Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Proverbs 31 - Measured Words

The seventh in the series on Becoming a True Woman. Sent out by revive our hearts.

This is the teaser sent in the email:
Measured Words

You can spend days cultivating a close relationship with someone, but it can all be destroyed by a few sinful words. Learn how to carefully measure your words.*

* Isn't it sad that we're so much more careful about the words we say outside our homes than we are about the words we say inside our homes?
* So often, we just say whatever we think, especially when we're with people we know really well. We just let down our hair, and we're not so conscious about what we're saying.
* If you humble yourself every time you sin with your mouth, you'll start to sin less frequently with your mouth. Stop and edit your words before your speak. (That may just mean saying less.)
Today Nancy's focus is on the words that this woman speaks. From Proverbs 31 we read:
10An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29"Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Here is part of what Nancy has to say:

We come to verse 26 today where we’re told that this virtuous woman opens her mouth. Now, this is the first verse that says anything about this woman talking. That should tell us something. This is not a woman who talks too much. She’s not known for her talking.

There are other qualities that she’s known for—her servant’s heart, her compassion, her tenderness, her diligence—but when people think of this woman, it’s not what she talks about that’s the first thing that comes to mind. “She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.”

I love this verse. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say I love this verse. What I really mean is, I need this verse, and it’s a verse in Proverbs 31, probably more than any other, that I come back to over and over again. “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law [or the teaching] of kindness”—wisdom and kindness.

I have to admit, I appreciate how Nancy points out that we need a verse like this. A verse that reminds us of how we are to talk. To use the words that God gives us with wisdom and kindness. To not just shoot off what first comes out of our mouths. To stop and consider what we are saying, but not only the what...but the how.

It implies having some self-control. In James we are also told of the importance of controlling our tongues. See what James has to say:
With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
I have to admit....controlling my tongue isn't always the easiest thing to do. :) I can wake up talking and go to bed talking. When I'm frustrated I tend to have a bit of an edge to my words (aka last night when Justin kept getting me up between 3-5) it's was like enough boy...GO TO BED! Ah... I dislike it when I get frustrated and stop thinking...should have just asked the lad if he was hungry... once he had a piece of bread he was fine. Would have saved two hours lack of sleep and frustration and words spoken that didn't need to be.

More wisdom, more kindness....less speaking. That would be better.

Then perhaps in a couple of years my boyo will "rise up and call (me) blessed".

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