It's a guy writing everything his mom taught him. These are words from a woman through a man on the pages of scripture. Why are they included in the book of Proverbs?
For two reasons. To show a woman what she's to be like and to show a man what he's to look for. What does an ideal wife look like? It's not about physical appearances.
It's about her heart and her character. And as Skip Heitzig shows us in today's teaching, the book of Proverbs has the answer to that question. Then, after the teaching, stay with us as we hear from Skip and Lenya about today's teaching. And you know for me, huge is being around the table. I am so strong about family meals around the table.
You still are. You make them special. You light candles. You do that with the grandkids. You teach them things. I love my people by nurturing my people.
And did you know we have a special resource for you this month that'll encourage you in God's Word as you sip on the same coffee Pastor Skip drinks as he studies scripture? Betty White said, it's not easy being a mom. If it were easy, fathers would do it.
That's not a sly shot at dads. It's a compliment to the wonderful work of mothers. Here's a great way to show your appreciation for a mother in your life. It's the heart songs package, which features a teaching series on the Psalms led by Lenya and Jenae Heitzig. Psalm 45 is a love song. And in it, you're going to find a groom and a bride and it's their wedding day. And it includes an ornate dress and bridesmaids and perfume and gifts and guests. The heart songs package also includes a beautiful theology quiet time journal and a bag of Skip's library roast coffee. It's a great gift to honor a special woman in your life with encouragement and strength as she studies God's Word and spends time in prayer, all while enjoying a delicious cup of the coffee Pastor Skip loves. The heart songs package is our thanks for your gift to help share biblical teaching and encouragement with others through the broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig.
So be sure to request yours when you give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Now let's turn to Proverbs 31 as we begin today's lesson. One of the biggest problems I've discovered in marriages is something called role reminding.
You know what I'm talking about? Role reminding. Let me remind you of your role. That's role reminding. Instead of me owning my role, let me tell you about your role. Yeah, I know it says that I should do this, but it says you should do that. I want to remind you of that. That's role reminding. Yeah, I know I'm supposed to do this, but you're supposed to do that. Isn't it interesting that we have memorized the other person's role? Sometimes neglecting our role. Now we've talked about husbands, and believe me, we'll talk more about them, especially next time. But notice what it says here. Discreet, chaste homemakers. I'm going to leave that for just a moment.
Good, obedient, or submissive. We discussed that to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. People are looking at you and watching how you relate to each other.
And for many unbelievers, the only insight they get into what it's like to be a Christian is watching your marriage relationship. You know, when I first moved to Albuquerque, I sort of thought that the state flower was the orange cone, the traffic cone. You laugh because you know exactly where I'm coming from. I saw it everywhere.
I thought, boy, they really like those orange things here a lot. And this summer, I've noticed that there's a lot of road work, and there's some freeways where you have four lanes, and then they narrow into three lanes, and then into two lanes, into one lane. I'm talking about how frustrating that is. And here's the problem I discovered, is that other drivers think their car should be in front of my car as it narrows down. And so we're both going toward the narrow, the one lane, and one of us is going to have to get back in line behind the other one so we don't crash. Now, that's how a marriage relationship is. Yes, the husband should prefer his wife. Yes, the wife should prefer her husband.
But at some point, so you don't crash, somebody has to get behind the other one. And the role of the husband in a marriage is a leadership role, a headship role, the role of a wife in a marriage is a submissive role. That doesn't mean your husband is always right. You're thinking, boy, don't I know that.
I know that to be true. But it means he's always responsible. And you're going to come to an impasse where the cars are coming together, cars are coming together, there's going to be a crash, and you're going to have to say, I'm going to get behind him. I'm going to support him.
I'm going to love him. I think he's making the wrong call on this, but that's his responsibility, not mine. And you might think, well, I'm kind of into the dual headship thing. There can be two heads. There can be two heads. That's called a monster.
A monster has two heads. If you don't want your marriage looking like a horror film, forget the dual headship thing. God the Father is the head of Christ who submits to the Father. The husband submits to Christ. The wife submits to the husband. That's the order.
And that will make things flow smoothly, discreet, chaste. Look at the next word, homemakers. Please don't read something into that that's not there.
