Category Archives: Feminism

Eight Tenets of Feminine Graces and Disciplines (part 1)

modest womenIn earlier devotions we have reflected on the apostle Paul’s exhortation to Titus that he would challenge and instruct four age groups in the churches; older men, older women, young women and young men.  Having considered the challenge to the “aged men” and the “aged women”, we turn our focus to eight “good things” (Titus 2:3) the “aged women” were to teach  “young women” (Titus 2:4-5).

Who were the “young women”?  I have suggested the “aged women” were beyond age-bearing and age-rearing years (50 years and older); therefore, for the sake of our study, I will categorize the “young women” as women of marriageable age, in the child-bearing and child-rearing years (up to 50 years old).  The “aged women” (whose character was the subject of my May 11, 2016 study) were to instruct the “young women” in eight spiritual disciplines.miley cyrus

Titus 2:4-5 That they [older women] may teach the young women to be sober [exercising sound judgment; prudent], to love [be affectionate for] their husbands, to love [affectionate for] their children, 5 To be discreet [soberminded], chaste [holy; pure from carnality; free from evil], keepers at [workers in the] home, good [honorable; pleasing to God], obedient [subordinate to; ranking under; submitting] to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed [reproached; discredited].

“To be sober” is the first spiritual discipline older women were to teach the younger women.  A “sober” woman is by definition a sensible, well-mannered woman of good judgment.  In a culture dominated by scurrilous young women like Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swfit and Ariana Grande who serve as the antithesis of a “sober” women (2:4a), our churches are desperate for women who will model and teach the young women “to be sober”.

young couple.jpgThe aged women were also to challenge the young women to “love their husbands” (2:4).  While the husband is commanded to love his wife with a self-sacrificing love, “as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:22), the young wives were to be taught to embrace their roles as their husband’s helpmeet (Genesis 2:18) and love him with an affection she would show to none other.

The third discipline the older women were to impart to the younger women was “to love their children(2:4).  One would think this discipline is a natural, maternal instinct; however, when you remember the sinfulness of the human heart and our society’s tolerance, even its celebration of abortions, we realize the necessity of older women teaching young women to “love their children”.  mom with children  21st century mothers are facing enormous pressures to be everything but loving moms; however, apart from her relationship with the LORD and her husband, a young woman’s responsibility to her children is supreme.  Provide for them, teach them, discipline them, and pray for them.

In my opinion, too many couples are pouring their energies into careers, pleasures and pets and failing to aspire to the highest role—parenting eternal souls!

I will continue this devotional study in Titus 2 tomorrow.

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

Radical Feminism’s Assault on the Tenets of Feminine Graces

PayPal Gender WarsThe changes in our nation and world in my lifetime have been nothing short of extraordinary.  I have neither the time, space, or desire to enumerate even a few of the changes since this is a devotional blog and not a book; however, if my grandparents and great-grandparents were able to drop in for an earthly visit, would they not consider our world to be in the midst of moral lunacy?  For instance:

Are we so inane we need to debate the moral acceptability of presuming boys will use the boy’s locker room and girls the girl’s locker room?  [By the way, Christian and private schools have been fighting this idiocy for years while your public schools have accommodated it!]

Has the presidency of the United States become some irrelevant that the authority and leadership of the most powerful office in the world is engaging in bathroom wars while the Middle East is burning and Russia and China are building their military?Loretta Lynch

While liberal lunatics assault North Carolina’s right to protect the privacy of the 99.7% who expect privacy when nature calls, Attorney General Loretta Lynch lectures us on “transgender civil rights”…Really?

And now a word from the Word: “Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5  And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Matthew 19:4-5)

God created male and femaleMy friend, God, not man, defined the roles of the man and woman and entertaining the idea of transgenderism, like sodomy, trivializes the most basic, fundamental principle of nature:  God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” (Genesis 1:27)

The role of the “younger women” is the subject of today’s verses in Titus 2:4-5.  Paul has exhorted Titus to instruct the “aged men” to be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience (Titus 2:2) and the “aged women to be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things” (Titus 2:3).  The “aged women” were in turn to instruct the “younger women”.

