May 19, 2010

Proverbs 31:10

"A wife of noble character, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies."

Wow! That is a huge thing to contemplate...

First to ponder:
"noble character"

Webster's defines noble as: –adjective
of an exalted moral or mental character or excellence; lofty:a noble thought.
admirable in dignity of conception, manner of expression, execution, or composition: a noble poem.
very impressive or imposing in appearance; stately; magnificent: a noble monument.
of an admirably high quality; notably superior; excellent.

As you can see from the above, applicable portions, this is not something that is necessarily easy to come by...I can honestly say that I have to consciously choose to seek excellence in my behavior, words, and attitudes. I don't think of myself as impressive, or magnificent, and know that I am in no way superior.

But let me pose this thought - when was the last time you felt excellent, or of high quality? When was the last time someone made you feel that way? Hmmmm...perhaps "noble character" first must come from within our own thoughts of ourselves and others? Nobility is not something that is necessarily inherent in us. In fact, I would contend that our sinful nature is what keeps us from being noble. Further, if we want to be seen or thought of as being of noble character, we must indeed choose daily, moment by moment in my case, to be stately, and excellent.

Second, let's look at being of "far greater worth than rubies". Rubies are valuable as gems for jewelry. Pigeons' Blood rubies - the brightest and most saturated with color are the "best". They are one of the 4 precious gems, ranked right up there with diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires. They are, in fact, one of the 3 hardest gems, next to moissanite and diamonds. This means they are tough. They can be used in all sorts of applications. They are beautiful, they can adorn a queen or king, they capture and reflect light, they are an object sought for many, wealth, usefulness...and in ancient times, they'd have been even more rare, and of more worth. Can you imagine anyone comparing you to a gemstone? Can you possibly comprehend what it is to be worth more than one of the most valuable gemstones on the planet? Something that can be used for so many things...and you are worth more? That's a heavy thought...

With this information about noble character and the price of rubies the thought comes to me that I have a lot to live up to!

How can I, a mere human who makes mistakes, who loses my temper and yells at my husband and children for such petty things as leaving their shoes at the door, or their dirty socks on the floor, be considered noble? When I think of Queen Elizabeth, or Princess Diana, or Princess Grace, I somehow cannot see them losing their temper, getting pimples, being bloated, or having bags under their eyes...I cannot see them schlumping through their day in jeans with holes in the knees, and a pair of 2-year-old sneakers that are stained from mowing grass...But I know that is not what makes them noble...their nobility comes from birth, or, in the case of Princess Grace, marriage. SO, what, then can make me of noble character? Of worth greater than rubies?

CHOICES make me that way. I can choose to pursue excellence, fairness, compassion, wisdom, knowledge, love, kindness, grace, mercy...I can choose to be "wise as a serpent, gentle as a dove", or I can choose to lash out in petty ways and be hurtful.

Pondering this throughout yesterday and this morning, I think that it is something that must get easier with practice...the more you choose to have these attitudes and behaviors, the easier they get.

Of course, I also know that I have a huge source of help for these qualities, and that I can be noble and of great worth, thanks to the amazing gift of Grace and God's Son, sacrificed for me.

Beyond that knowledge, I am aware that I am inherently flawed - full of inclusions, mars, streaks, cracks, pits, ugliness...and only God can wipe that away, and make me a polished, gleaming Child of His...

My prayer for this has been to see where I am weak, to have it thrown up to me where I am lacking, and to face it over and over again until I can choose to be the gracious, kind, loving, compassionate, merciful, tender, patient mother and wife that I know I am to be.

I welcome any thoughts or further discussion on this if you're still reading.


Inkling said...

While I was at my mom's, I read a good book with a title like "How to keep a princess heart in a not so fairytale world". It's a really good read, and touches on this very thing - knowing that we have nobility inside us because of who we are made to be, and how to believe that and then start living with noble character. For awhile now, the term princess has been marred by people who use it negatively. But after reading the book, I felt like I'd been given permission to go back to the original intent of the word, to be a princess, and to know that I'm designed by a Creator to seek after those things that are noble and beautiful, good, and true.

Thanks for posting these thoughts. I look forward to reading more.

Lauren said...

I have such a hard time with this passage. It's so much easier for me to stay in the known, even if the status quo is mediocrity. I will be reading, and re-reading this post.