CC Image courtesy of Howard Lake on Flickr.
Author: Rob Anderson
I have never not had my voice. I don’t mean I have never had laryngitis or a sore throat to the point I could not talk, I mean I have never found myself in a position where the things I had to say were not heard or even outright rejected.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of those who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31.8-9)
When I read these words, I have to remind myself that speaking for those who have no voice takes a great amount of work on my part. It is too easy for me to overlook the needs and rights of those who are poor and needy. No matter how much more I wish I had, I am in no way either poor or needy. And no matter how often I may feel overlooked, I have never not had my voice.
As we conclude our reflections on the book of Proverbs, how many times have we seen over the last three months the writer warn us against the allure of folly, whether that be through the chasing of women or wealth? When we scorn the path of wisdom, we move further away from our ability to see the world through God’s eyes.
Is it any wonder that the book concludes with a description of a woman of noble character, who is ultimately praised because she is one who fears the Lord? When we fear the Lord, we begin to see the world the way he sees the world and when that happens, we DO lose our voice, only to gain the voice of those who cannot speak for themselves.
May the words we speak always be words that heal, build up, and support, rather than words that oppress, destroy, or ignore.
CC Image courtesy of viZZZual.com on Flickr.
Author: Laci Richardson
Proverbs 31 is “The Wife of Noble Character” chapter of Proverbs. Some women read these verses and make a checklist out of them of all the things they must do or ways they must act in order to be an outstanding woman or wife – a checklist of perfection. If you live a life in the shadows of that checklist, what happens when you can’t check something off the list or you have a day where you fail at one of the items?
To me, Proverbs 31 is a beautiful reflection of how a husband adores his wife. He notes the characteristics that make her a wife of noble character who is worth far more than rubies. He is proud of her and wants others to know all the things he respects about her.
I own a business and ministry called P31 Fitness, which name comes from Proverbs 31. I use fitness as a tool to teach women about their worth. I talk about the Proverbs 31 woman in my classes, not as an unattainable goal but as a guide for our lives.
One morning not too long ago, I was leaving to teach my fitness class. There was a card in my seat from my husband, Raymond. There was no special occasion. He had just been thinking about me the night before and had written down some of those thoughts and put the card for me to find. He told me of certain characteristics that he admires about me and things that I do for our family. He didn’t mention any of the times that I had failed in those areas. What he remembered and wanted to honor was that I was striving to follow the Lord. This made me think of the Proverbs 31 passage and how that wife was loved and respected by her husband, not for being perfect, but for following the Lord!