Titus 2:4-5 – “That they [the aged women] may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Most of my readers realize those verses, Titus 2:4-5, will send radical feminists into a frenzy of bitter attacks and vitriolic words.  Why?  Can we not embrace the different roles of husband and wife, father and mother, and accept those differences are essential for a well-balanced, nurturing home?  No wonder society is overwhelmed by dysfunctional children, teens and young adults; denying the very premise of God’s creative order has left us not only aimless, but foolish.

Bathroom warsRomans 1:22, 24, 26-27a – “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves… 26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men…”

We will consider in our next devotion eight qualities the “aged women” were to instruct the “younger women”.   I will close with my amplification of Titus 2:4-5.

Titus 2:4-5 That they [older women] may teach the young women to be sober [exercising sound judgment; prudent], to love [be affectionate for] their husbands, to love [affectionate for] their children, 5 To be discreet [soberminded], chaste [holy; pure from carnality; free from evil], keepers at [workers in the] home, good [honorable; pleasing to God], obedient [subordinate to; ranking under; submitting] to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed [reproached; discredited].

With the heart of a shepherd,

Pastor Smith

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

Radical Feminism vs. The Tenets of Feminine Graces

wife attackign husbandTitus 2:4-5 – “That they [the aged women] may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

We continue our study of Titus 2 by turning our focus to the “young women” of the church (Titus 2:4-5).

Today’s verses are the antithesis of 21st century politically correctness.  The “young women’s” role described in Titus 2:4-5 was the aspiration of young women a century ago, but today they are the scorn of many.  If you wonder where the responsibility lies for the aspersion of motherhood, the moral decline of our culture, and the erosion of traditional marriage and family, you need look first at the influence of radical feminism.

feminismRadical, revolutionary feminism has dominated the Women’s movement in America for a ½ century and the detrimental effect has been the diminishing of femininity and the ravaging of marriage and motherhood. It is no surprise that the masculinizing of women and the emasculation of men has given rise to “transsexuals” demanding the right to invade the sanctity of the most private arena…dressing rooms, showers, and bathrooms.  To hammer the final nail into America’s cultural coffin is the rabid vitriolic tone of the LGBTQ left in harmony with our own federal government’s radical sexual exploitation of our youth.  Adding to the moral depravity is the inane support of American corporations like Target who are bent on their own suicidal demise!

feminist symbolThe loss of “feminine grace” and refinement is one of the great voids in America’s homes, communities and churches.  The “Women’s Movement” pursued and won some noble causes such as “the Right to Vote, Civil Rights and Equal Pay for Equal Work”; however, what began as a movement with high ideals has, since the 1960’s, been hijacked by radical feminists who reject not only the doctrine, “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”, but belittle the traditional role of the wife and mother.  In its wake, radical feminism has eroded marriage between one man and one woman, disdained the role of the husband and father, and promoted the perversity of sodomy.  No wonder we find ourselves living in a culture so perverse that defining human sexuality as male and female is disparaged.

My friend, irrespective of the howls of protest, let it be said with authority, God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” (Genesis 1:27)

To be continued….

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

Psalm 36:1-4 – Thugs, Bullies, Bastards and Thieves…Oh No!

firePsalm 36:1-4 – “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2  For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
3  The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
4  He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.”

The rising tide of lawlessness, violence, moral depravity and hatred of law and order are indicative of a morally corrupt generation and a dying nation. Fatherless homes, perpetual generations of welfare mothers and grandmothers, and children left to their own wicked devices (Proverbs 29:15) has become a scourge for 21st century America. It is not my purpose or intent to offend my readers in today’s devotional; however, it is time for believers and preachers to employ biblical language that defines a fatherless generation of lawless youth who are symptomatic of the moral decay afflicting our schools, communities, towns and cities.Children Living with Mother Only-bwh graph

The writer of the Book of Hebrews employed the term “bastard” to describe those who profess to be believers, but whose lives gave no evidence of the chastening hand of God because they continued in a pattern of sin contrary to the will and Word of God. Drawing a parallel with a loving earthly father who chastens his children to bend their will to a path of obedience and righteous living (Hebrews 12:7), the author of Hebrews states: “if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” (Hebrews 12:8). In other words, in the same manner a loving earthly father bears the responsibility of teaching and chastening his children when they sin, a professing believer who continues in sin without chastening is a “bastard” and not a spiritual son of God.

