The Fruitful Woman: Proverbs 31
“A Woman Who Fears the LORD, She Shall Be Praised”
© Copyright 2007 by Kathryn Capoccia. This updated file may be freely copied,
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The US Bureau of Census reports that the world population is currently around 6, 707, 187, 900 and growing by the second—roughly half of those are women. How many of us women really know what we should do with our lives? How many of us know how to be successful? Wise? Honored? These were my questions in the summer of 1978. At the age of 25 I had come to the place where I wanted to know what was truly important in life and I wanted to spend my life doing the things that counted. I did not want to come to the end of my life with regrets, full of bitterness about missed opportunities and wrong choices. I wanted to be wise but I didn’t know where to find true wisdom; I wanted to be a success but didn’t know if what I was pursuing was worth my efforts. I had standards but couldn’t live up to them—I had relationships, but felt empty inside. I was sick of myself and longed for something better. And then a man came to tell me about the living God and His will for my life. I began to realize that the life I had been living—the life of pleasing myself--was wrong in God’s sight and that I had offended Him, sinned against Him, and was guilty before Him. I suddenly knew that hell, the place of punishment for sins, was real and that I was going to go there to pay the penalty for my sins unless something was done. My friend told me that I needed to trust Jesus—to confess my sins and forsake them, and ask Him to forgive me and be my Lord and Savior. So, on August 31st, 1978, I prayed to God and told Him that I knew I was a sinner, that I wanted to be saved from the penalty of my sins, and that I would give Him my life to do whatever He wanted with it. From that day on I began to change; I had the power to say “no” to sins that had previously trapped me, I longed to read the Bible and pray, I loved being with God’s people and worshiping, I hated sin and loved righteousness—even my dirty mouth dropped away by itself—and I felt new inside. I was a new person (2CO 5:17)—“born again from above,” as it says in the book of John (JOH 3:3-8)--“by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit (TIT 3:5). I wanted to know God and what pleased Him so much that I enrolled at Talbot Theological Seminary. There I met my husband and my life took a new turn, but there also I learned how to study the Scriptures. And as I studied the Bible I found the wisdom I had been looking for. In Proverbs 31, in the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament, I found God’s blueprint for a successful woman—the fruitful woman. If we want to be successful women in God’s sight we must conform ourselves to her standard of excellence in five departments: consummate wife, committed to excellence, concerned for others, consecrated, and commended.
--There are 31 chapters in the Book of Proverbs, mostly written by Solomon in the 10th century B.C.
--This Proverb is written in two parts: part one, vs. 1-9,—advice on how to rule; two, vs. 10-31,—how to recognize a godly woman/appropriate wife for the king.
--The context is that of the ancient Near East but the principle is timeless (“God’s word abides forever” [1PE 1:25]; this pattern of living is also repeated in the NT).
“The words of king Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him: What, my son? And what, son of my womb? And what, son of my vows?”
A. “Sayings from King Lemuel:”
1. Lemuel means “belonging to God.”
2. Unknown king--no Israelite king called Lemuel.
3. Identified in Jewish tradition as Solomon?
a. He had descriptive names—“Jedidiah” (“beloved of God”-- Nathan) as well as Solomon (“peace”--David); “Lemuel?”(“belonging to God”—Bathsheba?).
b. His mother’s name, “Bathsheba” means “daughter of an oath:” this man was the “son of my vows,” called, “belonging to God.”
c. He was a young king--unmarried: Solomon took the throne in his early 20’s (1KI 3:7, “a little child;” 1CH 22:5, “young (HEB: “na ar”—young adult, youth) and inexperienced,” as in 29:1)—as was this king.
d. He loved and respected his mother as did Lemuel:
4. Passing on his mother’s wisdom to others.
B. Oracle from the godly mother ( mothers traditionally taught their young sons):
1. “Oracle” means (HEB: “massa”), “prophetic utterance, prophecy f. God, pronouncement;” the word comes from a root word meaning “burden.”
a. We don’t know how she received this message, whether by vision, dreams, etc., but this was a lesson from God for the king.
b. Woman prophets rare—Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, the wife of Isaiah (called a prophetess), Anna, the daughters of Philip.