Look, oh boy, here it comes. Barefoot and pregnant my whole life. Stay at home. It does not mean that the home is to be your 24-7 dwelling, that you're there all the time. It doesn't mean that the home is to be your prison. It simply means, ladies, the home is to be your priority.
Your priority. The word homemaker is oikourgos in the Greek from two words, oikos, which means house, ergon, which means work. It simply means one who's devoted to that. One who's devoted to that.
It doesn't speak of labor in general, but a job in particular or the focus of an occupation. In other words, it is God's design that the focus of the wife's life beyond the home. She pours her life into that family. And some women pour so much, so much, so much, so much into a family.
And they're not seeing a lot of returns right now, and it's very, very difficult. Let me tell you a story, and it's a true story. There was a husband, he was not a godly man, married to a godly Christian woman. This guy was out at a bar one night with his buddies, slamming him down, slamming him down. And he made a wager with his buddies. He said, I'll tell you what, I'll bet you that we could go home right now at any time, but let's do it tonight.
Wake my wife out of bed, and she'll cook a meal for us, and she won't complain once. They said, dude, you're on. They shook. They made a bet.
I don't know how much. Well, he staggered into his house about 2 a.m., 2, 2.30 in the morning, woke his wife out of bed. She came out in her bathrobe with a smile, cooked a meal for her buddies, and they were just flabbergasted. They said, you know, we got to tell you something quite honestly. We made your husband a bet tonight. He said that this would happen.
We said no way it would happen. And then one of them said, who had a little more clear thinking, didn't drink as much that night, said, how do you put up with that guy? Actually, how could you put up with any of us guys, he should have said.
How do you put up with that guy? You're so gentle. You're so kind.
You did this without complaining. Here was her answer. She said, I am a Christian woman. I know that my stay here on this earth won't be long, that I have the joys of heaven awaiting me forever. My husband is not a Christian.
His future is so black and dismal in hell. I thought that I would make him as happy as I could while he's still here. You know that after a while, after a few months out of conviction for hearing that and watching his wife's consistent love and support, that man became a believer. I think that's the idea behind 1 Peter, that they without a word may be won by the behavior of their wives. That's the instruction.
It's basic. Just women, older women, teach and mentor younger women to love husbands, to love wife, to be discreet, wise, pure, homemakers, to devote themselves to the priority of building up the home life. Now, turn with me to Proverbs 31. We'll bring this to its highlight and conclusion in Proverbs 31, the Old Testament illustration.
Now, this describes being a homemaker in Old Testament times. And before any of you think, oh, great, more words to women from men about how to do it right, if you're thinking that, you got it wrong, I wanted to draw your attention to Proverbs 31, verse 1. Notice it says, the words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him. These aren't men's words here.
It's a guy writing everything his mom taught him. These are words from a woman through a man on the pages of Scripture. Why are they included in the book of Proverbs? For two reasons. To show a woman what she's to be like and to show a man what he's to look for.
And so he writes this. Verse 10. Who can find a virtuous wife or a wife of noble character or an excellent wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. Verse 10 is the million dollar question, isn't it?
Or should we say the million shekel question? Who can find a virtuous wife? In other words, what is it that you value to say that woman is so worthy I want her as my wife?
Who can find a virtuous wife? How do you measure the worth of a woman? What traits, what qualities give her value? Some men would say her appearance. Okay, that might be the first hook, but what else?
Well, the way she dresses and carries herself, her fashion, her sense of fashion. Okay, you better keep going because if that's it, you're in trouble. I've discovered that some men aren't looking for the virtuous woman. They're looking for the virtuous woman. They're looking for the virtual woman. One that really doesn't exist, except in their mind. Not virtuous, virtual. You know, some guys have a list of what they're looking for.
Have you noticed how like unreal it is? You know, I like somebody who is like a professional model. Maybe she's on the cover of Vogue magazine.
That'd be cool. An Olympic athlete, you know, faster than a speeding bullet. The IQ of an Albert Einstein.
High degree of education. Really? First of all, if you ever find that woman, dude, why on earth would she want to hang out with you? What do you got going on? So here's what you notice, and I want you to notice it. When the Bible talks about these women, the emphasis isn't on the outward appearance, though God invented it. He invented beauty, but the emphasis is always on the inward. He's not down on the outward. It's just that the inward is more important. And you know why the emphasis is on the inward?
Look with me at verse 30. Charm is deceitful and beauty is what? Passing. Beauty is passing. It's called gravity. Am I right?
It happens to all of us. Beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. In verse 12, it says she does him good and not evil all the days of her life. In other words, here is a gal who has his, her husband's best interests at heart. She wants to encourage him and strengthen him. She doesn't want to defame him in public or in the privacy of the family. She keeps her vows for better, for worse.
Kind of forget that at the wedding. Richer or poorer, sickness and in health, till death do us part. His success is her joy.
Now buckle your seat belts. Verse 13. She seeks wool and flax and willingly works with her hands. She is like the merchant ships. She brings her food from afar. She also seeks her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it.
And from her profit, she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength and strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good and her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, the implement for sewing, and her hand holds the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor. Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. She's not afraid of the snow for her household, for all of her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself. Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates while he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing. She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Boy, can I just tell you, it's exhausting to just read that. Let alone, how on earth women could you ever do that?
Well, let me say, first of all, you can't do that in a day. He's not giving the 24-hour description of the virtuous wife. He's giving a lifetime sewn into a character of a woman. This is a woman over time. Now granted, back in those days, women did have to grind their own meal and sew their own clothes and work in the fields with their husband as well as tend the children.
It was much more difficult. But the idea here is not talking about, do all this otherwise you're not a virtuous wife. He's simply saying, here's a woman who over the long haul did all of these things. Like in verse 13, the kids are younger. She's busy cooking, weaving, making clothes in that culture. Then as the kids grow up, she starts a small business out of her home.
That's alluded to in a few places, including verse 24. Later on, she takes savings from that business and invests in the real estate market, verse 16. So once again, being devoted to the home is her occupation, her focus, her priority. It doesn't mean she's a prisoner.
It's her priority. It's a great story about the evangelist named Gypsy Smith. I don't know if any of you have ever heard of him. But back in the 1800s, early 1900s in England, a sort of extravagant evangelist, Gypsy Smith, would travel around and do crusades. Now, one crusade of the people that came forward was a woman, a mother. And she was radically converted. And she wrote a letter to the evangelist saying, Mr. Smith, I feel called to the ministry to be a preacher, to be a teacher.
I feel like I have a gift. The only problem, I have 12 children. I sense this call of God in my life, but I have 12 children.
What do I do? He tenderly, graciously wrote this letter back. My dear lady, I am happy to hear that you have been saved and feel called to preach.
But I'm even more delighted to know that God has already provided you with a congregation of 12. That's a wise response, because, you see, the barometer of what a woman can do besides the home will depend upon ages of the children, needs of the children, needs within that home. All of that will dictate determining if she can take on tasks other, like the Proverbs 31 woman who did take on other tasks at different stages of family life.
But let's sum it up. It's summed up in verse 27. She watches over the ways of her household, that is, she's in constant surveillance of her family's needs. And she does not eat the bread of idleness. She realizes the true fulfillment will come from the supreme effort of giving all that she can to the home. And you're thinking, I see two words, Skip, hard, hard work. But please look at verse 28.
Here's the payoff. Her children rise up and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praises her. Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all, he would say. Charm is deceitful, beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.
We have a saying, what goes around comes around. Women, verse 28 is the return on your investment. If you invest your life in your home, in your husband, in your children, or put it this way, if you will spend the first half of your life investing in your children, the second half of your life, you will see the return on the investment. They will rise up and call you the blessed one who gave your life for them all of those years.
They may not appreciate it right now, but they will. Moreover, you may have a husband who will also rise up and say, you're one of a kind, you're one of a kind, because you will have a man who's respected and esteemed because of what you've made him. I think that's the idea, but behind verse 23, her husband is known in the gates, place of respect, honor, when he sits among the elders of the land.
In other words, this woman created a world for her husband so that he can be everything God wanted him to be, and that's the return on the investment. I want to close with a letter. It's not a biblical letter. It's a fictional letter, fictitious letter, but it's based upon the biblical text that we have looked at.