Go back and read Psalm 36:1-4 and consider the words of David describing the wicked of his day that parallels the youth of our day, many of whom are raised in fatherless families or homes that have neglected instruction and discipline.

Psalm 36:1 – “The transgression [sin; trespass; rebellion] of the wicked [ungodly; immoral; lawbreaker] saith [affirms; declares] within my heart [inward part; bowels], that there is no fear [dread; terror; alarm] of God before his eyes [knowledge; opinion; sight; note Romans 3:18 ].

The sins of the wicked are the fruit of their sinful nature and proof they have no fear of God. They are numbered among those fools who say, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1); their ways are “corrupt” and their works an abomination before God.

Psalm 36:2 – “For he [wicked] flattereth [apportion; distribute; favors] himself in his own eyes [knowledge; opinion; sight; note Romans 3:18 ], until his iniquity [sin; punishment; guilt] be found [present; appear; i.e. found out] to be hateful [opposed; detest; despised].

If ever there has been a generation that has an inflated sense of their self-worth it is this generation. They have accomplished little, but demand everything. They are full of themselves and social media has offered them a platform to boast of sins over which an earlier generation would have blushed. Rather than discipline, the parents of this generation have fawned over their youth and failed to address the sinful flaws in their character and remind them every action and attitude carries consequences.

Psalm 36:3 – “The words [matter; cause; advice] of his mouth are iniquity [sin; wickedness] and deceit [fraud; treachery]: he hath left off [ceased; failed; lacked] to be wise [understand; prosper; act wisely], and to do good [well; be pleasing].

riotingIn the words of Forrest Gump (1994), “Stupid is as stupid does” (in other words, stupidity and ignorance is not measured by your intellect, but by your words and actions). The filthy, abusive, and deceitful words of this generation toward all authority are reprehensible. The wicked place no value on civility or speaking with discretion. They have no interest in godly wisdom or righteousness.

Psalm 36:4 – “He [wicked] deviseth [count; imagine; account; fabricate; plot] mischief [sin; wickedness] upon his bed; he setteth [stand; present; place] himself in a way [road; path; course of life] that is not good [best; pleasant; right]; he abhorreth [spurns; cast away; despise] not evil [sin; wickedness].”

Finally, we note sin enslaves the wicked.  Their thoughts are dominated by sin and they plot all manner of evil in their hearts.  Contrary to this generation’s embrace of “victimology” that places responsibility for the consequences of sin on everyone but themselves, the wicked purpose to do evil because it is who they are.

We are witnessing in 21st century America, a generation of spiritual “bastards” whose parents have failed to train their moral conscience.  This generation of moral degenerates attack teachers in public schools while peers cheer them on; mock law officers, wreck havoc in their homes, and riot in the streets of our cities.student attacks principal

For a half-century we have watched our nation abandon the “Father Knows Best” and “Leave It to Beaver” ideal of traditional marriage and family.  We are witnessing the results of a failed social experiment driven by an atheistic, anti-family, immoral, socialist ideology.

My friend, we need a spiritual revival in our homes and churches and the backbone and spiritual fortitude to love our children enough to realize that, left to themselves, they will become spiritual “bastards” in word, spirit and action.

2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith

Proverbs 12:4 – Womanhood has the potential to extol the best and the worse of human character.

womanThe Bible addresses women of various characters throughout its pages.  From Eve, the mother of humanity who entertained the beauty of forbidden fruit, to the Virgin Mary who, though of humble means, was chosen as the mother of Jesus, God’s Only begotten Son.

Womanhood extols the best and the worse of human character.  Our youth culture tends to idolize women who personify infamous qualities that a half-century ago would have been scandalous.  Sadly, women who epitomize the best qualities are seldom noted or praised—by their family or peers.  In our parable today, Solomon teaches his son a lesson every man should note and every woman should heed.

Proverbs 12:4 – “A virtuous woman [morally pure; good] is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones [like a cancer to the bones].”Proverbs12.4

A virtuous woman is one of godly character.  She is morally upright, faithful to her husband and worthy of the praise of her family and friends (note Proverbs 31).   She brings out the best in her husband and is a joy and delight to her children.  An example of a virtuous woman is found in the Old Testament. Her name is Ruth.

