Solomon mentions hands many times, because they are the principal body part for work, especially manual labor. Diligent persons use their hands well (Pr 10:4; 12:24). Slothful persons hide their hands (Pr 6:10-11; 19:24; 21:25; 26:6; Eccl 4:5). No wonder job advertisements may ask for a “hands on” type, who will “roll up his sleeves” and get a job done. A virtuous woman has busy hands that earn rewards (Pr 31:13,16,19-20,31).

Hands are important. A woman’s “elbow grease,” by using her hands diligently, can build the family estate with “sweat equity.” Anything a woman finds to do with her hands, she should do it with her might (Eccl 9:10). A lazy woman destroys the family estate by not using her hands diligently (Pr 14:1; Eccl 10:18). Spiders are in kings’ palaces, because they have numerous hands and are not discouraged at all by repetitive tasks (Pr 30:28).

The virtuous woman despises “hand outs” and the lazy women that accept them, whether from government programs or private charity, for she knows God expects her to work hard or she and her family should not get to eat (Pr 20:4; II Thess 3:6-12). Neither will she or her family live “hand to mouth,” for God also taught her to set aside some revenue for future needs – so her savings account is always growing. Full of energy as God expects, she takes the time to put forth a “helping hand” to those in need (Pr 31:20).

However, diligent hands are not enough. A woman needs to be skillful at hand tasks. God prepared wise and skilled women to spin the various fabrics for the complex decorating of the tabernacle (Ex 35:25-26). The English language originally called such skillful women spinsters, though that name now has very different connotations. A woman must know how to do domestic and other hand tasks skillfully in order to be a virtuous wife.

The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 was a very competent woman at many levels. She bought and managed commercial real estate and manufacturing businesses to help build the family estate (Pr 31:16,24), and she could also spin thread from raw materials. She could take a spinning wheel and loom and teach maidens how to make cloth perfectly (Pr 31:15). She could do the work herself, show how it should be done, and teach others.

A virtuous woman in the 21st century does not spin cloth to make clothes. It would be a waste of her talents and time. She can buy the finished product with superior construction and appearance for comparatively nothing. She is better off learning other skills and using her earnings to buy clothing and other textile products. But when the situation calls for it, she can “do it from scratch,” whether in the closet or the kitchen. When she needs to, she can make cakes fit for the LORD and savory dishes that would make a chef jealous (Gen 18:6; 27:9). This is a woman worth marrying, young man!

What should a woman learn to do skillfully today? Plan and execute great meals for two or a crowd. Keep a computer working. Know first aid and be able to converse with doctors. Use the Internet for quick research on many subjects. Know where she is going for what when she leaves the home. Communicate effectively and quickly by phone or email. Know how to source the optimal food, furnishings, and clothing at the lowest cost. Operate a calculator and balance a checkbook in minutes. Use word processing, spreadsheet, or accounting software. Decorate a house for appeal, comfort, and investment. Find and use the best appliances and tools inside and outside the house.

This is the perfect woman, as described by a queen mother for her son (Pr 31:1-2,10). She fears the LORD with all her heart (Pr 31:30). Her husband can trust in her completely, because she will do him good and right every day of her life (Pr 31:11-12). After these two priorities, she is a diligent worker to provide for her family, her home, and build the family estate in any way she can. She is diligent and skillful in the use of her hands.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 31:13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

A virtuous woman is not above dirtying her hands and working hard at manual labor. She has no illusions or pretensions about her role. She knows that productivity and wealth begin with her hands, not with her mouth. Though capable of using her brain to leverage her assets and labor, she has no qualms about adding her sweat equity to the family estate. Let every lazy or pampered woman humble herself before this wisdom from God.

Here is a trait of a perfect woman, which King Lemuel learned from his mother to find a great wife (Pr 31:1,10). Women must accept that a woman wrote this lofty description (Pr 31:10-31), in case she thinks the bar is set too high, the traits lack sufficient glamour, or they emphasize a wife as her husband’s helper. God made the woman for the man, and learning this lesson is the first step to being a great woman (Gen 2:18; 3:16; I Cor 11:9).

A virtuous woman does not need much done for her. She hunts for raw materials to make useful and valuable things for her family. She is a willing worker – cheerful and content – she has initiative to work hard on her own. She does not need prodding. She sees a need, and she rolls up her sleeves and attacks the project. She does not hope her husband will do it for her after he gets home from work; she finishes it to spend the evening with him.

