I have the privilege of writing this article for “Sanctified Together”. This month’s topic for all of the articles and poetry is “The Measure of a Woman”.
|Crown of Glory|
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” – Proverbs 16:31 ESV
Just what is the measure of a woman who has grown to an old age? When the joints hurt doing simple household chores? When she feels unable to help herself or those she cares about? What if she lives in a total care facility — even has to wear a diaper? Or when Dementia or Alzheimer’s or a stroke or heart attack has taken the mind or abilities away? From a physical standpoint, old age seems immeasurable.
The world measures by physical beauty — slender figure, wholesome complexion, youthful hair color and agility. When so much of that worldly beauty changes, what is there to measure? Gray hairs, wrinkles, poor eyesight, hearing loss, protruding belly, mental slowness? The world’s yardstick is tough on her. The moral and spiritual character often is torn asunder. Yet, God measures differently.
Creator God made His children in His Image. Can one allow the world to be the judge? God is Judge — He sets the standard. No other. Beginning to end, He sustains, carries, and promises.
“Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.” – Isaiah 46:3-4 ESV
“LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am.” – Psalm 39:4 NKJV
We are all called to grow in wisdom, in character, in faithfulness, in holiness, in love. As a woman grows older, God continues His call for her to mature more fully. The body is decaying. One day, she will return to dust. Yet the heart of God living within her never grows old, never decays. How glorious! We are learning from experiences, adding to our knowledge bank, adjusting judgments, acting with soundness and obedience, following His call to be holy as He is holy. Loving unconditionally are marks of our growing maturity.
“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12 NKJV
“Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.” – Leviticus 20:7 NKJV
The beauty of a woman is not merely her outward appearance. Her true beauty shines from her heart, especially as she ages, having gained spiritual wisdom. The quiet, gentle, meek spirit is not a fearful spirit, nor subdued or shy. It is a mild disposition that trusts in God’s goodness and His control over life’s situations. By wholly relying upon Him, He grows and purifies those who follow.
“Your adornment must not be merely external-braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” – 1 Peter 3:3-4 NASB
God has set His child apart, sanctifying her. She is to protect her mind (that place of understanding, feeling, and desire) by caring about what enters in and what exits out. She is to keep her thoughts pure. She is to raise up her children well, be respectful and submissive to her husband, be prayerful, hospitable, a servant to the least, be sober, and obedient. She is to lean completely and set her hope solely upon the LORD rather than the world. God will guide and strengthen her as she walks the path to holiness.
“You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.” -Leviticus 20:7 NASB
God measures in His own way as He is the Only Ruler. He is looking for much. He expects much. He loves much. God uses godly women to exemplify His character. Sarah knew her duty as a wife, honoring and revering Abraham, following him submissively to a land they knew not. As a woman, she certainly made her share of mistakes, yet God honored her. Anna, of an elderly age, was cared for by God in the temple. She served her God by praying and fasting, praising and thanking Him. God blessed her with the ability to see beyond human walls; thus, Anna knew the Messiah when He entered the temple as an infant. Holiness shines through these women who sought God.
“For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.” – 1 Peter 3:5-6 NASB
“And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” – Luke 2:36-38 NASB
The measure of a woman is the crown of glory she wears because of the life she leads—the life of righteousness, doing that which is right, wholesome, and holy. The beauty of her heart is by the grace of God. The Holy Spirit grows the inner person, magnifying the character of God. She wears a quiet, gentle spirit, a temper easily controlled, with a lack of pride, a becoming behavior towards all, even toward herself. She is lovely from the inside-out with a strength born of God. A woman’s worth is measured in godly increments.
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Having the week to ponder rest, God taught me anew. I love how God brings me to where He wants or needs me at His perfect moment.
When God rested on the seventh day, He was resting from creating. It was finished and good, very good. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Genesis 2:2 God rested from His work. He completed His beautiful creation, as an artist calls a piece of art finished, looks at it, leaves it alone.
God rested from His work, but God did not sit back and do absolutely nothing from that moment for that seventh day. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2:3 God blessed the seventh day. He sanctified it; He made the seventh day holy. So He did not do “nothing. He ceased what He was doing. He sanctified His creation by resting in it.
He rested and was refreshed. “Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:16-17 I love that God, Almighty God, was refreshed.
Resting is time for quiet worship. Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. Leviticus 23:3
Shabath: a verb meaning to cease, to rest, to keep as a day of rest, to desist from labor.
So the people rested on the seventh day. Exodus 16:30
Shabbath: a noun meaning the seventh day of the week, seventh year in which the land was not tilled.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8
Andrew Murray stated: “Where God enters to rest, there He sanctifies.” If we will enter into this rest of God’s, we will be a part of God’s Holiness, His sanctification. We will be able to enjoy the day, the time through reflection. We will be refreshed. We will be rested. We will be made holy, set apart in God’s Kingdom. Hallelujah!
LORD, teach me Your ways, that I would come to know and understand resting, that I would seek the kind of rest that You actually do when Your work is finished. You rest and are refreshed. You rest and reflect upon Your work. You rest and make that day holy. You are Holy, LORD. You draw me into Your holiness and hold me there. I want to breathe in the air of my Holy God. Let Your Spirit breathe on me and teach me godly rest. Amen.