Ruth, the Moabite, emerged from a heathen culture and chose a path of godliness and moral virtue.  In ancient Israel, her Moabite ancestry was considered scandalous; however, her godly character and reputation in Israel was such that Boaz, her future husband, praised her with this observation:

Ruth 3:11 – “And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman [character & reputation above reproach].”

A woman “that maketh ashamed” (12:4) lacks moral judgment.  She has a wandering heart and her adulterous ways are a cancer to her husband and family.  One infamous Old Testament woman personifies the very definition of one who is a curse and cancer to her husband.  Her name is Jezebel, wife of King Ahab.  Unlike the virtuous woman who brings out the best in her husband, Jezebel brought out the worse in Ahab.

1 Kings 21:25 – “But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up [incited him to do evil].”

road to divorce courtTo the young woman who is reading today’s devotional, I ask, what kind of woman are you?  Are you like Ruth who set her heart to love the Lord and aspired to the highest virtues?   What is your reputation at school, work and church?   Whatever it is, you own it!  You are becoming the woman who will be a “crown” or a cancer to her husband!

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith

Proverbs 21:23 – “The Wives of ________________”

housewives ofAmerican television executives and networks have in the last decade spawned a whole industry of programming known as “Reality TV”.  Of course, the dirty little secret of reality TV producers is that much of the production is scripted and intended to garner a following employing provocative language, sordid conflicts and morally deficient scenes designed to titillate lusts [all sad indicators of the decay of our society].  Backbiting, gossip and “cat fights” are regular fare in many of the shows.  Troubling to me is the sensationalism portrayed by reality TV has become the norm for our culture.   Solomon stated a proverb 3,000 years ago we would be wise to heed:

gossipsProverbs 21:23 – “Whoso keepeth [observe; guard; keep watch] his mouth and his tongue [language; speech] keepeth [observe; guard; keep watch] his soul [life; person; heart; mind] from troubles [distress; adversity; tribulation].”

The tongue within the mouth of a man who lacks discretion is as destructive as that man putting a knife to his own throat!   It is a troublesome reality that an unbridled tongue can be as dangerous as a runaway horse!   Solomon encouraged his son to hold his tongue when he needed to be silent and he would keep himself from troubles, trials and tribulations.   Peter exhorted the 1st century church:

1 Peter 3:10“For he that will love [enjoy] life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile [deceit]:”

biteSome reading today’s devotion have a tongue like a dagger and your gossip is malicious, insensitive and contentious. You cannibalize others and in the process prove what James warned:

James 1:26 – “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”

Copyright 2015 Travis D. Smith

Proverbs 14:28 – Abortion: The unborn’s cry for God’s judgment

abortion1Proverbs 14:28 – “In the multitude [abundance; greatness] of people [nation; men] is the king’s honour [decoration; beauty; glory]: but in the want [end; without; nothing; dearth] of people [community; nation] is the destruction [dissolution; ruin] of the prince [potentate].”

Solomon’s statement on the relationship of the character of a nation and its reflection on a king was from a monarchical perspective. A great king is a ruler of a vast and powerful people; however, a king who chose war at the sacrifice of a multitude of his subjects would not only diminish his honor in the eyes of his people, but would also put his throne and nation at risk.

There is a parallel to this parable that I must apply to our nation and its moral, financial and social decline.  55,772,015 infants have been aborted in the United States since the fateful ruling by the Supreme Court in the case of Roe vs. Wade in 1973.  Believing Solomon’s perspective in Proverbs 14:28 is Truth, one is shaken by the reality there is a correlation in America’s butchery of her children and our precipitous decline as a nation.

We have chosen a path of self-destruction, elected to the highest offices those who are proponents of gross immorality and, apart from revival have sealed our fate with the sacrifice of our children and future as a nation. God help us!

Genesis 9:6 – Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man.”

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith

Proverbs 31:29-31 – An expression of gratitude to godly wives, mothers and daughters

mother and daughterProverbs 31, of all the chapters in Proverbs, is no doubt the most beloved for it articulates a son’s admiration for the woman who gave him life, nurtured, disciplined and directed his feet on the path of righteousness.