2. Godly queen mother (not many of those in Israel’s history):
a. “My son”—her descendant: the one under her care.
b. “Son of my womb”—her natural child, her own flesh and blood.
c. “Son of my vows” (like Hannah and Samuel: 1SA 1:10,11; 20)—given in response to prayer—this woman petitioned God.
3. Model of godliness: She is both instructing and modeling godly behavior by her instruction—if it is Bathsheba it gives interesting insight into her character.
a. Most Israelite kings turned out like their mothers.
b. “Women will be saved thru childbearing” (1TI 2:15).
C. Oracle taught him (Double stamp—“by 2 or 3 witnesses:” DEU 17:7) (EPH 6:4: “bring up your children in the training and instruction of the Lord.”):
1. Part one: Things the king ought to do.
a. Be sexually pure.
b. Refrain from strong drink and its resultant intoxication.
c. Be just.
d. Be compassionate.
e. Defend the rights of the helpless.
2. Part two: Things the king’s wife ought to be (acrostic format in 10-31 for easy memorization); the virtues that will make a fruitful wife.
II. The Fruitful Woman (PRO 31:10-31): Acrostic poem--22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet= 22 lines in 5 divisions: 10-12; 13-19; 20-24; 25-27; 28-29; 30-31.
A. Consummate Wife (vs. 10-12):
“An excellent wife, who can find? Her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
1. She is a woman (HEB: “issa”—woman as contrasted to man, or a wife [used 2x as much]); a woman who would make a good wife//is good.
(In context: women were marriageable at puberty, and an arranged marriage was normal, though not universal [widows, Japheth’s daughter]).
2. She is “excellent” or, of “noble character” (HEB: “hayil”-strength, capability, skill, valor, wealth—multi-talented).
3. She is rare—“who can find?” (HEB: “masa”—find out, discover, uncover).
4. She is priceless—“her worth far more than rubies:”
a. worth= (HEB: “meker”—worth, value).
b. rubies= (HEB: “peninna”—precious objects; associated with rubies or corals; Job 28:12, 18—coral: most ancient came from diving 50-150 feet below surface of the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf (known and prized by Near Eastern peoples plus Greece and Rome)—they are pink to deep-red; rubies: fine rubies are extremely rare and are more valuable than diamonds—they have a deep-red, carmine color tinged with blue.
--Given from the LORD (PRO 19:14); “every good and perfect gift...” JAM 1:17; “he who finds a wife finds a good thing” PRO 18:22
---“The crown of her husband” (PRO 12:4)
5. She is committed to her husband (she is, “a helpmate suitable for him:” GEN 2:18):
a. Her husband’s heart (HEB: “leb”—inner man) trusts in her (HEB: “batach”—trust, have confidence, rely on). Why?-->
b. He will have no lack of gain—she looks after her husband’s interests and will not betray him, steal from him, mismanage;
1) She does him good (HEB: “tob”—good).
2) She does not do him evil (HEB: “ra”—evil, distress, misery, injury, calamity).
b. She sees her commitment as lifelong; “all the days of her life”—
--Marriage was for life, though divorce was allowed for Hebrews for “uncleanness” (DEU 24:1-2), but not adultery (LEV 20:10); only man could initiate—he must give a written bill of divorce (DEU 24:1, 2)—but she gives him no reason.
B. Committed to Excellence (vs. 13-19:
“She looks for wool and flax, and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and portions to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night. She stretches out her hand to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle.”
--She is a business woman and her business is “home economics.”
--Ancient Near Eastern law codes list taking a job outside the home as grounds for divorce (CH 141, Manners and Customs of Bible Times, Victor H. Matthews, pg. 134).
--Titus 2:5—“homemaker” (GR: “oikteiro”—workers at home);
--1TI 5:14—younger widows should, “get married, bear children, keep house…” (GR: “oikodespotes”—to rule a household) i.e. a despot, an absolute ruler, master.
