The wisest of women builds her house, (she saves her household with her wisdom) but folly (lack of good sense or judgment) tears it down with her own hands” ~ Proverbs 14:1
Yesterday I began a blog post series on “A Woman’s Purpose” entitled Wonder Woman. God created us as women in His image and likeness. I didn’t grow up with that understanding. I didn’t grow up in church, so everything I knew about a woman’s purpose came either from TV or from observing my parents relationship.
My dad was a good man. A good provider and protector of his family. He was however extremely chauvinistic and domineering. My mom, while she was a strong woman, she was very submissive. That was what the expected roles in marriage. They grew up in an era where women didn’t have many career options, and in marriage, the man was the supreme head of the house… there was no equality. I, on the other hand, grew up in the era of Mary Tyler Moore, Charlie’s Angels, and Laverne & Shirley… all independent women who had freedom, careers and no husband to submit to.
So, not surprisingly, I wanted a life different from my mom’s. I moved out on my own at 19 because all of those women in the tv shows lived on their own. I wanted a career, and I didn’t want to get married until I was 30… after becoming self-sufficient, living a life that I wanted…. having freedom and not being told what to do by a domineering husband.
I believed that women kind of got the short end of the stick. That our purpose was to live a life of submission… never questioning our husband’s absolute authority or decisions. I realize now that God created us in His image and likeness…. that we are as Proverbs 31 calls us “virtuous women” or “women of excellence”.
Proverbs 31 became very special to me in my late 20’s. Steve (my husband) read it to me before we started “officially” dating and told me that it described me. In his eyes, I was the Proverbs 31 woman. Of course, after marriage and babies, I began to have a love/hate relationship with the Proverbs 31 woman. It seemed so far out of reach…. this woman appeared to be a type of wonder woman! Unattainable for someone like me!! It seemed like I was always falling so short and that God had set the bar too high for me. It looked like a domestic checklist, and I wasn’t exactly Martha Stewart!
But then God began to give me the revelation that it is a picture of who I was created to be and it’s how He sees me “now”…… not someday when I get it all together.
Phil 1:6: being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you (me….Robin) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
There are 150 words in Hebrew in this poem (Proverbs 31). The word “female” in Hebrew is nekeiva (nun-kuf-beit-hei). This number, when represented by Hebrew letters, is nun kuf (the first two letters o the word female in Hebrew). The last two letters in the Hebrew word female is beit hei which is a spelling for the Hebrew word “bah” which means “within her”.. literally 150 in her.
So, the word for female, nekeiva, can be read as “150 within her.” All the words, all the meaning, all the potential and all the beauty of the 150 words is within us as women. I don’t have to strive to become this woman, it’s already in me waiting for me to walk in the revelation of it. We are right now fully equipped by God to be what our husbands need to excel and to prosper as men of God.
In the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, there is a scene where the two older women are talking to the younger woman about their power/strength as a woman. They tell her that “the woman, she is the neck and she turns the head whichever direction she chooses.” While it’s funny, there is truth to it. We as women are the neck… either to manipulate it by turning it the direction “we” choose or to be the support system that allows the “head” (our husbands) to function in full mobility.
The term “woman of valor” is only used in the Old Testament to describe Ruth. There are, however, other women in the Bible who were beautiful women of excellence in their families. They were wise builders of their homes… protecting the seed.. securing their future generations. Hating evil and loving righteousness. Respectfully opposing their husbands when the need arose to protect the direction of God in their lives.
One of those women is Eve. I know, I know we tend to only remember that she sinned and caused the fall of man in the Garden. She chose to believe the enemy instead of God. But after leaving the Garden, Eve held on to what God said in Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
This was her promise! A seed would come forth from her…. a seed that would hate evil and love righteousness. A deliverer would come from her!
- She held onto the promise of God and spoke it forth…
Genesis 4:1 reveals to us that when she gave birth to Cain, she had the promise of God before her….. she knew she had acquired this child from the Lord. She sounds like she fully expected that the promise was fulfilled when she had her first child. Here was the offspring that would crush the enemies head!
Hebrews 10:23 tells us to “hold fast to the hope set before us”…. Eve was doing just that by naming the son Cain. The name Cain basically meant “I’ve got him” or “here he is.” Most likely Eve thought that Cain was the seed that God promised, the deliverer who would come from Eve.
Obviously, this didn’t prove to be true. But Eve continued to believe……
- She persevered with what God had said even after she was wrong the first time
When Cain killed Abel her expectations of the “promised seed” came to naught. Later, when she bore Seth she exclaimed, “For God has appointed another seed.” She held fast to hope of the promise.
With Cain, she was expressing her faith in God’s promise. In Hebrew, it reads kaniti ish et-Adonai, “I have gotten a man – namely, the Lord“. This expressed her hope that this child would be the promised Deliverer in the flesh form of a man. At some point, she noticed the differences between her sons. She would’ve noticed that Abel, not Cain, was a lover of righteousness. Perhaps he was the seed. After he is murdered her hope is restored through the birth of Seth.
She said of Seth, “God has appointed me another seed, instead of Abel” She seemed to have an understanding when she gave birth to Seth that God had assigned another seed for her. The promised Deliverer would not be brought forth from her but rather she would give birth to an appointed seed. And that seed that would produce a lineage that would one day give birth to the Deliverer.
The next couple of verses in chapter 4 tell us that through Seth’s descendant’s men began calling on the Name of the Lord. They had faith in God as the Faithful One…. keeping His covenant promise with them. And they began proclaiming who He was in their lives.
Eve was a wise builder of her home… of her future generations. She is a beautiful example to us of a woman with steadfast faith. A woman of excellence…. directing her family in the promises of God. She looked ahead to Christ and His redemption of mankind.
Are you holding on to the promises of God… holding fast to hope? Speaking out His promises over your families lives? Even when you miss it….. continuing steadfast until you see the manifestation of it?
Next blog post we’ll look at Sarah