The opening verses of this chapter express the Queen Mother’s appeal for her son to remember the vows she made to God while he was in her womb.  She called upon the young prince to reflect on her exhortations that he would become a virtuous, God-fearing, self-disciplined king who would avoid those vices that weaken men’s character [women, wine, strong drink – 31:3-5] and pave the way to shame and ruin.  Such a woman has earned the right for her sons and daughters to hear her words and, in the words of the king, “arise up and call her blessed” (31:28).

I will step aside from my commentary for a moment and allow the king’s own words describe this daughter, wife and mother of virtue.

Proverbs 31:29-30 – “29 Many daughters have done virtuously [served with strength; courage; excellence], but thou excellest [ascend; go beyond] them all. 30 Favour [charm; grace] is deceitful [lies; unreliable], and beauty is vain [temporal; passing]: but a woman that feareth [reverences] the LORD, she shall be praised.

abortionOne of the great tragedies of our 21st century society is the void of godly, virtuous daughters, wives and mothers. The strength of femininity has served mankind well and the influence of daughters, wives and mothers on society is immeasurable.  Like salt seasons and flavors, women have the power to season their homes, communities and society with feminine, preserving grace.  Historically, mothers served not only as the womb of life, but also as the moral compass for a family, community and nation.  Make no mistake, the influence of organizations like NOW, and the rise to leadership of women who crusade for and encourage the slaughter of the unborn infant in a mother’s womb has dethroned America’s daughters, wives and mothers.

Proverbs 31:31 – “Give [Deliver; yield; recompense; pay; apportion] her of the fruit [reward; results] of her hands [labor; consecration]; and let her own works [labor; deeds; achievements; behavior] praise [boast; glory] her in the gates [gates of the city where the elders sat and exercised judgment].”

A husband, son and daughter of a virtuous wife and mother can never compliment or praise a woman of virtue too much!  In his letter to the scattered and persecuted Christians of the 1st century church the apostle Peter challenged husbands: “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them [wife] according to knowledge [understanding], giving honour [cherish; treat as priceless] unto the wife…” (1 Peter 3:7).

It is my prayer that this brief devotional has inspired daughters, wives and mothers to love the Lord and know, in spite of what this godless society might tell you, your influence is beyond your comprehension.  Many have said, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”

I close with an illustration and am at a lost to cite its origin.

Illust. – A man stopped at the flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his rosemother who lived 200 miles away. As he got out of his car he noticed a girl sitting on the curb sobbing. He asked her what was wrong and she replied: “I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother, but I only have 75 cents and a rose costs $2.00. 

The man smiled and said, “Come on in with me. I will buy you a rose for your mother.” He placed his FTD order of flowers to his mother and bought a rose for the girl. As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride.

She responded, “Yes, please, if you could. Take me to my mother,” and she directed him to a cemetery where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.

The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up the flowers and drove the 200 miles to his mother’s home.

Wives and mother’s long for their family’s affection and nothing will compare to the praise of her family.   By the way, to my wife, daughters and mothers in my life…I love you!

Proverbs 31:13-19-31 – Looking for a wife? Consider this woman of extraordinary virtue and godliness!

woman of Proverbs 31In earlier devotions from Proverbs 31 we noted two distinct divisions to this chapter. The first division was the Queen mother’s instructions and counsel to her son who would one day be king, verses 1-9.  The second division, beginning with Proverbs 31:10, continues to the final verse of the chapter.  The latter division expresses the king’s reflections, love and admiration for the godly and virtuous character of his mother.  Such a woman is a model for every wife and mother.

I have identified four virtuous qualities of the king’s mother in earlier devotions:  She is rare, priceless jewel (31:10); responsible (31:11); righteous–a compliment to her husband’s character and reputation (31:12); and reliable: worketh willingly [delight] with her hands…her candle goeth not out by night” (31:13-18).

Proverbs 31 womanContinuing in Proverbs 31 we note five additional qualities that are descriptive of the virtuous woman’s extraordinary influence on her husband, family and peers (31:19-30).

1) The virtuous woman is creative (31:19).  She provides clothing for her household.

Proverbs 31:19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.” [spinning flax and wool into cloth]

2) The virtuous woman is compassionate and caring (31:20-21).   a) She is selfless and generous; extending charity toward those less fortunate (31:20).