1. She is committed to doing her best for her household (13-15):
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (ECC 9:10).
a. She searches for the necessities of her household (wool and flax; i.e. clothing’s raw materials.
1) People usually had at least 2 sets of clothes each (LUK 3:11).
2) Clothes were: inner garment (tunic--wool, linen, cotton); heavy outer garment (robe, mantle—wool, goat’s hair, cotton); girdle (belt—leather, linen, silk); headdress; veil.
3) Clothes were hand-made by women in the family.
b. She willingly works with her hands—a happy worker.
c. She searches [“afar”] for the best/freshest food for her family.
d. She rises early—usually to grind grain to begin bread making so everyone provided for: from Manners and Customs of B. Lands:
1) Bread is the East’s principal food–wheat and barley; biscuits, round and heavy loaves, and flatbread.
2) Bread was baked in the home, or in semi-public or public town ovens, taking turns.
2. She is full of initiative (16-19); rather than finding her life restrictive she finds it stimulating, liberating; she has purpose and drive.
a. She considers (HEB: “zamam”—to determine, plot) and buys a field [to rent out] and reinvests the profits in planting a vineyard (which will yield after 7 yrs. of careful tending—long term plan).
b. She works hard (as if exercising) which keeps her body strong.
c. She finds satisfaction in her work.
d. She maximizes her time: she works late into the night completing her tasks for preparation to weave: the distaff and the spindle are the implements for making yarn.
C. Concerned for Others (20-24):
“She extends her hand to the poor; she stretches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen.”
1TI 2:10; [godly women adorn themselves] “with good works.”
1TI 5:10; “[widows] “well reported for good works…brought up children, lodged strangers, washed the saint’s feet, relieved the afflicted, followed every good work.”
1. She is concerned for the poor: (GAL 2:20, “remember the poor;” remember Neb. was warned to care for the poor in DAN 4:27).
a. She extends (HEB: “paras”—to stretch out) her hand to the poor (HEB: “ani”—poor, afflicted, humble).
b. She stretches (HEB: “shalach”—to send) out her hands to the needy (HEB: “ebyon”—in want, needy).
c. She actively helps the needy.
2. She provides the best for her family’s needs:
a. She provides warm clothes against the winter/mountain cold.
b. She provides beautiful garments (scarlet= HEB: “sani”or “shani”—scarlet or crimson; i.e. fine and decorative.
3. She allows herself to have luxury too (bedclothes, decorations; garments): after she has provided for her family she can beautify home.
--It’s not wrong to have nice things as a Christian; the rich young ruler is not our model (MAT 19:21).
--Ecclesiastes says we glorify God when we enjoy what He has provided (ECC 5:19).
4. She enhances her husband’s reputation by her ethic—
a. She makes him look good because she is virtuous and she belongs to him.
b. She is not resentful because her highest goal is to do him good.
5. She sells to the tradesman: this is a side industry of garments and belts, which shows she has independence as well as initiative.
D. Consecrated (25-27):
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
She is consecrated: Consecration means “one who has given herself without reserve to God” (Brooke Foss Westcott).
1. She has strength and dignity (HEB: “oz”—strength, might; “hadar”—an ornament, honor, splendor) as her clothing (“lebush”—that which one wears [clothing, armor]); i.e. she is noble.
--ROM 12:1, “present your bodies as living and holy sacrifices…”
2. She is confident: “smiles” (HEB: “sachaq”—to laugh) at the future; (“acharon”—coming after+ “yom”—day); she has no anxiety for the future because she is right with God and has fulfilled her duties.
3. She shares her faith: “the law of kindness is on her tongue.”
a. She wise (HEB: “hokma”—wisdom, skill, learning).
b. She is kind (HEB: “chesed”—goodness, kindness).
--TIT 2:3; “[older women] be…teachers of good things…”
--TIT 2:4, 5; [older women] admonish the younger women to love their husbands, love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands…”
4. She is faithful:
a. She “looks well” (HEB: “tsaphah”—to keep watch expectantly): she is faithful to them as a watchman.
