Monday, October 14, 2013

Strength and Dignity

Clothed in strength and dignity, with nothing to fear, she smiles when she thinks about the future. (Proverbs 31:25, The Voice)

When I think of strength and dignity, I think about a man, an older man.  And yet, these are the qualities the Queen encourages her son to look for in a young bride. Not silk and lace, not short skirts and tank tops, not youthful and voluptuous, not tan and firm, but strength and dignity.  You can almost hear the young man shaking his head saying "ah Mom!  Just what you would expect from your mother!"
But mom knows better.  A woman who has strength of character and strength that comes from hard work, that woman is good for the long term. A woman who is more concerned about her dignity, honor, integrity, honesty, principles, and virtue than about the fleeting pleasures of youth  will make an Excellent Wife. These qualities are hard to find. A wife like this is rare and valuable, as this proverb states at the start.
Me with Al at 28,
cute but not too bright

I confess to you, I was not like this in my youth.  I was flighty and frivolous.  I was impulsive and foolish.  I was cute but not so bright.  I am so grateful that the proverbs reminds us that she is clothed with these wonderful qualities.  They don't come naturally to her.  She chooses to put them on. 

As I age I realize the wisdom in clothing myself with strength of character, with dignity and honor above all else.  These are the characteristics that make me more beautiful as I age, that are timeless and classically lovely.  As I pursue these attributes, I am able to smile at the future because of the investments I made in the past and am making in the present.  I have less regrets.  I can rejoice in time to come.

When I was young, strength and dignity did NOT seem to bring rejoicing.  They appeared old-fashioned and constraining.  But now I see they bring a true joy and peace that exceeds any party I attended in my youth.

Father, help me to continue to prioritize pursuing honor above all other frivolous things.  Not only to be the excellent wife but also because of the delight it brings to me.

She shall rejoice in time to come. (Proverbs 31:25b NKJ)

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