Proverbs 31:20 – “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”

spinning yarnb) She provides the finest clothing to protect her family from the cold (13:21).

Proverbs 31:21 – “She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.”

3) The virtuous woman is celebrated... Distinguished for the honor she is to her husband and home [unlike the scandalous wife of Proverbs 7] (31:22-24)

Proverbs 31:22-24 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23  Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24  She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.”

4)  The virtuous woman is courtly and noble (31:25-29).  She is strong, confident and competent“Strength and honour are her clothing…” (31:25). She is wise“She openeth her mouth with wisdom…” (31:26a) and instructs her children and servants. compassionate She is gracious“…in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (31:26b-27). She is diligent (31:27) – Overseeing the affairs of her household; she is not idle.   She is praised (31:28-29) – Inspiring her children and husband to publicly praise and commend (31:28-29).  She is comely (31:30).  Physical beauty is fleeting; however, the grace and godly character of the virtuous wife and mother are endearing and enduring.

Proverbs 31:30 “Favour [charm; grace] is deceitful [lies; unreliable], and beauty is vain [temporal; passing]: but a woman that feareth [reverences] the LORD, she shall be praised.”

What is the secret of this woman of extraordinary skills and godly character? She reveres the Lord and loves His Word (31:30).

Proverbs 1:7“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”woman and Bible

Job 28:28“…Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.”

Proverbs 16:6b“…by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith

Proverbs 31:13-18 – My praise for the virtuous women in my life

heart of a shepherdA note from the author/pastor of  Turning to Proverbs 31 as we close out 2014, I remember only seven months have 31 days and I have barely scratched the surface of my commentary on Proverbs 31.   In spite of my effort to complete my study of Proverbs this calendar year, there are several verses in various chapters I have yet to address in my daily commentary in this book.  Having a disdain for anything unfinished, I bear a sense of urgency to complete my expositional journey through Proverbs.   As we stand at the threshold of a New Year, I invite you to continue your daily readings in Proverbs as your daily exercise in this book of “Uncommon Common Wisdom”.

We observed in earlier devotionals from Proverbs 31 the king’s recollection of his mother’s wise counsel (31:1-9). Proverbs 31:10 marked a dramatic shift from the Queen mother’s counsel to her son’s love, admiration and praise for his mother. No prose has ever captured the portrait of so great a wife and mother as the words recorded in Proverbs 31:10-31.godly woman

The king described his mother as a virtuous wife and mother: She was rare among women, a priceless jewel (31:10). She was responsible (31:11) and righteous–a compliment to her husband’s reign as king and a complement to his character and reputation (31:12).

To those virtuous qualities we add a trait that speaks of her industrious character: She was reliable, diligent and hardworking—She worketh willingly [delight] with her hands” (31:13-18).

Proverbs 31:13-18 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14  She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15  She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16  She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17  She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18  She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.”

mother sewingRather than an exposition on each verse, allow me to state briefly five evidences of a virtuous woman’s industrious disposition: 1) She delights in her work [spinning wool and flax into cloth with which she clothes her family – 31:13]. 2) Like merchant ships that cross the seas in search of rare finds, she shops in the marketplaces bringing home meats and vegetables to nourish her family (31:14). 3) She rises early to prepare food for her household (31:15). 4) She is not afraid of hard work and is savvy in business (31:16-17). 5) Finally, she looks to the future and plans for the needs of her family (“…her candle goeth not out by night” – 31:18b).

I close this final devotional of 2014 acknowledging my life has been one of privilege for many virtuous women have graced my sojourn. I thank God for a Whitley, Sadiewife who could serve as Solomon’s model for a woman of virtue—a faithful wife and loving mother.  My virtuous mother’s labor in the garden in my childhood and the delicious biscuits she would bake before the morning sun caressed the horizon.  I remember the tireless labor of my other mother who labored as God’s servant in her church daycare and the beautiful dresses she sewed for the wife of my youth in college.  I recall my maternal grandmother’s suffering grace in a nursing home and an adopted grandmother who has blessed my life.

I rejoice in God’s salvation, mercy, grace and the virtuous women who have shaped my life.

Happy New Year!

Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith