The to-do list of the “Virtuous Woman” in Proverbs 31 can be intimidating for many Christian women. She is to be admired, of course, and we strive to be like her. I think verses 25 and 26 of Proverbs 31 give a clue as to why she is so virtuous. “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.” Her “to-do” comes out of her “to-be.” I have a feeling that if there were a Proverbs 32, we would find out more about who this woman is.
In Life Group today, (home group of ladies who now meet via ZOOM.) we were talking about hypocrisy based off of Pastor Josh Davis’ sermon last Sunday. I would recommend watching it at horizoncommunity.church, especially if you feel Christians or church goers are a bunch of hypocrites. The ladies in my life group are not hypocrites. In our discussion we were challenged to share what stands out to us about the most non-hypocritical people we’ve met. I thought about those characteristics and combined them into a fictional woman. Since the word “hypocrite” is derived from the Greek word for actor, or mask wearer, I call this fictional Proverbs 32 woman “The Maskless Woman.” Here is her tribute:
Who can find a woman without hypocrisy. She is a treasure most comforting. When you’re in her presence, you can relax and be yourself.
When you sit down to talk with her, she looks directly in your eye. You know you have her complete attention. She listens to understand, not to make her response.
She welcomes you into her home with warm hospitality. No matter the state of her home, you know she’s glad you came. She will no doubt make you a cup of tea and offer chocolate if she has any.
She listens with respect, and no judgement is in her thought. You can talk to her about anything and know she’s sincerely interested. You can tell she genuinely cares about you.
If you’re rejoicing, she shares in your celebration. If you’re in pain, she sits in silence with an arm around your shoulder and helps you bear it. When it’s time for words, truth and encouragement come from her lips.
She’s not just there for the good times. She sticks with you when times are hard. You know she loves you either way and won’t abandon you.
She reminds you of who you are in God’s sight. She tells you that all of His children have questions. She can tell stories of His faithfulness in the past and give hope for the future.
She freely shares her own struggles. She’s open and honest, and invites you to be open and honest, too. Humility is her hallmark as she considers no one to be beneath her.
She loves you too much to let you stay with the consequences of your bad choices. She will offer you resources and support until you are back on your feet again. She will share loving correction and suggestions for growth and not gossip about your struggles with anyone else.
Her eyes may hold a sparkle of humor or she may shed a tear. You feel you are her “favorite,” though you know she has many favorites. You want to stay with her forever, yet she challenges you to go out live the life God has called you to.
Her character is forged from her sincere relationship with God. She is grounded in the Bible and her counsel comes from it. You can count on her prayers being powerful and effective as she prays for you.
She wears no mask, nor does she need one. She is secure of who she is in Christ Jesus. The good fruit she bears will be all the praise she needs.
As I mature in Christ, I want to be more and more like this “Proverbs 32” maskless woman. As I become more like her, I know the good deeds personified in the Proverbs 31 woman will flow from my developing character.