Because this year is the 40th anniversary of publishing Above Rubies, I recently re-read the very first magazine I published. I was amazed to see that I am still speaking and writing the same things I did 40 years ago. God’s truth doesn’t change.
The only wonderful thing is that over the years God has revealed increasingly more understanding of His plan and ways to me about women from His living Word. God doesn’t leave us in the dark, but makes His Word a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). We don’t have to sit in darkness.
The following is the FIRST little article I wrote for Above Rubies 40 years ago. I wonder who still has a copy of this magazine?
A GRACIOUS WOMAN
Did you know that God has given honor to women? Christianity does not put women down, but raises her to a place of honor and dignity. You are not significant. Nor are you inferior as a serving wife, mother, and homemaker, which are the greatest privileges God has given to women. Proverbs 11:16 says: “A gracious woman retaineth honor.”
The reason many are not happy in their role is because they have not accepted it and often resist it. It is true that there are times when it is not easy going, but there is a price to success in any career. It involves selflessness that doesn’t sit well with our lower nature. But surely it is this that matures us in strength and character and refines us to be gracious women.
Many women are crying out for their own rights. Feminists herald: “You don’t have to stay married. Put yourself first rather than serving your husband and children.” Does this really work? In fighting for her own rights, a woman loses the honor God divinely gives her.
It is the gracious woman who keeps her honor. What is grace? Jesus showed us what grace is like. We read the description in Philippians 2:6-8: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
These words are preceded by the admonition: “Let this mind (attitude) be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (v. 5). Do we have the same attitude Jesus had? In our marriage and in our home? Are we prepared to lay down our lives for others? Do we show the same grace He showed?
We often feel we have the right to do what we want, but we don’t earn respect and honor by demanding our own way. There were times when I stomped through the house and exclaimed, “I’m just a servant around this place.” Then I hear the words of Jesus in my ear, “Nancy, didn’t I come to serve?” My heart softens again and I respond, “I’m sorry, Lord. Let me serve with love and graciousness.”
With this attitude, I find true happiness and contentment.
Be blessed today,
Painting by Charles Perugini, [British Painter, 1839-1918].