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Words of Life

Women, Take Charge!

By Carolyn Castleberry May 17, 2009 Words of Life

“Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:29)

God can bring a number of people into your life to show you how to be victorious in the frightening area of finances. You can learn from many of them in regard to both success and failure.

But as someone to learn from, one person in particular stands out, and I love the fact that she is a woman. I hope you also discover that she is someone much like you, though she lived in an age that was less kind to females than ours, one that didn’t afford them all the opportunities we have now. She juggled relationships and career and took it one step further: she became an investor, just as you can. An investor in God. An investor in her family. And an investor in business, in something that would provide financially for her family long into the future. This was her field of dreams, and my goal is to help you consider and find your own field to help provide security for your future in peace in your present.

Let’s take a closer look at this remarkable woman from Proverbs 31. Love her or hate her, you have to admit she is a breath of fresh air in a long lineup of other female mug shots depicted in Proverbs. Proverbs overflows with less-than-glowing descriptions of women. There are wayward wives, prostitutes and women with smoother-than-oil lips. We find strange women, loud women, defiant women and wives who are like a continual drip on a rainy day or decay in their husband’s bones. There are women whose feet never stay home, brazen-faced women and even a woman so repulsive she’s likened to a gold ring in a pig’s snout!

However, the book of Proverbs opens and closes with positive portraits of our gender: first, a woman personified as wisdom (Proberbs 3-4, 8-9), then in Proverbs 31, an “excellent wife” who seemingly can do no wrong. In contrast to the nagging, adulterous, mean-spirited female images in much of Proverbs, the woman in chapter 31 is God-fearing, strong, wise and immensely capable.

She puts God at the top of her priority list (v 30). She made family her next priority (vs 21, 28). She had a positive outlook (v 25). She put her creative talents to work (vs 13, 24). She was a careful investor (v 16). She was a hard worker (v 19). She was generous (v 20). She was tough (vs 15, 17, 18, 25). She reaped positive rewards (vs 11, 31).

Do you hate her yet? Many women do because her example has been thrown in the faces of ordinary women who feel they cannot possibly live up to her standards. But let’s take another look.

I have decided to give this capable lady a fictional name, because referring to her only as “the Proverbs 31 woman” can seem so distant and impersonal. So I named her “Proven” — combining the beginning of the word Proverbs and the last letters of women.

Proverbs + women = a Proven, winning plan

Clearly, Proven was very much involved in her family’s financial life. She made linen garments and sold them. She considered a field and bought it. From her earnings she plants a vineyard. And remember, this resourceful lady didn’t have a laptop or any other high-tech tools to work with. Proven worked with what she had the time.

Notice that the passage doesn’t say her husband did all the work and gave her shopping allowance. In fact, it mentions that she plants a vineyard with her own earnings. She created both immediate and future wealth and provision for her family. Proven’s model for financial well-being can be summed up in three simple words: create, consider, and invest. She created products, she considered her field of investment, and then she actually bought it!

You can do the same thing in your life — in God’s unique way for you.

This Week
Study Proverbs 31 and let the Lord inspire you in new ways.

“Father, make me a woman who proves your Word and glorifies your kingdom in every way.”

This week’s devotional is adapted from Carolyn Castleberry’s book Women, Take Charge of Your Money: A Biblical Path to Financial Security.

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