A pampered wife flitting from tea to reading to drawing violates God and women. It is not found in God’s word or in any prudent society. God made women to work, and they realize one of their chief goals by diligent use of their time. Every Christian woman must make sure she is more virtuous than Victorian. Being a “keeper at home” has nothing to do with taking it easy and making the husband the only or primary worker.

Some women think they have it rough to get up with their husbands and be expected to accomplish a day’s work while he is at work. They prefer rising late, pacing themselves through a few chores, talking on the phone, surfing the Internet, reading a book, visiting the spa, getting their nails done, and then asking their husbands to bring supper home. It is terrible that many of these are so-called Christian women. Great women work as hard or harder than their husbands, and they do so willingly and cheerfully, even eagerly.

In a search for a wife for Isaac, Abraham’s servant found beautiful Rebekah fetching water at a well (Gen 24:15-16). What about her violin lessons? Forget it! How did he qualify her? He waited to see if she would graciously volunteer to draw water for his ten camels (each can drink 20 gallons in 10 minutes!). What did she do? She ran to get the water fast enough for these thirsty beasts (Gen 24:18-20)! Isaac had himself a winner! If you think this is an exception, then read where Jacob discovered Rachel (Gen 29:9-18).

Prissy girls can live and die single beside lazy women, or they can dream of effeminate rich men who will pamper them like dolls into boring oblivion. Marriage is not for a woman to find a gravy train so she can read, shop, and nap most of the day before manipulating her husband to bring supper home. Marriage is for a man to find a lover who will help him build the family and estate by bearing children and working hard.

The church is the bride of the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of glory. His Father did not choose His bride, nor did Jesus die for her, in order for her to have a life of leisure. Those who make up the family of God were chosen to serve and work to glorify God and help one another (Matt 20:25-28; Rom 14:8; I Cor 10:31-33; II Cor 5:13-15; 12:15). Christian saint, how cheerfully and hard have you worked this day to please your Husband?


Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 31:20  She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

The virtuous woman has more on her mind than just her family. Her ambitions, energy, and plans extend to the poor and needy that God has placed in her path. Rather than be content with having her husband, children, and home well cared for and happy, she has a conscience that drives her to take care of others who cannot take care of themselves.

Her thoughts toward the poor and needy are more than wishful thinking or kind words. Her thoughts result in diligent and personal action, which are the only thoughts that count in the sight of God and men (Pr 3:27-28; Jas 2:15-16). She knows that true love is in deed and truth, not merely in word and tongue (I Jn 3:16-18). Moved by God’s love for her, she has bowels of compassion to share her ability and substance with the needy.

The charitable giving here is not easy or passive action. “She stretcheth out her hand,” and, “She reacheth forth her hands.” These words do not convey casual donations or convenient acts of charity. A virtuous woman goes out of her way to meet the poor and needy and help them, even if it requires strenuous effort to accomplish the service. She is not merely available for charity; she volunteers and does the work without any prodding.

The virtuous woman has sympathy for the truly poor and needy (Jas 1:27). She does not exchange mock charity with friends, subdivision neighbors, or peers at work. She knows that giving to the rich will bring God’s judgment (Pr 22:16). Neither does she care or worry about the foolish, lazy, or wasteful (Pr 13:23; 20:4; II Thess 3:10). She, like the Good Samaritan, waits for the Lord to put an act of God in her path (Luke 10:25-37).

She knows godly charity begins with true needs in her extended family – parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents (I Tim 5:4,8,16). It then serves the poor and needy in her church (Acts 2:44-45; Rom 12:13), those in other churches (Matt 25:40; Gal 6:10), and then those God puts in her path (Job 31:16-22; Luke 10:25-37). She is given to hospitality for the saints and known for generosity to strangers (Rom 12:13; I Tim 5:10; Heb 13:2).

A man with a virtuous wife must allow her a discretionary budget for such spending, and it will come back to praise her and him (Pr 31:23,31; II Kgs 4:8-10). Stingy husbands can crush their wives’ hearts and deprive the poor, and they will suffer for it now and later.

A virtuous woman is loved by all and praised by husband and children (Pr 31:28-31; Acts 9:36-42), but her greatest glory is yet to come, when the High King of heaven will take special notice of her charity before the universe (Mat 10:40-42; 25:31-40; I Tim 6:17-19).

