I am probably jumping (as opposed to wading) into shark-infested waters here, but I have grown to love being created woman.
God intentionally formed me in my mother’s womb to be born a female. I am not the product of an accidental chromosome. (Psalm 139)
But this morning, as I was reading this familiar chapter in Proverbs, I saw something I had not noticed before (isn’t God awesome for how He wows us with His Word no matter how long we have read it?!)
An excellent wife (ESV, NASB)
A wife of noble character (NIV, NET)
A virtuous woman (KJV)
A capable wife (HCSB)
A virtuous and capable wife (NLT)
The Hebrew term that is translated all these different but similar ways is, “chayil ishah” (as Kay Arthur says frequently, “hangeth thou in there beloved!”)
“Chayil” is a masculine noun meaning strength, wealth, army, and has the basic idea of strength and influence. Some of the synonyms are: virtue, strength, able-bodied, brave, valiant, warrior
“ishah” is a feminine noun meaning woman, as opposed to “iysh” meaning man
So, this capable, excellent, virtuous noble wife that King Lemuel’s mother is encouraging her son to find is not a ditsy, empty-headed, weak-willed idiot. And, she is not a man.
She is strong.
She is influential (not manipulative)
She is brave (yes, ladies, that means sometimes we have to grow up and kill the bug!) She is a partner, not a doormat.
She is a fellow warrior, not her husband’s competitor.
Strong, influential, able-bodied.
Welcoming, nurturing, encouraging.
Of God-given value and strength in her own right.
If God chooses to have her partner with a husband, she will bring a strength and dignity that will make them a wonderful team for God’s purpose.
Just in case you think this post too theoretical, I want you to know that I saw a spider on my ceiling, coming toward me. I got up, got my trusty can of Aquanet hairspray, and sprayed that spider til his legs were sticky so I could get my cute black pumps and squash that bug! That’s how a girl does it — with hairspray and cute shoes. . .
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