My dear fellow Proverbs 31 women in progress,
Since I have started this blog, I have focused on studying the way we could, as Christian women, become more like the Proverbs 31 woman.
And I stumbled on a Bible translation which uses the sentence “wife of noble character” instead of “virtuous wife” that I am used to reading in the NKJV translation, that gave me the idea of the post I will share with you today:
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
What is a noble character? In my opinion, a noble character suggests excellence in our behavior and higher standards of morals.
I tried to research the characteristics of a noble character and I found some qualities that I will detail below. I will also focus on specific Biblical characters who embody the qualities I will develop.
A noble character is defined by the following qualities:
- inspiration to others
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:1
Courage involves that you undertake difficult actions or complex situations by defeating fear, suffering or fatigue. However, it doesn’t mean that one should act foolishly for its own purpose or agenda. Courage means that we fight for a just cause.
Indeed, we are courageous when we fight for the cause of widows and orphans; or when we open our mouths for less favored people.
Courage has always been highly considered in every culture as an inevitable characteristics of heroes. And some heroes in the Bible show it as well.
Case study: David vs. Goliath
Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
2 Samuel 17:32
Goliath was a Philistine giant warrior who insulted God and His people. But David refused to be impressed and decided to combat Goliath when everyone was afraid, knowing that his cause was just and that God would be with him.
Like David, we should never be afraid to stand to fight when God’s matters are a stake!
Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold.
Wisdom is applied knowledge, meaning that we apply in our daily life what we learnt, be it in our family, at school or in books. But why is wisdom a component of a noble character?
Because it is the underlying cause which enbale us to strive for an excellent and virtuous character. That’s also the reason why the Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
As Christian women, we must actively pursue wisdom. However, we must focus on wisdom from God and not men’s foolishness. Obeying God’s commandments is a sure way to be perceived as wise, as evidenced by Moses:
Therefore, be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people”
Case study: Solomon’s request for wisdom
At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said “Ask! What shall I give to you?” And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in Truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him; and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?
1 Kings 3:5-9
When God appeared to Solomon and asked what he wanted, Solomon didn’t make a hasty answer. He didn’t ask for carnal desires such as riches. He knew that he succeeded his father who was a great warrior and a talented administrator and that he had great challenges ahead of him.
He knew he had to continue his father’s works to build up the nation of Israel. That’s why he asked for wisdom because he knew that it would be his greatest asset to serve God and be a great King.
His answer greatly please God and he blessed him with a great intelligence, as well as riches and other good things. Therefore, let us be like Solomon and ask for wisdom from above.
Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your feet from evil.
Integrity means that you have a set of ethical or spirtual principles to which you adhere and that you won’t compromise them, even in front of a great threat.
Because of your strict adherence to your principles, you will never be a sellout. Even if you are offered a large sum of money to abandon your principles, you’d rather stay poor and live with a clear mind than have a large bank account.
Integrity is somewhat linked to courage in a sense.
Case study: Schadrach, Meschach and Abed-Nego in the fiery furnace
Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews. They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are ceratin Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Schadrach, Meschach and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up”.
Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the King. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?
Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.
Daniel 3: 8-18
In this story, King Nebuchadnezzar built a golden image that everybody had to worship. However, as worshipping gravn images was against God’s commandments, the three Young Hebrews decided not to bow down in front of it. Despite being betrayed by their colleagues and threatened by the King, they stood firm.
And God rewarded their integrity. When they were thrown in the fiery furnace, Jesus Himself came and assisted them. And when they came out, they were unharmed.
Sometimes we are afraid to be as bold as these three persons. We think that defending our values will bring us nothing but problems in the world and we adopt a low profile.
However, as Christians, we should be prepared to stand firm to our principles. Our integrity will be useful, especially when the time of persecutions and tribulations comes.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
Mark 10: 43-45
Unselfishness implies that you are always acting in other people’s best interest and that you are not self-serving. You kill the self and you willingly sacrifice yourself to serve others.
Unselfishness implies that you are charitable with others, and that you are willing to give your financial resources, your time and your skills to make the world a better place.
Unselfishness implies that you have compassion for the sorrows and the needs of people who are less favored.
Of course, you shouldn’t do it at the expense of your core being. For example, you shouldn’t stay in a relationship which destroys you because everybody is happy to see you there.
Case study: Jesus
Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have Nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, les they faint on the way.
Jesus is the ultimate example for everything, but I had to mention for unselfishness. Jesus came to earth to die for us and save us from sin.
But in the Bible verse I selected, Jesus pays attention to the needs of the crowd who followed him during three days. He felt compassion and fed them. That’s how we should behave as Christian women.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Patience means that we can endure long-term difficult situations without being angry or frustrated. It also means that we persevere whatever the circumstances, knowing that by God’s grace will make it.
It’s no wonder that patience is listed as a component of the fruit of the Spirit. Patience is inherent to the character of God.
Indeed, God was patient with the people of Israel all along his history. Despite their constant unfaithfulness, God never gave up on them because of His alliance.
God is also patient with us Christians, who are the spiritual Israel. Despite our sins, God sent His only begotten Son, so that we would be cleansed by the merits of His blood.
Why do we need patience? We need patience in our daily lives, when we are deeply frustrated or disappointed. Maybe you have failed to an exam. Maybe your children are unruly. Maybe your projects don’t take off the way you want.
You’ll need patience to face such situations.
Case study: Job
Behold, we count them happy which endure. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
Job was a man who was righteous, faithful to God and who was very rich because God blessed him. However, when the devil went to God and asked Him to test his faithfulness, he lost everything and his children even died.
However, Job endured his ordeals with patience and fortitude and never cursed God, despite the fact that his wife asked him to do so and even when his friends mocked him.
God rewarded his patience and restored him in his previous state.
Inspiration to others
Inspiring others is a way to present God’s works in your life to the world. Think of yourself as an ambassador of Christ to the world.
Inspiring others implies that you encourage others in your community, in your workplace, in your family with your behavior, your good character and your works.
Case study: Paul
Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ
1 Corinthians 11:1
Paul wanted the Christian community to have the best behavior and to be without reproach. To do so, he chose to teach them with the example of his lifestyle, which was modeled after Christ.
And how was Paul’s lifestyle? Since his conversion, Paul did have a lifestyle that summed up what we develop in this post:
- Paul was courageaous and wasn’t afraid to expose his religious beliefs, even before political authorities of his time, such as Roman Governor Festus and King Herod
- Paul was wise and well-read – we just have to read his epistles to realize that he really have a deep knowledge of the Scriptures of the Old Testament. As a remainder, Paul studied with Gamaliel who was one of the most renowed Jewish rabbis of his time
- Paul had integrity: he denounced Peter’s fear of the Jews and was willing to die for his belief in Jesus
- Paul was unselfish during his mission and travelled around the whole Roman empire to relentlessly share the Gospel of Salvation
- Paul was patient and endured his ordeals and his physical infirmities with grace and fortitude
Well, that’s all for today? What do you think of these components of a noble character? What does a noble character mean to you? Don’t hesitate to share your opinion in the comments below!
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