 

 


Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 31:18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

A great woman is confident and driven. King Lemuel’s mother described the perfect woman in detail, so her son would know what to look for in a wife (Pr 31:1-2,10-12). The fear of the Lord is the first prerequisite (Pr 31:30), and diligence is the most obvious character trait (Pr 31:13-31). This proverb shows a great woman’s confidence and drive.

“She perceiveth that her merchandise is good.” The virtuous woman knows her performance, productivity, and products are good. Her purchase of a field and investment in a vineyard are great ideas (Pr 31:16); she is committed to do what it takes to make her income-producing venture a success (Pr 31:17). She is confident of her plan and future.

Humility is not a defeated attitude about abilities. Humility is being strong and confident about plans, because you trust the Lord, not just yourself (Jas 4:13-15). Paul was a humble and meek apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, but he also declared that he worked harder than the other apostles, by the grace of God (I Cor 15:10; II Cor 11:5; 12:11-12).

Great women are not puffed up about abilities, nor do they brag about accomplishments. Never! But they know they have a good plan, what it takes to get the job done, and that they can do it. This confident and strong approach to domestic and outside-the-home pursuits condemns the timidity and weakness of many Christian women (Pr 20:4; 22:13).

A virtuous woman is a confident and strong woman. Jael is one of the greatest women in the Bible (Jdgs 5:24)! Why? Intimidation, false humility, timidity, and fear are not Christian virtues, no matter how piously they are presented. A skilled and gracious hostess knows when a meal is well prepared. To think otherwise is foolish slothfulness.

Confidence in personal ability and benefit to others is a strong source of motivation to work hard and extra hard. Knowing her efforts produce much, she is willing to put in extra effort and time. Knowing her productivity benefits her family and others, she is glad for the opportunity to serve and applies herself with focused intensity and perseverance.

“Her candle goeth not out by night.” The virtuous woman is driven. She knows there is profit in all labor (Pr 14:23). She does not waste time talking. Once she settles on a plan, she goes for it. When she has a job to do, she will get it done. Extra effort or extra hours do not discourage her. She finishes her projects. She completes her tasks. She is a success, because she will not quit until the goal is obtained. She does not faint (Pr 24:10).

She knows her family and she will become poor, if she is not diligent at her duties (Pr 10:4; 13:4; 21:5). She knows future freedom and opportunities for her family also depend on her diligence (Pr 12:24; 22:29). Everything at her disposal she uses wisely (Pr 12:27), wastes nothing (Pr 18:19), and leverages labor-saving devices or methods (Pr 14:4).

This great woman detests and rejects the pampered lifestyle of many wives, who live a leisurely lifestyle by their husband’s diligence and perseverance. She does not excuse herself by thinking of him as the only breadwinner and one to be productive and persevering. She will match or exceed him cheerfully in her own areas of responsibility.

Of course, this is a proverb. It does not mean she never sleeps, even if the words indicate she works all night long. This is hyperbole – an obvious exaggeration. She puts forth whatever effort is called for to get the job done. She perseveres energetically. But she does not cross the line of reasonable labor, though extreme when compared to the lazy women around her, into that excessive effort that denies the Lord His role (Ps 127:1-2).

What is the purpose of Proverbs 31:10-31? It was written by a queen mother to instruct her son in the art of finding a great wife (Pr 31:1-2,10-12). Fathers and sons should learn the passage well and pursue only those girls that match the character and conduct found here. Mothers and daughters should see the inspired standard and choose to follow it. All of it is part of God’s divine library to give wisdom to His children for ultimate living.

What is the spiritual application? The church of Jesus Christ is His bride and wife. She should perceive that the spiritual blessings, truth, and wisdom committed to her care and defense are incontrovertibly great (I Tim 3:15-16). She should put forth whatever effort it takes to defend and promote them against carnal Christianity (II Tim 4:1-4; Jude 1:3).


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 31:3 Do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings. 

Whores can destroy kings, how much more average men? A queen mother appealed to her son King Lemuel as only a mother can do and warned him against a great threat to his life and reign – evil women (Pr 31:1-3). Every good mother will intensely warn her sons.

