Proverbs 11:16, “A gracious woman retains honor.”
I think that every woman longs for respect and honor. She desires her husband to praise her. She wants her children to revere her. The wonderful thing is that God has given honor to women. He has designed a special anointing and honor for us to walk in. It is our job to hold on to it. Proverbs 11:16 tells us that a gracious woman will retain her honor. The word ‘retain’ literally means ‘ to lay hold of as a support.’ We must lay hold of this honor and not let it go. Revelation 3:11 says, “Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”
This honor is very easy to lose. In fact, it is fast fading in our feministic society. As the modern woman lays down her God-given honor and pursues the man’s world, she loses her respect. I can remember a time when men would immediately give up their seat for a woman when riding buses, trains, etc. I rarely see this happen today. Men rarely open the door for a woman. They seldom make way for her to go first.
Instinctively, a man wants to be the knight in shining armor who protects and saves his princess. It is his privilege and prerogative to protect and honor women, especially a nursing mother or mother with child. But today many women would rather fight for their own rights. They seek to find their identity in the corporate world rather than in the home. In doing so, they lose the honor God has ordained for them. And man himself loses his gallantry to protect the woman.
We should not take our honor lightly. The Hebrew word for ‘honor’ is ‘kavod’ and means ‘weight, esteem, glory, majesty.’ It comes from a root word that means ‘to be heavy’. God did not create women to be insignificant. No, we can ‘carry a lot of weight’. We can influence the world mightily for God. We can be esteemed and honored, especially as we walk in graciousness.
How can we reveal this graciousness? Let’s look at 5 M's.
1) Our Meekness
“Meekness?” I hear you question. It’s not a very popular word, is it? But it is a godly word. In fact, meekness in women is something that is very precious to God. It is a mark of godly womanhood. The words of 1 Peter 3:4 have challenged me all my life. “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” Another translation says that God “delights in it”.
Meekness is not weakness. Someone has said, “If you think it is weak to be meek, try to be meek for a week!” Meekness is not a personality type. I know quiet people who are very stubborn. I know exuberant people who actually have a soft and tender spirit. Jesus was “meek and lowly of heart” and yet He changed the course of history. Moses was “very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” and yet he was a mighty leader.
This gentle humility does not belong to our flesh. It belongs to the new life of Christ who lives within us. Wuest comments that this meekness “is that temper of spirit in which we accept God’s dealings with us as good and therefore without disputing or resisting. It is the humble heart which is also the meek; and which, as such, does not fight against God and struggle and contend with Him.”
The Scriptures reveal God’s heart about this subject. “God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (Read James 4:6,10; 1 Peter 5:5-6; Isaiah 57:15; 66:2) A proud spirit is ugly and takes away our graciousness but a meek and humble spirit will ultimately bring honor. “The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4 NAS)
We will continue this subject next week.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you that you have given honor to me as a woman. Help me to embrace the true honor that is revealed through a humble and gentle spirit. Please work these graces in my life. Help me to reveal them daily in my home. Amen.”
“I will hold on to my honor and not let it go.”