With Mother’s day right around the corner I started to think about my spouse and how blessed I am that God chose her and placed her in my arms. I do not want to boast, but my wife reminds me of the wife in Proverb 31. Trustworthy, hardworking, wise, strong (physically, mentally, and spiritually), giving, sacrificial, honorable, kind, loving, faithful and fruitful. My wife willingly left a job with a three-figure salary in order to start a family, stay home, and raise our children. She chose to fulfill the role of a homemaker and teach our children at home. She finds time to volunteer to help out in church, minister to younger mothers & women, do the soccer mom thing, and deal with an immature, hyperactive, and grumpy husband.
Proverb 31:10-31 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth [is] far above rubies.11The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar.15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.16 She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard.17 She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.18 She perceives that her merchandise [is] good, And her lamp does not go out by night.19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle.20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household [is] clothed with scarlet.22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing [is] fine linen and purple.23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.24 She makes linen garments and sells [them], And supplies sashes for the merchants.25 Strength and honor [are] her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue [is] the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband [also], and he praises her: 29 "Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all."30 Charm [is] deceitful and beauty [is] passing, But a woman [who] fears the LORD, she shall be praised.31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.
Is my wife perfect, no. None of us are, we are all sinners saved by grace. She has her faults, same as me. (Though, I have many, many more). Before she met Christ, my wife was a completely different person, more like the women in Isaiah 3:16-26. She lived for herself pushing others away or using them in order to fulfill her agenda. But, once she accepted Christ, as Lord and Savior, she slowly changed, up to the point that she is a very different and better person now.
Am I writing to boast about my wife? No, I am writing because I worry that the Church instead of encouraging women to be like the wife in Proverb 31, they are accepting the modern “politically correct” world view of women, and even encouraging the worldly behaviors condemned in Isaiah 3.
Isaiah 3:16 Moreover the LORD says: "Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, And walk with outstretched necks And wanton eyes, Walking and mincing [as] they go, Making a jingling with their feet,17 Therefore the Lord will strike with a scab The crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, And the LORD will uncover their secret parts."18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery: The jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents;19 The pendants, the bracelets, and the veils;20 The headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; The perfume boxes, the charms,21 and the rings; The nose jewels,22 the festal apparel, and the mantles; The outer garments, the purses, 23 and the mirrors; The fine linen, the turbans, and the robes of a sweet smell there will be a stench; Instead of a sash, a rope; Instead of well-set hair, baldness; Instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; And branding instead of beauty. 25 Your men shall fall by the sword, And your mighty in the war. 26 Her gates shall lament and mourn, And she [being] desolate shall sit on the ground.
Modern women, like the women described above in Isaiah, pride themselves in being independent, aggressive, empowered, open and proud of their sexuality. You clearly see this in the music industry and Hollywood. Where women seem to be the more famous and powerful, the less clothing they wear, the more sexually aggressive they are, and the more times they have been divorced. Don’t believe me? Look at Madonna (I know she’s getting old, but she was a pioneer at this), Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Angelina Jolie, Pink, etc.... Many of these high profile women start out relatively modest, but realize that it is easier to get what they want by being shocking, sexually aggressive, putting all behind in order to succeed as a independent woman. At times they even fulfill the role of a temptress in order to gain attention and therein success.
For example, I just heard that Miley Cyrus, a.k.a. Hannah Montana (the idol of many pre-teen girls) has taken this route. Her new video will be sexually charged. (I guess they need to address the teenage boy market).These high profile powerful women all have something in common. They imitate the women in Isaiah 3. They are haughty, wanton, charming (not in a good way), drawing attention to themselves, proud of themselves and using their sensuality as a way to get what they want (power, money, fame, acceptance, happiness, love). I find it amusing that every time one of these liberated “independent women” want to empower themselves they use their sexuality/sensuality. They don’t use their intellect, they don’t point to their hard work, they just lower their cleavage and wear tighter clothes. Please explain to me how does that make men respect them, threat them as equals, and not just look at them as an object. It is just plainly amusing to hear one of these Hollywood divas talk about women rights, when all the do is become rich by propagating the view that women are just sexual objects for men. Sadly, these are the women that society (the World) looks up to. They are the spoke persons for politicians, “just causes”, political correctness, social change movements, etc. They are the women our boys want to date and our girls want to be like. It has gotten to the point that when a conservative woman hits the spotlight, she is attacked and demonized for not being more like Madonna. The world is upside down.
Pr 2:16 To deliver you from the immoral woman, From the seductress who flatters with her words. 17 Who forsakes the companion of her youth, And forgets the covenant of her God. 18 For her house leads down to death, And her paths to the dead;19 None who go to her return, Nor do they regain the paths of life-
The Church, instead of separating itself from the world, is accepting this modern view point of women, even condoning it. How you ask? Here are three examples.