Kings, due to power and riches, were objects of seduction by whorish women. Kings, by their power and riches, lived luxuriously, which promoted lascivious living and the lusts of eyes and flesh. This great mother despised whores and warned her son against them.

Kings ruled nations, raised armies, and conquered empires. Kings are the greatest rulers in history. They made weighty decisions that affected the lives of those in and out of their kingdoms. They had absolute authority of life and death over every citizen. To influence a king was to influence nations and the lives of millions. For a king to become infatuated with a woman was to give his strength, duty, and honor to the base lusts of his loins!

How many kings have been destroyed by evil women affecting their decisions? Or would it be easier to ask how many kings have not been so affected! The threat was real; the historical record bleak; the consequences terrible. Kings, and all men in authority, must be stricter and stronger in resisting women than other men. Power is an aphrodisiac and an opportunity for the flesh. On these two counts men in leadership roles must be vigilant. They must deny the flesh to keep themselves, their offices, and their charges.

King Lemuel’s mother knew good women, for she wrote the loftiest description of the most perfect woman ever described (Pr 31:10-31). She wanted her son the king to have one woman – a virtuous, God-fearing woman – to be his wife. She did not desire a harem for him. She rejected thoughts of mistresses. She despised concubines and courtesans. She knew his success depended on one great woman as his wife. Consider it well, men!

Samson was judge of Israel, but the conniving whore Delilah brought him down to terrible destruction. David had a harem of wives, but taking the wife of one of his best friends brought him sore trouble, nearly destroyed his kingdom, and cost him dearly for the rest of his life. His son Solomon followed David’s horrible example against his own wisdom and is left in ignominy and shame in the Bible (I Kgs 11:1-11; Num 13:26).

What can be said about such foolish rulers as Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony, who were seduced and destroyed by the Egyptian whore Cleopatra? Only Augustus knew how to treat her, so she did the best thing for all concerned and committed suicide. Entire history books have been written of royal adultery and sex scandals from ancient Babylon to the Caesars and popes of Rome to Edwardian England. Women have destroyed many rulers.

What are the lessons? Great mothers warn their sons plainly about the danger of whorish women. Great men, especially in positions of authority or leadership, must take extra precautions to be vigilant against this dangerous threat. And if women can destroy gifted rulers with many options, common men should be even more careful. Good women will realize their sexual power and use it loyally for righteous purposes with their husbands.

There is only one King never moved by evil. This king loved righteousness and hated iniquity and always rules righteously (Heb 1:8-9). David wrote of his distant Son, “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain” (II Sam 23:3-4).

Jesus Christ is that perfect king. Tempted in all points like other men, He never sinned (Heb 4:15). Though many women followed him with great devotion, He knew them only as repentant sinners. He was moved with eternal affection and dying passion for His one true love – the elect of God His Father that comprise His bride (Ps 45:10-17; Jer 31:3; Eph 5:25-27; Rev 19:5-9). Believe and obey the one King that can truly save your life.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 31:24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

Great women are ingenious and industrious. They are intelligent and diligent. They see business opportunities and leverage them for the benefit of the family estate. They fulfill domestic duties to husband and children first, but they have a mind and drive to do more.

A virtuous woman – the great woman every wise man should marry – is an enterprising woman. She is not content with merely being a limited housewife. She knows she is capable of more, so she does more. The example here is a manufacturing and wholesale business in fine linen and girdles. This woman has an entrepreneurial and ambitious spirit that seeks profitable projects to support her husband and build the family income.

Leisure women, who like the easy life of a limited housewife and resent this proverb, need to remember that a mother gave the advice. This chapter of Proverbs has the words of King Lemuel, but they are the prophecy his mother taught him (Pr 31:1-2). This great mother gave her son godly wisdom on how to be a great king (Pr 31:3-9) and how to find a virtuous woman for marriage (Pr 31:10-31). Wise men and women will love the advice.

In all fairness, the virtuous woman did have servants (Pr 31:15). However, managing servants has its own burdens. But she did not have refrigerators, telephones, email, easy transportation, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, cheap capital, and a thousand other labor-saving devices, inventions, and sources of information. She was exceptionally diligent, disciplined, focused, and productive.

It is an error of Bible interpretation to believe a woman must be home all the time doing only domestic duties. Some require this even when children are in school, old enough to care for themselves, or married and gone! The “keepers at home” of Titus 2:5 condemns idleness, busybodies, and gossip, which a comparison with I Timothy 5:13-14 shows. It warns against the actions of a strange woman, who wanders wantonly in a city (Pr 7:11).