--HAB 2:1, “I will stand my watch [same word] and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and whatI will answer when I am corrected.”
b. She watches the “ways’ (HEB: “halikah”—a going, travelingcompany).
--DEU 4:9; “teach your children and your grandchildren.”
--PRO 13:20; “a companion of fools suffers harm.”
5. She is not idle (“atsluth”—sluggishness); she is diligent.
--DEU 6:7; “You shall teach
them diligently to your children, you shall talk of them when you sit in your
house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
--EPH 6:4; “bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
E. Commended (28- 31):
“Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: ‘Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.’ Charm is deceptive and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”
1. She is praised (HEB: “halal”—to be boastful, to praise):
a. Praised by her children (vs. 28):
1) They “rise up”: (HEB: “qum”—to arise, stand up, stand) i.e. they give her a standing ovation.
2) They “bless” (HEB: “ashar”—to go straight, go on, advance).
b. Praised by her husband (vs. 28b, 29):
He “praises”: (HEB: “halal”—extol):
“Many daughters have done nobly (“chayil”—strength, efficiency, wealth), but you excel (“alah”—to go up, ascend, climb) them all.”
c. Praised by the public, society; i.e. elders (vs. 31).
d. Praised by her deeds:
“Give (HEB: “nathan”—to give, put, set) her the produce (HEB: “peri”—fruit, produce) of her hands;” i.e. legacy of righteous deeds.
--Jesus said, “The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me” (JOH 10:25).
--“Even a child is known by his actions” (PRO 20:11).
--“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden (MAT 5:14).
2. She has lasting praise:
Charm (“chen”—physical favor) is deceitful (“sheqer”—false) and beauty (face) is vain (“hebel”—breath), but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised (vs. 31).
a. Physical beauty and its appreciation are transitory.
b.The inner beauty of “gentle and quiet spirit” will always be praised (1PE 3:4).
WHY? 3. She fears the LORD: “The woman who fears the LORD…” (31:30):
a. She knows Who He is:
1) YAHWEH, THE “I AM” of EXO 3:14—self-existent; EXO 6:2, 3; Jesus (JOH 8: 58; 18:5, 6).
2) The Everlasting God and the Creator of the ends of the earth (ISA 40:28; Jesus: COL 1:16, “by Him all things were created”).
3) The Only God (ISA 44:6; 45:6; Jesus: “I and the Father are one,” (JOH 10:30).
4) The Mighty One (GEN 49:24).
5) The Judge of all the earth (ECC 11:9; 12:14).
*He is not “some” god—He is “THE GOD.”
b. She “fears” God: SHE FEARS (HEB: “yare”—to be afraid, to hold in awe) THE LORD:
Fear-- 1) She “reverences” God -- She is a believer (ACT 10:2).
-- She has an awe for God (JOB 37:22-24).
-- She loves Him (DEU 6:5).
Awe-- 2) She sanctifies herself (1PE 3:15).
--She consecrates herself to be holy (LEV 20:7).
-- She obeys and serves Him (DEU 10:12; ECC 12:14).
How? c. She learned of Him through oral word and the Scriptures
--“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ” (ROM 10:17).
--Rahab “heard of God” and the great things He had done and believed (JOS 2:9-11).
“…REVERENTIAL AWE AND ADMIRING, SUBMISSIVE FEAR IS FOUNDATIONAL FOR ALL SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM. WHILE THE UNBELIEVER MAY MAKE STATEMENTS ABOUT LIFE AND TRUTH, HE DOES NOT HAVE TRUE OR ULTIMATE KNOWLEDGE UNTIL HE IS IN A REDEMPTIVE RELATIONSHIP OF REVERENTIAL AWE WITH GOD. Note the progression here 1) teaching about God; 2) learning about God; 3) fearing God; 4) knowing God; and 5) imitating God’s wisdom. The fear of the Lord is a state of mind in which one’s own attitudes, will, feelings, deeds, and goals are exchanged for God’s.” John MacArthur—MacArthur Study Bible, pg. 877.