First, modern churches are obsessed with outward appearances (specially the looks of women). Instead of bible studies they have sumba classes. Instead of devotions they have dieting tips. Instead of teachers they have personal trainers. (I am not against being healthy, but the reason behind these “church” programs is not health, but looks, i.e, sensuality. A slimmer waist and better butt).
1 Tim. 4:8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
Second, many Churches offer day care for working moms. Disclaimer: I know that there are single moms out there and some families in which they have no choice, but for the spouse to work. I understand that things are rough and sometimes a family needs both spouse to work in order to simply survive. My problem is not with those families or mothers, as a matter of fact I feel for them. My problem is with families in which both spouses work so that they can buy the BMW or the fancy house. They drop off their kids in the Church day care all day, pick him up at the end of the day, tired, feed him, put him to bed, and do it all again the next day so that they can live “luxuriously”. Who is raising that kid? The day care worker or mom? The Day care worker spends more time with the kid so that mom can pick him up in the Lexus. That is sad, why have kids so that someone else can raise them.
Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.Proverbs 14:1
Churches with daycare condone this by offering the service so that the mom (who does not need to) can go to work. What’s wrong with living more humbly, with one salary, and spending time with your children and actually raising them? The wife in Proverbs 31 works, but she also watches over the ways of her household. The Church should lead women to be like the wife in Proverbs 31, not like the “independent successful women” of the world system.
Tit 2:3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things- 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
Finally, “Fashion” (or should I call it “Pride”) can also become an issue. I am not a prude who believes women should wear long skirts and button-up shirts to church, but there has to be a limit. When the worldly dress code of “believers” is causing others to be stumbled, that is a problem.
1 Timothy 2:9-10 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.
I remember having a close friend admit that he was stumbled by the way some of the girls dressed in church. I could have judged him as being weak, or accused him of not walking in the spirit, but he was right. It was hard not to have wondering eyes when everywhere you looked you saw low cleavage, extra tight low waist jeans, short skirts, and butt cracks.
1 Cor 8:12-13 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food (clothing) makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat (wear that), lest I make my brother stumble.
I do not want to sound like a Pharisee or extra holy, but I do remember at times keeping my head low, staring at the floor as I walked and avoiding talking to certain girls because of the way they were dressed. I do not think all of the girls who wear these revealing clothes where trying to be vixens or to purposely tempt the weak men in the church.(That would be all of us). I like to think that they were just ignorant, adopting the ways of the world and wearing the fashions dictated by the world system. You know, the stuff the liberal Hollywood crowd or the elite NYC jet set wear and tell women to wear in order to look “good”, as seen on TV, movies & magazines. If the women wearing these clothes are believers, they should mature and stop behaving like babies. Let’s not lie to ourselves, the purpose behind wearing such tight revealing clothes is to draw attention to the body, specifically a woman’s sensual parts. Apparently this has become acceptable in Church, like it had become acceptable in Israel. Israel was meant to be a separate nation that would evangelize the world through their faithfulness and obedience to God. The Church was also meant to be a separate entity, in the world, but not of the world, full of believers imitating Christ, not imitating the world. Israel did not fulfill God’s will. It started to be influenced by the practices of the pagan nations around them. It was a slippery slope that led to God’s intervention and captivity in Babylon.
As described in Isaiah 3, the women in Israel became materialistic, proud, and heavily influenced by the pagan cultures around them. They wore bells on their feet so as they mingled by men (and other women) they would look at them. They wore all these bracelets, rings, headdresses, leg ornaments, headbands, charms, nose, purses, etc, to draw attention to themselves. They were proud in the way they looked and wanted others to notice. This type of attention is always negative as it is based on outward looks and appearances, not godly actions and behavior. As you can read in Isaiah 3 , God condemned this type of worldly behavior. The wife in Proverb 31 is not concerned in making others look at her waistline, she is focused in living out her faith and letting her actions demonstrate her faith. The world is concerned about appearances, what car I drive, what house I own, what clothes I wear, how good do I look, etc.. Christ is concerned about our hearts.
1 Samuel 16:7 “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearances, but the lord looks at the heart.”
Don’t get me wrong being healthy is good, feeling good and even looking good can be good thing. I like it when my wife looks good and I want to look good to her. But I don’t want her to be stumbling other men or women by the way she dresses. (Ok, I also do not want other men staring at her). But ultimately she demonstrates her love for me, and her trust in Christ, by being faithful, honorable, and humble. Like the woman in Proverbs 31, not the women in Isaiah 3.
Prov. 31:30 Charm [is] deceitful and beauty [is] passing, But a woman [who] fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
As Christians we should set the example, lead the way, change the world and not just adopt the World’s definitions of what is attractive or empowering. We should have non-believers saying “these Christians are turning the world upside down” or is it right side up!
Acts 17:6 “… , These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”