“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” (Proverbs 31:10-11).
I earned my P31 ruby today. Not for my growing of the backyard money tree or my turning grapes into wine or even my spinning thread into gold. That’s child play on most days. No, today I earned my ruby for bravely going where few are willing to go.
My eldest sons’ bedroom.
It’s been a long time, friends, and the snack bar that has now collected beneath their beds amidst the mile high pile of dust is enough to make even Martha Stewart shudder. What started out as a routine vacuum quickly morphed into an hour long re-arrangement of furniture as I huffed and puffed my way through at least three months’ worth of left-overs.
Honestly, I don’t get paid enough for hazmat duty; come to think of it, I don’t get paid at all. But rest assured, my crown is ready and waiting for the polished ruby that is sure to come as a result of my weary and somewhat unwilling doing. It’s a doing I do because a mighty woman doesn’t let a lifetime supply of dust get in her way. She simply keeps to the task because she’s been given what she needs to do the task…
The full confidence and trust of another. Accordingly, I venture into a second contemplation about Mrs. P31.
A mighty woman is a woman who has a mighty backing. In the case of Mrs. P31, that backing resembles a husband—Ba’al in the Hebrew language carrying with it a variety of uses including “lord, husband, possessor, the title of a Canaanite deity (Baal), rulers, leaders, the legal owners of property.”[i]
To miss this fact, to assume Mrs. P31 goes it alone when it comes to her becoming, is to miss an important facet of her transformation process. Without the confidence and trust of another’s backing from behind and from the beginning, her road to rubies is, indeed, a hard road to hoe. And lest you’re thinking it all revolves around a husband, think again.
After all, not all of us are married. Even if we are, not all of us have the benefit of having a husband who invests his confidence and trust into our becoming. Thus, how do we make this one fit into our story? What role does a man play in the outcome of our P31 status?
Here’s what I think. Take it for what it’s worth … my thinking in the matter.
I believe that you and I can reach P31 status without a man in our lives. That being said, I don’t think that we will ever reach our intended state of rarity without the backing of the One Possessor who lovingly held us in his arms long before we would ever know the arms of any other.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:13-16).
Our Father created us with rubies in mind. Nothing from his hands has been accidental or unworthy of kingdom status. God knew, even from our mother’s womb, just exactly what it was going to take for us to change our wanton estate into his rare intention. It would take his Son’s surrender on a cross. It would take a resurrection on an Easter morning, and it would further take a Holy Spirit’s indwelling at Pentecost in order for us to make the transformation.
By the time you and I came onto the scene of this world, Love’s redeeming work had been accomplished … finished and ready for the unwrapping some 2000 years ago. We don’t have to wait to take upon us, that which has already been done for us. It’s simply ours for the asking, for the receiving, for the shaping, and for the furthering of our becoming the “all” that our Father has intended for us to be.
His rare find. His ruby amidst rocks. His gem amidst gravel. His mighty amidst the meager.
God has equipped us to be his P31 women in this world. How?
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4).
Indeed, a mighty backing—a holy and sacred trust—invested into our hearts and lives so that in return, we might begin to resemble something far greater than ourselves. Through the transforming work of God’s Spirit within, we begin to look like the One who held us first, loves us best, and who puts his full confidence behind our ruby becoming.
That, my friends, is what I think a “husband” has to do with my Mrs. P31 status. Accordingly, my God is worthy of my best efforts at becoming his gem. Even when it means I must boldly go where others are unwilling to go … dust mountains, snack bars, and a little huffing and puffing included. I want to be my Father’s mighty woman, thus I pray…
Back me up, Father, with your confidence and your trust for my becoming more than I currently am. You, alone, hold the power to shape me into a rare find. Thank you for keeping me on task and to the road, even when my “want to” is lacking. If there is any good living in me, it is You, Lord. You are the reason behind my ruby red. Thank you for entrusting me with its humble carrying. Amen.
Copyright © March 2009 – Elaine Olsen
[i] Baker & Carpenter, entry for “ba’al,” The Complete Word Study Dictionary OT (AMG Publishing: Chattanooga, 2003), 151.