A. DO WE FEAR GOD?
THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS…
--THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM (PRO 9:10).
--THE BEGINNING OF KNOWLEDGE (PRO 1:7).
--HATRED OF EVIL (PRO 8:13). --SALVATION (DEU 10:12; PSA 85:9).
1. Unsaved: ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?
Have you come to the place in your life where you made a decision to forsake everything else and cling to the mercy of the Living God?
a. We all die (HEB 9:27) like the flowers of the field (PSA 103:15):
b. We all will face judgment (HEB 9:27; ECC 12:13-14).
--“Fear Him Who has the power to throw body and soul in hell” (MAT 10:28).
-- Fear Him Who will bring every act to judgment (ECC 12:14):
1) Your righteousness is “filthy rags” (ISA 64:6):
[“depart from Me, I never knew you:” LUK 13:27].
2) You cannot escape judgment (ROM 14:10, 12—we will all stand before Him).
3) There is only one mediator between you and an angry God (1TI 2:5).
4) There is only One Whose name can save (ACT 4:12).
5) There is only one way to heaven (JOH 14:6, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”).
c. We are all commanded to Believe:
--“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”(ACT 16:31).
--“Unless you believe that I am the One I claim to be you will indeed die in your sins” (JOH 8:24).
d. We are all commanded to Repent:
--“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (ACT 2:38).
--“God commands all people everywhere to repent” (ACT 17:30).
e. We are all commanded to Submit:
--JAM 4:7, “Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
--“If you love Me you will obey Me” (JOH 14:23).
But only a few will be saved (LUK 13:24; MAT 7:13, 14); only those who receive Him (JOH 1:12).
2. Saved: ARE YOU HOLY? (“Be holy for I am holy:”1PE 1:16).
a. Is Jesus still your “first Love?”
b. Do you still tremble at His word?
c. Are you still picking up your cross and following Him
d. Are you following “in His steps?”
B. DO WE MEASURE UP TO THIS WOMAN?
1. Are we “consummate women?” God’s excellent women—His best.
--Are we multi-skilled, multi-talented “excellent” women?
--Are we the rare ones—“shining like lights in the world?” (PHI 2:15).
a. Are we consistent?
b. Are we trustworthy?
--Practice good stewardship.
(Today 50% -60% of marriages end in divorce: money issues #1 cause)
c. Are we doing good to our husbands?
-- Make home be a haven for your husband/purity for you (TIT 2:5).
-- Let your husband be your only authority figure (TIT 2:5).
-- Be a helpmate to your husband (GEN 2:18); invest yourself in him:
Pray for/with him.
Anticipate his needs (this means watching him).
Confront his sin—“don’t let the sun godown on your anger” (EPH 4:26).
Meet his sexual needs:
—“your body does not belong to you alone, but also to your husband” (1CO 7:4, 5).
(Don’t let him “burn with passion” in unfulfilled desire: 1CO 7:19).
d. Are we submissive to his headship? (1PE 3:1).
(Dominance issues are a legacy of the curse in GEN 3.)
e. Are we committed? Be committed for life.
(Lack of commitment is #2 reason for divorce).
__Are you keeping yourself sexually pure?
--Are you trustworthy with other’s things?
--Are you a faithful steward with what you have?
-- Are you developing your character in study/prayer?
--Can you keep your commitments?
2. Are we committed to excellence?
a. Are we workers at home
--Titus 2:5—“homemaker” (GR: “oikteiro”—workers at home);
--1TI 5:14—younger widows should, “get married, bear children,keep house…” (GR: “oikodespotes”—to rule a household).
--God made us/knows what is satisfying (TIT 2:3-5).
--Homemaking est. at $134, 121(Reuters-5/4/06).
b. Are we giving our jobs everything we’ve got?
—“whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,working as for the Lord and not for men…” (COL 3:23).
--Are we showing initiative in our work?
Not just going thru the motions, but being imaginative.
