What is God's view of a woman? Even of a man? I never asked that question, but now I know a wrong answer to that question can mess up my life. Years ago, I attended a class given by Drs Frank and Sally Seekins on God's view of women. I was so impacted by the learning that I really want to share it.
So, what does God think about women? What does God think of me? I love Proverbs 31. The chapter that strikes fear into the hearts of all really imperfect women. It's a beautiful example of all I would like to be but so often feel I could not be.
What is a virtuous woman? One that is gentle, kind, soft, compassionate, incredibly coordinated, organized and strong? One that exudes mercy and kindness and cares for her family? She can quilt, dress well, shop well, laugh, be strong and dignified and speak words of wisdom. She has a husband who brags about her. Heck, I brag about her. She's never lazy, has children who love her and though many are capable, she is way ahead of them. Yup, that is me, I am sure. Well, except for the husband part. So, since I do not have the husband and kids, am I less? If I did have a husband, would I be more??
Drs Seekins taught me that the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 is the eshet chayil (Hebrew). She is a valiant woman. She is chayil. The word used to describe God in Habakkuk 3:19, "God is my strength!”, God is my chayil. Does my being single refute my being men's chayil? Do I play that role in the body of Christ? Do I have value as a woman even if I am single? The eshet Chayil is a valiant woman and a mighty warrior. She supports man. She is his backup in the battle and fights alongside him. Men and women are meant to battle together not against one another.
Chayil in Hebrew means strength and can be translated power or valor. In Greek and Latin the word meant strong, bold, worthy, vigorous, as well as active. We are all of those things along with our men. So, how did I ever get the idea that the proverbs 31 woman was meek, mild and soft spoken all the time? She was a powerhouse. I have reviewed my notes...thanks, Drs. Seekins. Virtuous meant strong and mighty. Their work has changed my life and perspective on WHO I AM IN CHRIST JESUS. Virtuous was also used to describe valiant, excellent and mighty men.
As a woman-a single woman- I need to know my value in the church. I need to be valued in the church and I have needed to come out of my comfort zone to seek the support I need. I was introverted. I could disappear from friday to monday and I was fine. I regained my strength. But the older I get the harder it is to meet the needs of interaction and being valued as my friends have families. I am responsible for that. I needed to change and reach out.
It is not the church's responsibility to entertain me, pull me in, include me in all things and remember me on holidays, necessarily. I need to tell them I need it and to sometimes attend classes and activities that are mostly married people, through which I have learned so much. I have developed married friends who love me. I am thankful as a single woman to serve in God's army fighting beside men and women, married and single, who are seeking to build the kingdom of God and the body of Christ and I share the gospel with those who need to hear it by seeing it lived out in my single life.
Remember the woman who touched the hem of the Lord's garment? She needed healing. Jesus noticed her because when she touched him, the chayil left him. Power left him (Mark 5:30). Notice two things:
- SHE NEEDED TO ACT TO GET HER NEEDS MET, SO SHE REACHED OUT TO JESUS.
- JESUS NOTICED HER BECAUSE THE POWER LEFT HIM IN RESPONSE TO HER FAITH AND DETERMINATION.
I don't know if she was married, but I know she was a woman who knew what she needed. I want to be that woman. I need to be that woman as a single woman. We all need to be that person. Know what you need and reach out to Jesus for it.
Drs. Seekins helped God to empower me and I share what I learned from them to empower you. Men of the church...love the women of the church and breathe life into them. We need it. Empower us as the valiant warriors we are with God given strengths.
Body of Christ...married people, single people and those in between! Love your single women because they too are warriors that you need in the battle. Women, walk in that Chayil definition of WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST! You are virtuous! You are strong! You are Chayil. Be an ally to men and a STAR against the dark and depraved generation. Step out in confidence. God is with you.
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