THE WOMAN OF GRACE
EVERY WOMAN; A CIVIL ENGINEER (5)
THE WOMAN OF GRACE
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1 (NIV)
We proceed on our discussion about the woman being the builder of her home. Let’s do a quick re-cap of all the topics we have discussed until now.
In Part one, we talked about wisdom, purpose, and submission.
In Part two, we talked about in-law recognition and acceptance, conflict regulation, accountability, openness, trustworthiness, gratitude, generosity, self-discipline, practicability, decency, and prayerfulness.
In Part three, we talked about sex! We said that sex is an important building component in marriage. We specified that sex is sweet and energizing, and that it is ordained by God, to be enjoyed in the confines of marriage between a man and a woman.
In Part four, we talked about running the race of marriage in obedience to the rules laid down by the maker of the institution. We emphasized that the Holy Spirit is the One who can help to build a marriage that can stand the test of time in this dispensation.
Say a word of prayer with me!
Lord Jesus! Thank You! Thank You for the salvation of my soul. Thank You for the gift of life. Thank You for the privilege given to me to be a nurturer, an incubator, a carrier of great destinies and a woman of grace. Thank you for how far You have brought me. Thank You for where you are taking me. Thank You for Your grace that is sufficient for me! I receive a retentive and an obedient heart as I learn again, in Jesus’ name. Amen!
Who is a woman of grace?
You cannot define who a woman of grace is if you do not have a deep understanding of what it means to be graceful. Some of the synonyms of the word graceful are elegant, beautiful, agile, exquisite, lithe, refined, comely, dexterous, harmonious, pleasing, poised, sophisticated, polished, superior, distinguished, cultured, notable etc.
Hence, we can define a woman of grace as an elegant, a refined, a cultured, a beautiful, an excellent, and a distinguished being. She is someone who is pleasant to the eyes in all ramifications. She is a delight to those who are around her. She is decent, and she oozes dignity and effortlessly commands respect everywhere she goes.
A woman of grace can be viewed through Proverbs 31:10-26.
The Bible reveals some graceful women to us. Some of such women are Esther, Ruth, Deborah, Dorcas, Abigail, Elizabeth, Mary, Lois, Eunice, Jochebed, Hannah, Rebecca, Naomi, Sarah, Joanna, Susanna … If you will objectively study their lifestyles, you will find out that there is at least, one unique ‘selling point’ in each of them.
Now, according to Finishing schools where poise and finesse are taught, there are some habits expected of a graceful woman. Habits such as cleanliness, confidence- in body shape, colour etc., proper sitting posture, decent dress sense …, while all of those are important, being a woman of Grace is much more than what the physical eyes can see; it is the bringing forth of an inner beauty which overshadows the physical beauty. As a woman of Grace, what you wear or do not wear doesn’t make you, who you are does! There are no official laid down rules to being feminine; your dress sense, your mannerisms etc. are just a fraction of the total package, what truly portrays you as a woman of grace is you finding and believing your true identity in Christ Jesus! Gracefulness is energy, and it must come from within you; it is internal and not external. For instance, a woman of grace knows that her colour does not define who she is. Gracefulness is colour blind and with that knowledge, as a woman, you do not need to alter your complexion to fit in. If you find yourself in a group where altering your colour is required, you probably are in a wrong circle.
A woman of grace possesses internal charm and she must be able to harness and use it in all aspects; to her own favour and that of everyone around her. A woman of grace must be able to accept God’s blessings, be empathetic towards other women who would also like to have what she has but she must never be apologetic to anyone for God’s blessings in her life. She must understand that seasons differ so does purposes. A graceful woman must speak clearly, audibly enough, and she must be confident to gather her thoughts when necessary. Taking a pause to gather her thoughts so that she can make meaningful utterances is a plus for a graceful woman; she must make meaningful contributions during discourse and her words must always be seasoned with grace. She must understand that a silent person sometimes comes across as wiser if she remains quiet rather than speak out of tune. A graceful woman must always own her own mistakes. She must be proud to say where she got it wrong, the lessons she learned from her mistakes, then dust herself up and move on because there’s no need crying over spilt milk. A woman of grace must choose her battles wisely. She must know when to talk, when to pray, when to take an action, when to refrain from taking an action, and she must know how to say she is sorry when it matters- above all, she must give total control to the leadership of the Holy Spirit- He is the only One who can help her understand times and seasons. A woman of grace must be bold but submissive. If she ever bows her head, it must be to admire her own shoes and not because someone makes her uncomfortable in her own skin. A woman of grace must never dim her glow because someone is intimidated or offended by her radiance. A woman of grace must derive her energy from love- love for God, love for self, and love for others. She must have a healthy sense of self-worth; and it must be a thing of the mind for her. Whatever she does must be done from the place of love- genuine love, and with time, she must be able to export what she carries. A woman of grace must be mindful of what she hears and says. A woman of grace must discover herself, embrace herself, work on her shortcomings, embrace her flaws and imperfections, and submit it all to the Lord in exchange for true beauty.
Let’s look at some of the notable women of grace in the bible so that we can learn from their lifestyles.
Queen Vashti vs. Queen Esther
If you will study the book of Esther with an open mind in respect to the issue of Vashti, you will know that not many sane women would have done otherwise. King Ahasuerus was drunk and all he wanted to do with Vashti when he called for her was to arrogantly parade her beauty. Can you imagine the kinds of OHs and AHs that would have been coming out of the mouth of those appallingly drunk men?! King Ahasuerus held a feast where he paraded his wealth before his officials, servants, powers that be in Persia and Media, the nobles and the princes of the provinces for a whole one hundred and eighty days! And as if that wasn’t enough, when those days were completed, he hosted them for another seven days just to feed them and get them drunk with wine. In the midst of all these, the Bible records that Queen Vashti also hosted the women in the royal palace which belonged to King Ahasuerus! Proverbs 31:16 (GNT) says of the virtuous (graceful) woman, “She looks at land and buys it, and with money she has earned, she plants a vineyard.” I think if a woman wants to command some form of respect from her husband, she needs to be a woman of substance, too. A woman who has only her physical beauty and nothing more will naturally be viewed, portrayed and presented as an artwork. A woman of grace possesses much more than physical beauty and she is relevant on all sides.
Queen Esther’s case on the other hand is even more pathetic! Though married, she says she hadn’t had a contact with her own husband for thirty days, what a marriage! In the same home?! Well, when the matter of her people became urgent, her brain was so functional she knew that if she wanted victory for herself and her people, it would need more than physical beauty; she knew she needed both spiritual and intellectual prowess to attain victory. Proverbs 31:30 (MSG) says, “Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.”
Deborah was introduced as the wife of Lapidoth. I found out that that was the only place where her husband’s name was mentioned in the bible and I think that that is highly honourable. That a man would only be mentioned in reference to his wife! Proverbs 31:23 (MSG) “Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers.” (NKJV) puts it this way, “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.” The gate signifies the decision making arena. Isn’t it graceful for a woman to bring so much honour to her husband that he could get to sit at the gates with decision makers?! A woman of grace is honourable in her home and she exports her honour everywhere she goes.
In the next edition, we will look into the lifestyles of more women of grace as found in the bible. Till then, may the peace of the Most High God be with you, Amen!