Proverbs 31:25, “Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.”
We continue this week to look at the attributes that reveal our womanly graciousness.
2) Our Maternity
We walk in graciousness when we embrace our maternalness. Our greatest honor comes from being who God created us to be, and that is maternal. God has innately put a motherly instinct in women. It is the very core of our being. It is the heart of womanhood. When poets and songwriters seek to portray tenderness, they speak of motherhood. The Bible uses the same Hebrew word for a woman’s womb as it does to describe God’s tenderhearted compassion.
We are all familiar with the Titanic disaster. Whom did they seek to save first in this terrible disaster? It was the women and children. They did not need a conference to decide this matter. It was their first thought. It is instinctive within men to save women and children first. Women are the life-givers of the world and children are the future generation and are, therefore, to be preserved.
We were created to mother, to nurture, to reach out to the needy in love and compassion. When we lay aside our inherent maternity to pursue the man’s role of providing for the family, we actually lose honor. When we lay aside having children for the sake of career, we actually deny who we are. Society has tried to reverse this basic law, but it hasn’t worked. As women have left the home in droves, we have reaped an epidemic divorce rate and the break down of the family.
It is true that there are some women who do not marry and many are not able to conceive children. Are they denied maternalness? No. This does not alter their innate maternity and they will find their greatest honor in pouring out their compassionate hearts to the lonely, the needy and those whom God lays upon their hearts. I think of some of the women who have influenced the world for God – Susanna Wesley, Sarah Edwards, Catherine Booth, Mary Slessor, Gladys Aylward, Corrie Ten Boom, and Mother Theresa. The list goes on. Some of these women were great mothers, others never married, but they all poured out their lives to the needy and ministered out of their motherly instinct. And, in turn, we honor them.
God commands all of us to “Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:3; Exodus 20:12) This honor is to be given, not only because one is a good or a diligent mother, but because of the state of motherhood itself. God honors the state of motherhood and fatherhood. It is the first and highest task that God has given to men and women. Every other career serves this foremost commission that God has mandated to us.
3) Our Manner
We reveal graciousness through our manner – the way we walk, the way we dress, the way we smile, the way we talk to our husband and children, the way we welcome people to our home and the way we react when things don’t go our way. I love the way Milton describes Eve in Paradise Lost…
“Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye,
In every gesture dignity and love.”
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
“Oh God, please help me to live the way you planned. Please help me to be gracious with my husband and with my children. Help me to show graciousness, tenderness and gentleness in every situation I face in life. I thank you that I can do it in your strength. Amen.”
“The power of gentleness is irresistible.” H. Martyn