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Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Proverbs 31 Woman -- Magandang Tularan (Worthy to be Emulated)

I have this sign in my pantry where I bake

The Proverbs 31 woman.

Do you know who she is?  Honestly, since I am a Catholic who loves God but rarely reads the Bible, I only came across her a few short weeks into my submission journey. (The Lord really directs our steps once we are ready for His Teachings! It used to be that my Bible study was limited only to what I heard in Mass every Sunday. When God convicted me of my sins recently, I felt a passionate desire to devour His Word. I have since become an avid Bible reader.  Three months and counting! Woohoo! I am taking baby steps in Bible reading but by His Grace, am advancing by leaps and bounds in my faith journey! Praise God!)

In summary, this is who she is:

Mutli-Tasker, Amazing Superwoman!
 I read and re-read that chapter in the Bible and decided that in this day and age of worldly role models, I wanted to pattern my life after her.

 In my pantry where I bake for our small business, Veronica's Kitchen, (a dotnet website is in the offing, exciting!) I have inspiring posters and stickers to keep me in a positive, humble state of mind. I have many Proverbs 31 women signs there too.
My tiny Veronica's Kitchen pantry
Here is the complete chapter from Proverbs 31 about that wife of noble character:

10 [a]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,

    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

 Salawikain 31:
10Isang mabait na babae sinong makakasumpong? Sapagka't ang kaniyang halaga ay higit na makapupo kay sa mga rubi.
11Ang puso ng kaniyang asawa ay tumitiwala sa kaniya, at siya'y hindi kukulangin ng pakinabang.
12Gumagawa siya ng mabuti sa kaniya at hindi kasamaan lahat ng mga kaarawan ng kaniyang buhay.
13Siya'y humahanap ng balahibo ng tupa at lino, at gumagawang kusa ng kaniyang mga kamay.
14Siya'y parang mga sasakyang dagat ng kalakal; nagdadala siya ng kaniyang pagkain mula sa malayo.
15Siya'y bumabangon naman samantalang gabi pa, at nagbibigay ng pagkain sa kaniyang sangbahayan, at ng kanilang gawain sa kaniyang alilang babae.
16Kaniyang minamasdan ang bukid at binibili: sa pamamagitan ng kaniyang kamay ay nagtatanim siya ng ubasan.
17Binibigkisan niya ang kaniyang mga balakang ng kalakasan, at nagpapalakas ng kaniyang mga bisig.
18Kaniyang namamalas na ang kaniyang kalakal ay makikinabang: ang kaniyang ilaw ay hindi namamatay sa gabi.
19Kaniyang itinangan ang kaniyang mga kamay sa panulid, at ang kaniyang mga kamay ay humahawak ng panghabi.
20Iginagawad niya ang kaniyang kamay sa dukha: Oo, iniaabot niya ang kaniyang mga kamay sa mapagkailangan.
21Hindi niya ikinatatakot ang kaniyang sangbahayan sa niebe; sapagka't ang boo niyang sangbahayan ay nakapanamit ng mapulang mapula.
22Gumagawa siya sa ganang kaniya ng mga unang may burda; ang kaniyang pananamit ay mainam na kayong lino at ng kayong kulay ube.
23Ang kaniyang asawa ay kilala sa mga pintuang-bayan, pagka siya'y nauupo sa kasamahan ng mga matanda ng lupain.
24Gumagawa siya ng mga kasuutang kayong lino at ipinagbibili; at nagbibigay ng mga pamigkis sa mga mangangalakal.
25Kalakasan at kamahalan ay siyang kaniyang suot. At kaniyang tinatawanan ang panahong darating.
26Binubuka niya ang kaniyang bibig na may karunungan; at ang kautusan ng kagandahang-loob ay nasa kaniyang dila.
27Kaniyang tinitignang mabuti ang mga lakad ng kaniyang sangbahayan, at hindi kumakain ng tinapay ng katamaran.
28Nagsisibangon ang kaniyang mga anak, at tinatawag siyang mapalad; gayon din ang kaniyang asawa, at pinupuri siya niya, na sinasabi:
29Maraming anak na babae ay nagsisigawang may kabaitan, nguni't ikaw, ay humihigit sa kanilang lahat.
30Ang lingap ay magdaraya, at ang kagandahan ay walang kabuluhan: nguni't ang babae na natatakot sa Panginoon, ay siya'y pupurihin.
31Bigyan ninyo siya ng bunga ng kaniyang mga kamay; at purihin siya ng kaniyang mga gawa sa mga pintuang-bayan. 

* * * 

Some say this was Lemuel's/King Solomon's composite or summary of all the good character traits he saw among his many women lovers. Well, he should have just stuck it out with only one woman, really, but like most men, women were his greatest weakness.

According to :

Solomon broke a number of rules while he was the king, acquiring many horses and much wealth and thinking himself to be better than his subjects. But the one that resulted in his spiritual downfall is that he married foreign women from the surrounding nations. This was forbidden to Israelites (Deut. 7:1-3).  Before he was finished Solomon had accumulated 700 wives and 300 concubines, which was also forbidden (Deut. 17:17).

As he grew older his wives led him astray and turned his heart toward their gods. They convinced him to build altars for their gods and to join with them in worshiping their gods. This so angered the Lord that he swore to tear the kingdom apart because of it (1 Kings 11:1-13).  After Solomon died the northern part of the kingdom fell into idolatry and the nation was split in two as the Lord had promised.

* * *
We now know what happens to even the most gifted and favored among us when we do not follow God. :(

However, going back to the Proverbs 31 woman.
My Checklist

I figured that I, like this Biblical figure also:

  • am an early riser (I can get up as early as 4 am just to water the plants or clean the house or cook breakfast )
  • have my own "small garden"/veranda plants that I tend to daily. 
  • owned and ran my own business (Veronica's Kitchen - Where Everything is prepared With Love)
    Veronica's Kitchen "Where Everything is Prepared with Love"
  • am a homemaker (I love everything about homemaking!)
  • am praised by Dong and adored by our kids (The kids fight over who gets to sleep beside me or hold my hand! The baby, Isabelle, wins every time hands down.;)
  • am educated
  • took care of the household (I treat our house helpers like family as an elder sister/mother would)
  • am very conscious of my thoughts and actions
  • love being generous with everyone especially the poor
  • am in good shape physically, emotionally and spiritually 
  • fear and love God
The only one missing is the "mananahi"/seamstress part, and I have got them all covered! I am working on that! Hubby will buy me a sewing machine, Godwilling, next year. Hehe.:D

Seriously, I think it is very important in this day and age to find godly women worth emulating or patterning our lives upon. It is wonderful to know that we can all aim to be like the Proverbs 31 woman, and in so doing, glorify God while being a source of inspiration to other women.

My prayer is that like the Proverbs 31 woman, our husbands will "have full confidence in us and will lack nothing of value" and that like her, we "will bring our husbands good, not harm, all the days of our lives." May we all be richly blessed! :)

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