My Scripture Today is from Proverbs 31: 10-31. My Sermon could be labeled "What Is An Ideal Woman?"
I had one biological mother in my life….her name was Wilma….but she was not my only “mother”…..nope there was my Aunt Shirley, my godmothers Francis and Elizabeth, my best friends mom Valerie, my Sunday School teachers, these ladies were all special to me and I considered….and still consider them my mothers…..but I should also include any female who ever held me when I cried, laughed with me….or put a bandaid on a bloody knee. One of the things they all had in common was that they were godly women. Today is Mother’s Day but instead of talking about Mothers…. I’d like to take a few moments and talk about the Ideal Woman.
What is the Ideal Woman like? You’ll get a variety of answersif you ask someone that question! Some say the ideal woman is a woman who will obeys her husbands every whim, waits on him hand and foot, and literally worships the ground he walks on (I think the word for this description is Male Chauvinism). Others say the ideal woman can do the work of two men, and if women were prime ministers and presidents, wars would end, unemployment would be eliminated, and world hunger would be a thing of the past (I think the word for this is Neo Feminism). The truth lies somewhere between these two extremes. You don’t have to look very far to find a description of the Ideal Woman - if you have a Bible. Her description is found in Proverbs 31:10-31.This Proverb is God’s description of the Ideal Woman - and God isn’t a chauvinist, He is our Creator. Ladies, He designed and created you, and He knows what will satisfy you and bring fulfilment to your life. God tells the world that it would be wise, if it acquainted itself with this lady and should make her its role model. And keep in mind - this proverb wasn’t written to make you feel guilty or place unrealistic expectations on your life. It was written to build you up and show you your God-given potential. Let’s notice 2 items about the Ideal Woman.
I. The Person She Is.
A. She is a Valuable WIFE.
Ladies, this isn’t to say that you’ll never fulfill your role in life if you are single. Heavens no! The Bible teaches that marriage is an honorable relationship between a man and a woman, but the Bible also places great honor on being single. In fact, 1 Corinthians 7 tells us there are some things a single person can do for God that a married person can’t. So don’t ever let any one make you feel like a second class person just because you’re single. But if you are married, or you intend to be married, then please realize that God expects you to be a valuable wife - like the woman in Proverbs 31.
Do you know what made her such a valuable wife? She earned her husbands respect by working with him instead of against him. What an example to follow! Husbands and wives, moms and dads, work together as a team and don’t compete as opponents! You’re on the same team and you have the same goal: to build, provide for, and maintain a godly family! And ladies, you can be a valuable wife if you work with your husband to reach that goal!
B. She is a Vigorous WORKER.
A husband and wife should have a goal to build, provide for, and maintain a godly family and they should work hard to reach that goal. Parents shouldn’t be lazy, especially when it comes to their family. Listen to God’s word…..The Ideal Woman of Proverbs 31 isn’t lazy.
(1) She works hard at HOME. They say that a woman’s work is never done and that’s especially true of a woman’s work at home. Do you know what the most demanding job in the world is? Being a mother and a wife. Think about it. A mother has to be a nurse, a teacher, a child psychologist, a dietician, a housekeeper, and a cook. It takes hard work to build and maintain a family! So ladies, don’t get lazy when it comes to your home. And husbands, don’t be lazy either. Appreciate the hard work your wife does at home - and give her a hand (a helping hand)!
(2) She works hard on the JOB. These verses describe a career woman. She is busy, buying, selling, and trading. It may shock you to realize that the Bible does not condemn a woman who works outside the home. The Ideal Woman of Proverbs 31 works outside the home and is commended - not condemned. Ladies, if you don’t have to work outside the home, then take advantage of it and focus on ministering to your husband and raising your children. But if you have to find employment outside the home then don’t feel like a bad wife or a bad mother. You are being a good wife and a good mother because you’re helping provide for your family!
(3) She even works hard when she SHOPS . That’s commendable! She knows the value of a dollar and she doesn’t squander the family livelihood. I am not saying she is an extreme couponer….but she IS a bargain shopper.
The ideal woman is a valuable wife, a vigorous worker, and . . .
C. She is a Virtuous WOMAN.
Our society places a lot of emphasis on a woman’s looks, but there’s more to the Ideal Woman than her looks. She has substance and virtue. She has and shows compassion to others, she has a good character, and she gives good counsel.
To sum it all up, the Ideal Woman is Christlike! Ladies, what an example for you to follow! Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, but remember it’s far more important to be woman of substance and virtue - like the Woman in Proverbs 31. You need to really get acquainted with this woman and make her your role model. Follow her example and she will help you find fulfillment and satisfaction.
The second item is…..II. The Praise She Deserves.
For the most part, I’ve preached to the ladies - and I don’t want the rest of you to feel left out, so let me preach to you for a few minutes. The last 4 verses of this proverb says that a godly woman deserves to be praised. Husbands, teenagers, and children, do you know why we ought to praise the godly women in our lives?
A. Because it feels GOOD.
It feels good to be positive and to say positive thinks about the people in our lives. But there are some people who just don’t like to praise others. I’m talking about the cranks, misfits, and scrooges of the world who seldom praise. They have an inner sickness of the soul that yields criticism, complaining, sarcasm, and a general joylessness. I want to take such people (and sometimes myself) and shake them and say, "Hey wake up! Sure there is rottenness in the world. But Jesus Christ has made us more than conquerors and He gives us every reason to be positive and happy! So stop grumbling! Get yourself hooked on praise because it feels 10 times better!"
B. Because it honors GOD.
Since God made the world and is at work in it, it is possible to praise Him indirectly by praising something he made or praising something that exalts Him. When people praise my daughter, Kat I feel honored - and that’s the way it is with God).
C. Because it strengthens GODLY WOMEN.
There are always temptations that allure us away from God and we all need encouragement from time to time. We all need to hear a saintly person say, "You’re doing a great job." When you praise the godly women in your life, you are strengthening their walk in the Lord. Wives, Husbands, teenagers, and children, praise the mother’s in your life while you have them. And you will strengthen her, honor God, and add great joy to your own life. Verse 28 tells us…., her children arise and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praises her).