The Bible error, possibly the Victorian era, and other factors have caused some Christian women to be decorative, pampered, and unproductive objects at home. God never intended this! These women struggle to put boxes of cereal out for breakfast, run a couple loads of laundry through machines, and extort pizza out of their husbands for supper. What do they do all day? Little! The virtuous woman could do their day in an hour!

The virtuous woman is preeminently a diligent woman – extremely hard working for her husband and children. Fearing the Lord (Pr 31:30), this holy woman applies herself physically and mentally from early to late each day. She has no time for chatting on the phone, long emails, window-shopping, tea parties, Bible studies with televangelists, sitting for hours at soccer practice, playing tennis, checking prices at ten stores, sewing clothes that could be purchased, reading for pleasure, art lessons, or other wastes of time.

A woman with small children and no servants has little time for business, but that is true only for a few years of a woman’s life. If she is a good mother and trainer, even children of 7-10 can do many domestic duties. The heart of a great woman is motivated to do more as soon as possible. She does not pace herself, protect a leisure lifestyle, or become a soccer mom. She wants to outwork her husband and contribute financially, so she does!

The virtuous woman is creative, diligent, energetic, focused, intense, and most of all, productive. She gets a lot done every day! She does not lose or waste time. Her family is well cared for, but she does not stop there. She looks to the future and builds the estate. Men married to such women should give them part of their earnings, so they can plow it into greater earnings (Pr 31:16,31). Her husband is famous because of her (Pr 31:23,28).

Christian woman, here is the standard; here is the ideal – the virtuous woman. The lesson is simple: she takes on financial projects to add earnings to the family, whether it is a paid job or a small business. She is not content with the leisurely life of a housewife in an age of many conveniences. She finds opportunities to add income for the family, and she does not sacrifice the family pursuing them. She is the perfect woman. Study her! Copy her!

Christian wife, if your husband and children are well cared for, and you work a full-time job, you are already doing a great deal. There is little to no time for much else. You are to be commended for balancing such large responsibilities in two opposing directions. May God comfort you that you may have already met the standard of this proverb, and may He teach you the principle of mercy toward yourself (Matt 12:7; Pr 11:17).

Christian wife, if you are at home with young children, and resources and time will not allow much outside work, focus on what God does expect. Make sure you are the best companion and lover for your husband, keep an exceptional home, and diligently train godly character into your children, so they can help in the house and soon be great in their lives and endeavors. Be wise as things change to not miss an opportunity for more.

Christian man, here is the standard; here is the ideal – the virtuous woman. There are two inspired criteria that a king’s mother taught: a woman that will be a great wife fears the Lord (Pr 31:30), and she is exceptionally ambitious and diligent, well beyond domestic duties. Require these two traits, and you will have a jewel with value far above rubies (Pr 31:10). If men expected women like this, many marriages would be different and better.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 31:25 She is clothed with strength and dignity’ she can laugh at the days to come.

A great woman is strong and virtuous. She will not settle for ease or compromise. She chooses courage and resolve. She lives a godly and noble life. Any woman can be great, but only a rare few are. Her future on earth and in heaven will be blessed and happy.

King Lemuel’s mother wrote this description to help her son marry a great woman (Pr 31:1). This kind of woman would help him be a better king and build a noble family and large estate. Every woman should strive for this character; every man should look for it.

A virtuous woman has an eye to the future. She is diligent and makes strenuous efforts to provide for her husband and children. She values integrity and graciousness very highly and does nothing to spoil her reputation. She never sacrifices the future on the altar of the present. She makes the choices now, and applies the efforts now, to yield great rewards in the future. She knows that slothfulness or compromise now will cost her much more later.

The front end of a wife’s life requires strength and honor for her latter end to be joyful and peaceful. Early in marriage, a wife carries, births, nurses, and raises small children, with a high-maintenance husband, on a small budget. The combination is painful for untrained girls. The contrast from the easy life at home during her youth is quite a shock.

But a virtuous woman, made so by God’s grace and good training, will put forth the effort and investment to get through the difficult early years. She knows and accepts the old saying, “A father works from sun to sun, but a mother’s work is never done.” She knows hard work now will bring greater happiness and rewards later, so she perseveres.