Work hard and creatively at your appointed tasks (see Daniel’s example) and produce fruit.
c. Are we taking care of our bodies so that we can work?
d. Are we content--letting our successes give us satisfaction?
e. Are we hard workers?
3. Are we concerned for others?
a. Are we reaching out to the poor?
In our families?
In our fellowship?
In our community?
In our world?
b. Are we abundantly meeting the needs of our families?
For good/warm clothes—care packages?
Do we allow ourselves to have nice things too?
--“garments of fine linen and purple.”
c. Does our behavior reflect well on our husbands—“one flesh:”
Conducting ourselves discreetly.
d. Does our behavior reflect well on our LORD? (TIT 2:5).
e. Do we use our resources well?
4. Are we consecrated?
COL 1:10—“bearing fruit in every good deed…”
—“let your works so shine before others that they will glorify God because of you” (MAT 5:16).
a. Are we wearing Christ?—“put on Christ” (ROM 13:14).
b. Are we resting in Christ?—“be anxious for nothing…” (PHI 4:6).
c. Are we cultivating our own spiritual strength/virtues: read, pray, memorize:
Draw close to Him through His word --
Put His Word into practice:
“Do not merely hear the word, be doers of the Word” (JAM1:25).
d. Are we teaching others about our Lord?
Sharing our faith with unbelievers:
Care about your circle of acquaintances—neighbors, etc.
Teaching our sons/daughters—Daycare?
1) Raise your daughters to be of the character of this woman.
2) Teach your
sons what to look for in a mate.
e. Are we practicing discipleship with other women?
--Older women: (60+) are you teaching teach the younger to love their families (1TI 2:3, 4)?
--Younger women: are you listening to the older teachers?
--Everyone: are you teaching those who know less than you do?
f. Are we modeling godliness? We love our children bymodeling/teaching godliness (TIT 2:4)
g. Are we diligent in caring for the spiritual needs of our household? Pouring ourselves into their lives?
Acting the peacemaker.
Leading in Bible study.
Comforting the hurting.
Monitoring their friendships.
h. Are we making the most of our time? (EPH 5:16).
Remembering the days are short?
i. Are we persevering in the faith?
5. Will we be commended?
a. Will our children praise us?
Do our daughters want to be like us?
Do our sons want wives like us?
b. Will our husbands praise us?
c. Will our works praise us? “wood, hay and straw” (1CO 3:12).
d. Will our society praise us? [“mother of the year”]
“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men” (PRO 22:29).
e. Will God praise us? (“Well done, good and faithful servant:” MAT 25:23).
--ISA 3:10, “Say to the righteous that it will go well with them, for they eat the fruit of their actions.”
Our lives are like a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow (JAS 4:14). The Scriptures teach that, on average, we have 70 or 80 years of life in which to be successful ornot, to be fruitful or barren (PSA 90:10). At the end of them we will face the Eternal God Who will examine our works (ECC 11:9; ROM 2:7; 14:10-12). If we don’t want to come to the end of our lives with bitterness and regret, if we want to have successful, fruitful lives, we have to live God’s way. This woman has spiritual fruit in her own life (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (GAL 5:22)), a shining testimony before others, a legacy of good works within her family and in society, the love and respect of her children and husband, and contentment in the knowledge that she has been in the will of God. Let us determine to be women who please God, who live according to the pattern He has established in the “Fruitful Woman.” Jesus said that we cannot bear real fruit apart from Him (JOH 15:5). It is only by living in obedience to His Word—by dying to self like a “kernel of wheat in the ground” (JOH 12:24)—that we can bring forth a crop of good works, and have “a hundredfold” harvest (MAR 4:8). To be consummate women we must spend ourselves being committed to excellence, being concerned for others, and being consecrated unto God. Then we will have commendation from our children, our husbands, our society and our LORD. God said, “He who honors me I will honor” (1SA 2:20). We don’t have to be afraid of aging, dying, judgment or anything else the future brings as long as we are women who fear the LORD.
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