Strong, Savvy and Standing By – Proverbs 31:17-18

GUEST POST: By Marsha Young

Some women today mistakenly think they must be tough – or at least be seen as tough – in order to compete on the job. Or maybe just to survive life. But being tough generally entails a certain edgy bravado that may or may not be backed by any real fortitude.

A woman of faith has no need to be tough. She exults in her God-given strength for her tasks. She knows that her confidence and competence come from her relationship with Christ and that she can do everything necessary for her tasks, as He gives her strength for her day.

“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” (Proverbs 31:17)

A woman of virtue understands the difference between being tough and being strong.

“She sees that her trading is profitable . . .” (Proverbs 31:18a)

There is nothing wrong with making a profit, as long as it is done with honesty and integrity. God blessed me in my career so that eventually, after beginning at the bottom of the ladder, I occupied a corner office with floor to ceiling glass walls, and a view of the Golden Gate Bridge out of my 32nd story office on California Street, in the financial district of San Francisco.

I was the lady in the navy blue suit, carrying a leather briefcase, making decisions during airport layovers. (Or the one dozing off in miserably uncomfortable airport seating.)

But I never confused what I did for a living, with who I am in Christ. My guess is that the woman in Proverbs did not do so either. She understood that she was first a woman of faith, and then a woman of finance.

“. . . and her lamp does not go out at night.” (Proverbs 31:18b)

This reference immediately reminded me of the parable of the ten virgins, five of whom did not bring enough oil to keep their lamps burning until the bridegroom arrived (see Matthew 25:1-13).

No matter how industrious or profitable or successful we may be, if our lamp goes out, it will all be for naught.

The virtuous woman – after all her buying and planting and investing and spinning and toiling – does not forget the most important thing of all – she keeps her lamp shining. She is prepared, ready and waiting.

After fifteen years as a stay-at-home mom, Marsha Young re-entered the work-force and went back to school. Twenty-seven years later, Marsha retired as Vice President of Human Resources with a master’s degree in business and human resources. Her many years as a wife, mother, and executive give her a wealth of experiences to draw from. She is a speaker and a writer with a heart for reaching others with the message of Christ’s grace. She’s also my mom. You can read more from her at Spots and Wrinkles.

2 thoughts on “Strong, Savvy and Standing By – Proverbs 31:17-18

  1. Excellent post, Marsha. The wise woman (person) knows their job doesn't really define them. Their relationships do. That is so easy to get confused. Thanks for a good look at life and relationships from “the wise side.”

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