When a woman is young, there are also many temptations for folly, which can ruin her productivity or reputation (Ps 25:7; II Tim 2:22; Ezek 23:3,21). She has her own fleshly lusts that she must deal with soberly and strictly. Unless she chooses her friends wisely and guards the inputs to her soul, she can easily fall to foolish habits and sinful thinking.

Especially in a world obsessed with female freedom and frivolity, young women face many difficult tests in faithfulness, integrity, modesty, purity, and sobriety. But the virtuous woman is a chaste virgin before marriage, and she is faithful in heart, mind, speech, and body after marriage. She is strong both in labor and character. She chooses godly virtue in every decision, so that she is honored by God and all good persons.

How is strength and honor her clothing? She puts on these character traits like putting on clothes (Eph 4:22-24). She covers herself with them. Every day when a woman rises, she puts on clothing before showing herself to family or the world. A great woman purposes in heart and mind every morning that she will be strong and honorable that day.

What is strength here? It is diligent labor and vigorous efforts in domestic duties to be the best wife and mother (Pr 14:1; 31:13-27). It is courageous resolve to ignore temptations to folly by her own thoughts or the habits and ideas of family, friends, or the world.

What is honor here? It is her gracious and holy life in heart, tongue, and conduct that does not allow folly or sin to spoil her godly reputation (Pr 11:16; 31:11-12,26,30; Eccl 10:1). She always chooses the high road or noble path in every decision no matter what.

A virtuous woman fears God, which enhances her value more than any beauty or acts of service (Pr 31:28-30). She works harder than other women (Pr 31:17). She is an efficient and faithful wife and mother in duties at home and for the estate (Pr 31:13-27). She is always gracious, which secures her future honor (Pr 11:16; 31:11-12,26). She emphasizes godly character for beauty, rather than clothing or accessories (I Tim 2:9-10; I Pet 3:3-4).

Christian woman! Do not sacrifice your future on the altar of the present. Do not be slack in duties now or compromise godliness now, for it will destroy your future. Put in the effort and holiness now, and your future will be blessed. A virtuous woman will rejoice in the future from her prudent provision for it, her godly and righteous life that leaves a clean conscience, and the praise of others she has loved and served well (Pr 31:28-31).

Even a little folly can ruin a good reputation, like dead flies in good perfume (Eccl 10:1). You must always carefully protect your virtue and family, lest slothfulness brings your family down, or folly destroys your integrity. Today is the first day of the rest of your life, and you can put on strength and honor today. If you are faithful to strength and honor, your husband and children will praise you, and so will the Lord Himself (Matt 25:21,23).

Your future happiness depends on diligence and virtue today. Consider child training. A child trained well today will give you joy and peace tomorrow; but a child neglected today will give you pain and shame (Pr 10:1; 17:25; 22:6; 23:13-14; 29:15). The child that should have been for your comfort in old age could drive you to an early grave.

Consider sex. If you cheat with romance novels, movies, or fantasies, it will lead to selfish bitterness toward your husband, marital defrauding, and break you or him down for either his or your adultery (I Cor 7:1-5). You will cause your husband’s bitterness that will make him grow distant and harsh and cost you family praise at the end (Pr 31:28).

A strong and honorable woman has a future of happiness. Her husband loves her more than ever. Her loving children are noble and successful with godly spouses and grandchildren. The family estate is significant with no financial fears. Her conscience is clean and thankful. She has been a tree of life to many in God’s kingdom. Her reputation is known far and wide. God is glorified and will praise her when she arrives in heaven!

Christian girl! You are not married yet, but you can still put on strength and honor for your future happiness and success. How? Be more diligent than any other girl in obeying your parents, keeping your room, helping around the house, and doing your schoolwork. How about honor? Be more careful than any other girl in holy thoughts, kind speech, pure relationships with boys, graciousness to all, and charity toward your enemies.

Christian reader, whether man or woman, you are the bride of Jesus Christ (II Cor 11:1-2; Eph 5:25-27). It is your duty also to clothe yourself with strength and honor. What is strength? A well-fought fight with diligent effort (II Tim 4:7)! What is honor? The apostolic faith earnestly kept in spite of heresies and trends (II Tim 4:7). If you have done these two things, at the end of your course is a crown of righteousness (II Tim 4:7-8)!