So often, as women, we hear people talk about “the wife of noble character” of Proverbs 31:10 and how as women we should strive to be wives like her. Which is true. But, I’m noticing that God rarely, maybe never, says or does anything for only one single purpose or meaning. Which makes me want to take a look at Proverbs 31 a little differently than normal today. This acrostic poem speaks of a wife of noble character, and as the Church we all, men and women alike, are Christ’s bride which then also means that the Church should be striving to be a wife of noble character. So lets dive into this and see what characteristics the Church should be striving to posses to please our husband Christ.
“A wife of noble character who can find?” We also find this phrase “noble character” in Ruth 3:11 where she has come to Boaz on the threshing flor and asked him to be her kinsman redeemer and he replies to her, “And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character.” So what made Ruth noble? She sacrificed everything she knew, everything she had, everyone she’d ever known to do the right thing and stay with Naomi. And even after they got to their new town and Naomi was stuck in her grief, Ruth kept doing the right thing and she went out into the fields everyday and worked so hard that people, important people noticed. Because of that, she was able to bring a wealth of food home to Naomi. So, if we as the Church are supposed to mimic Ruth, how do we do it? First, we stand by our man Christ! We don’t abandon Him at the altar Sunday afternoon as we walk out of church. We bring Him with us. Way too often as Christians we spend Sunday morning getting our bodies dressed, our bellies fed and feet out the door in a rush of yelling to each other down the hall “Hurry up! We’re going to be late!” We’re so focused on getting our bodies dressed and ready that we leave the house in our spiritual jammies! Church should be like going on a date with God. Something we anticipate, something we prepare for.
“While man looks at the outward appearance, God sees the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7) Now, if you’re spending all your time and energy getting your outward appearance ready for church… who are you really preparing to see? Is that who we’re supposed to be preparing to see? So how do we prepare our spirits for a date with God? We “get dressed” in the Spirit! How, may you ask, do we get dressed in the Spirit? We put on the Holy Spirit of course! Through prayer, praise and relationship with Him. BEFORE we ever get to a church building.
But really, what’s worse? Showing up for our date in our pajamas or eating and leaving and not taking our husbands home with us? I have to be completely honest, I did this today. All of it. I can not tell you what the sermon this morning was even on! I was so incredibly distracted during the service this morning because I had failed to properly prepare myself for the service. I woke up later than I should have, because at the moment my sleep seemed to be more important to me than my prayer time with the Lord. Then the kids woke up and the rat race began for the day. I didn’t even open my Bible or sing a single song before we left. And even though there was praise music playing along on the radio in the car on the way there I didn’t sing along then either, or pray for that matter. You see I had AMPLE time and opportunity to spend some private time with God before church, it takes us 30 minutes to get there now due to summer construction and road closings. Yet I still failed to do it. Then when the time came and I actually HAD the opportunity to WORSHIP Him in His house with my fellow believers, I couldn’t do it fully because I wasn’t “in the mood” still yet.
OH! But on the weeks when I HAVE prepared for our date… WOW! The Holy Spirit has moved me in ways that I never expected. Shared things that sent me to my knees in an instant. Spoken truths and revelations over me that I’d been praying for and waiting for. Yes, when I have come prepared, I have left that place filled and ALIVE with the Spirit of Jesus within my bones. His seed within me, ready to sow it into the lives of countless others throughout the week. It’s amazing to me what God can do with a little bit of preparation. What’s the old saying? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? I think that may apply here too! Just that little bit of heart prevention is worth so much more than an ounce; to God, it means everything! Because then we’re not showing up unprepared and embarrassing Him! Our efforts beforehand show God and ourselves how much He means to us, that He isn’t just a flash in the pan date, but that He’s a lasting relationship, our HUSBAND! The one that we want to spend the rest of our lives with, the one that we want to wake up to every morning and go to sleep with every night. Yeah, He’s that kind of God with that kind of love, you know, that forever kind of love.
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