Very short. If God were to write a letter to women, it might read this way. When I created the heavens and the earth, I spoke them into being. When I created man, I formed him and breathed life into his nostrils. But you woman, I fashioned after I breathed the breath of life into man because your nostrils are too delicate. I allowed a deep sleep to come over him so I could patiently and perfectly fashion you.
Man was put to sleep so that he could not interfere with the creativity. I like that. From one bone, I fashioned you, the bone that protects man's life. I chose the rib, which protects his heart and lungs and supports him as you are meant to do. Around this one bone, I shaped you. I modeled you.
I created you perfectly and beautifully. Your characteristics are as the rib, strong yet delicate and fragile. You provide protection for the most delicate organ in the man, the heart. The heart is the center of his being. His lungs hold the breath of life.
The rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it will allow damage to the heart. Support the man as the rib cage supports the body. You were not taken from his feet to be under him. You were not taken from his head to be above him. You were taken from his side to stand beside him and to be close to his side. As you protect the heart of your children and your husband, he'll one day rise up and call you blessed. It says in the end, give her the fruit of her hands. Can I just say I want to give you the fruit of my hands, women, for all that you've done for us.
That's Skip Hyten with a message from the series Keep Calm and Marry On. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now, let's go in the studio with Skip and Lenya as they answer some questions about today's teaching. Skip, what are some ways mothers, especially of younger children, can be super intentional about pouring into their kids, living and raising them in the Word? It's sort of ironic that you, the mother, is asking me, the father, how mothers should do it. So I'm going to turn that question right back on you, Mom, and ask you, what ways are there?
I think the best ways is to weave Christ, the Gospel, and the Word into everyday things. So Nathan loved to cook with me, and I could say, you know, salt in here. If we had no salt, it wouldn't be savory.
Taste the difference of this with and without the salt. And we even, you know, that that's how the light shines and the salt in the world. Or, you know, Nathan, the best times to really integrate that is, especially mothers of boys, is when you're active.
If I would take him on a hike and like lift up a rock and the, the, you know, cockroaches would scurry to be able to say light exposing, you know, it makes darkness flee. And so I would just say, try to really integrate everything as a lesson, as an opportunity when it's happening. And you know, for me, huge is being around the table. I am so strong about family meals around the table.
You still are. You make them special. You like candles. You do that with the grandkids. You teach them things. I love my people by nurturing my people. And if they're fed, and so, you know, even saying Seth and Katie, when they walk in, what do I smell? And, you know, just to honor them by knowing that the nurturing begins at the front door when you have the first scent of the food that is being cooked. I'm drawn in.
Right. So I just think some of those nurturing things really speak volumes that you're special. Real quickly, though, tell the audience about the grace lesson that you told Nathan when he didn't deserve anything. And you gave him such a good lesson on his cousins were there.
And they were like black, white, boys, girls, Batman, Catwoman, whatever it was. Always fighting, always opposite. And so they were playing in the room. And I think Nathan shoved Lenya, which is his niece, his cousin, and she hit the back of Batman, it scratched her back or his Batmobile. And so she jumped up and bit him. And you just could hear the whole tussle happening. They come screaming down.
Catwoman biting Batman. It was perfect. Right. So they came down, she did this, he did that. And I could have just really lit into them.
Come unglued. And plus Lenya was visiting wanting the opportunity to teach another child. I said, I'm gonna teach you about grace and mercy. Grace is not getting what you deserve, right? Grace is getting something you don't deserve.
Okay, mercy is not getting what you deserve. So I didn't spank them, didn't send them to their rooms, didn't put them in a corner. And then grace, I took them to Target and bought them a present. Yeah. And I think Nathan felt so guilty and convicted, like mom took me shopping, and I really deserve to be spanked, or grounded or whatever it should have been.
So you just take the opportunities to embed the gospel in what you're doing with your kids. I remember that day. It was still it sticks out to me. It was so powerful.
Yeah. Thanks, Skip and Lenya. We hope this conversation has helped you to gain an even deeper understanding of today's teaching. You can help encourage others to grow in their understanding of God's word with the gift today to keep these Bible teachings going strong on the radio, on television, and online.
Here's how you can connect more people to the life-changing power of scripture and make a difference in the lives of others around the world today. Just call 800-922-1888. That's 800-922-1888. Or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. Come back tomorrow as Skip Heitzig issues a call for something our culture sorely needs. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
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