Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come
Living in the 21st century, we are often self-conscious about our image and our appearance. So much so that we allow our clothes to define who we are. If our clothes REALLY do define us, then perhaps we are all overdue for an extreme makeover. It starts by knowing what not to wear. Like the show on the TLC network, perhaps we should all throw out our existing clothing in favor of a finer wardrobe; one that our Creator provides to all believers... the clothing of STRENGTH, HONOR, and BEAUTY!
STRENGTH. We often think strength is found in a man or woman who always speaks their mind and never asks anyone for help. Or that strength is found in a man or woman who runs their household in fear that if left to their partner's care, everything would fall apart. Better yet, many believe strength is found in a corporate CEO who never had children in favor of their career. Rest assured physical, emotional, and mental strength all come in handy on many occasions. Real strength, however, is spiritual in nature. It can be worn in many different ways as faithfulness in prayer; holding steadfast to one's beliefs against the grain of the secular world; not giving into social pressure or secular standards; or standing up for what is right in the face of opposition. Spiritual strength is also worn by spending quality time "in the moment" with the ones you love. How many times have you heard a friend or co-worker complain that their partner spends so much time at work trying to provide for them that they have little to no time to spend with the family? Even though their loved one works long hours to provide for them, they say they would rather have more alone time with them. God actually feels the same way about you. While the work you may be doing is for Him, He would much rather have you spend more quality time with Him reflecting on the moment so He can clothe you in all the virtues you need to be the person He designed you to be. When we wear clothing our Creator provides; ones that flatter our physical, mental, emotional, AND spiritual well being, everything in our life falls naturally into place. Or, at the very least, we are well dressed to handle our life when it doesn’t.
DIGNITY. As ambassadors of the Gospel, we wear clothing that advertises how we feel about God and our faith. Scrutinized by others for all that we do, we are asked to dress and behave with dignity and honor at all times. If for some reason our manners, dress, or speech are undignified, then it is God who is insulted. We are not meant to live life entirely for our own selves. rather, we are meant to live our life for Him. More importantly, we are asked to be aware of our behavior and wear openness, honesty, reliability, integrity, and trustworthiness in our relationships with others.
BEAUTY. The attire befitting our beauty is not the shallow variety driving much of our society today. Nor is it about spending huge amounts of time and money on cosmetic products to enhance the skin and designer clothing to accentuate the figure. In fact, having wrinkle-free skin and wearing fashionable clothes does not guarantee inner beauty of an individual! True beauty begins in the heart, and is a “gentle and quiet spirit”. As St. Peter so aptly phrased it:
“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel ~ rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4).
Finally, the wardrobe the Proverb 31 individual wears is not available at your nearby marketplace or shopping mall. Rather, the wardrobe the Proverb 31 individual wears are garments of strength, dignity, and beauty the Lord provides the believing heart who is looking to Him.
When looking to Him wearing your finest attire, walk beside Him radiating strength. Speak to others in a voice of quiet confidence to communicate dignity. Most of all... rejoice in your future. It is bright, beautiful, eternal, and secure as your industry and planning have provided you with the finest. Then savor your past with a smile!
Remember ... touch a life today "The Little Way" by following the lead and need of others. Also, if you ever thought to yourself, "I wish my community, knew...", then be sure to visit White Light Communications at http://www.tothewhitelight.com.