Set Apart: An Excellent Woman in a Modern World

Today’s post is the last in a five-part series called Set Apart, with excerpts taken from Set Apart: Becoming a Virtuous Woman in a Modern World. I, along with several other bloggers, collaborated to write this new 28-day devotional for women based on the principles found in Proverbs 31.  Today’s study is written by Rachel Marie of Day2DayJoys.

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“Many women do noble things

but you surpass them all.”

Proverbs 31:29

In the last verse we talked about the Virtuous Woman’s children calling her blessed and her husband praising her. In verse 29 we see exactly what her husband says to praise her.

The Virtuous Woman’s husband says, “Many women do noble things.” The second day of this study, in verse 10, we talked about being noble. Nobility was defined as “having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.” It is as if he is saying to her, “Many women have fine personal qualities, and great ideals. But you, you leave them in the dust. You excel. You surpass them all!”

Surpass means to distinguish oneself, to stand out, or to excel. But how? And how can I become someone who is excellent?

We can “surpass them all” and become excellent when we seek the Lord’s will in our hearts, and when we desire to follow his ways. While other women may seek to make themselves look better, to gain status or be what our culture desires women to be, we are on an opposite mission. We seek to bring the Lord glory.

Each of us is valuable! God created us with unique qualities and talents and we use those to build His kingdom by building our homes, husbands, and children up. Are we using our talents to show that serving the Lord is fun and rewarding?

We may not be noble all of the time, we will make mistakes but that’s why we need Jesus. We are excellent when we show humility and that we cannot do life on our own. We ask forgiveness of our husband or children when we do wrong. We praise and encourage them. When we are an example of what it looks like to serve Jesus in our homes – we are being excellent.

Today’s Prayer:
Lord, thank you for giving me a desire to serve you and to seek you in all I do. I want to use these special talents and abilities you have given to me to help build your kingdom. Help me to find ways to do this! Help me to be excellent in all I do and when I mess up, thank you for your grace and forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Other Contributors to Set Apart:
Ashley Roe, Joyful Thrifty Home
Kendra Stamy, A Proverbs 31 Wife.
Danielle Tate, More Than Four Walls.
Sarah Nichols, Simple Life, Abundant Life.
Jennifer Fountain, Growing Up Triplets.
Karli Von Herbulis, Feed Me Mama.
Anjanette Barr, Raising the Barrs.
Virginia George, Virginia George .Com.
Rachel Marie, Day to Day Joys.
Crystal Hatcher, Wisdom Seeking Mommy.
Whitney Cornelison, Beauty in the Mess

Set Apart: A Blessed Woman in a Modern World

Today’s post is the fourth in a five-part series called Set Apart, with excerpts taken from Set Apart: Becoming a Virtuous Woman in a Modern World. I, along with several other bloggers, collaborated to write this new 28-day devotional for women based on the principles found in Proverbs 31.  Today’s study is written by Virginia George of VirginiaGeorge.com.

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Her children arise and call her blessed;

her husband also praises her.

Proverbs 31:28

While much of Proverbs 31 speaks of womanhood and not necessarily motherhood, this verse discusses the virtuous woman’s children, so I’m going to talk for a moment to mothers specifically. (If you are not a mother yet, tuck this nugget away, or think about others in your life whom you deal with.)

You may feel like many of the tasks you do for your family go unnoticed. Mothering is a thankless job indeed. Some of our children may be too young to even say, “thank you”, and many of the rest of them are just too ego-centric. A child’s world does in fact revolve around them.

I was once at a women’s conference and we had a speaker who gave the following object lesson. She stood at the front of the room and asked us to shout out tasks we do throughout the day. For each task a woman shouted she’d string a bead on a rope. Dishes. Laundry. Sweeping. Playing. Feeding. Laundry. And laundry.

But there was no knot in the end of the string. Each time she strung a bead it fell straight off. Is mothering (especially with young children) any different? We do dishes, laundry, read books, and sweep or vacuum the floor. And at the end of the day what do we have to show for it? More dirty laundry, messy kids, and a pile of crumbs in the corner.

The hope comes in this: God sees it. God sees every single bead you string onto your rope. He knows. HE knows. And there’s so much hope in that. Your hard work does not go unnoticed.

Thankfully, children don’t remain children forever. Lord willing, they eventually turn into teenagers and then adults. I can’t even count the number of times I apologized to my parents as an older teen. Once I moved out of their house I began to see how horribly I treated my parents as a teenager. I didn’t call my mother blessed then, but I certainly do now.

Sometimes you just really want that affirmation, I do. Some days I nearly beg for it. In Proverbs 31:28 we finally see it. “Her children call her blessed. Her husband also, and he praises her.”

When we follow through, we remain faithful and trustworthy, and when we

honor our families without looking for selfish gain, we will see the fruit of our la-bors. Sometimes we just give up too quickly. With vigilance and with faithful-ness, our work will be rewarded.

I’m not talking days. Maybe not even months.

And sometimes I think husbands can be ego-centric too. We all joke that men cannot multitask. If this is true, our husbands may not see our faithfulness while they’re under their own burdens. (And how many times do we do the same – not see our loved ones’ struggles because we’re too wrapped up in our own?)

The good news is that with vigilance and prayer, eventually your family can look back at the work you’ve done. And then, on that glorious day, they will rise up. And they will call you blessed. Hang in there!

Today’s Prayer:
Dear God, thank you for this family you’ve given me to serve. I pray you would give me the fortitude to serve them endlessly and with joy. Let me find hope and contentment in you and not the words of man. Help me to remember the good days more than the bad. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Other Contributors to Set Apart:
Ashley Roe, Joyful Thrifty Home
Kendra Stamy, A Proverbs 31 Wife.
Danielle Tate, More Than Four Walls.
Sarah Nichols, Simple Life, Abundant Life.
Jennifer Fountain, Growing Up Triplets.
Karli Von Herbulis, Feed Me Mama.
Anjanette Barr, Raising the Barrs.
Virginia George, Virginia George .Com.
Rachel Marie, Day to Day Joys.
Crystal Hatcher, Wisdom Seeking Mommy.
Whitney Cornelson, Beauty in the Mess

Set Apart: A Confident Woman in a Modern World

Today’s post is the third in a five-part series called Set Apart, with excerpts taken from Set Apart: Becoming a Virtuous Woman in a Modern World. I, along with several other bloggers, collaborated to write this new 28-day devotional for women based on the principles found in Proverbs 31.  Today’s study is written by Sarah Nichols of Simple Life Abundant Life.

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She is clothed with strength and dignity;

she can laugh at the days to come.

Proverbs 31:25

Isn’t this verse just delightful? This verse describes the virtuous woman as someone who is clothed with strength and dignity. Wow! It seems like a common perception that women, especially in that day and time, were deemed the weaker sex. However this Proverb tells us that the virtuous woman is strong and dignified. I imagine that she is strong physically from working her hands, and strong spiritually. Her strength comes from the Lord.

The virtuous woman is also clothed in dignity. Webster’s dictionary defines dignity as “a sign or token of respect”. The virtuous woman is respected by others. She carries herself in a respectable manner that all can see, she is clothed in her dignity.

Finally, verse twenty-five tells us “she can laugh at the days to come”. This woman does not worry about the future. She does not worry about death. She has planned ahead and she knows her destiny. She laughs because the thought of it brings her joy.

Can you imagine how liberating this would be if we all lived this way? To have complete trust that God is in control and to think of the future with joy? As women, it’s so easy for us to worry and fret about everything that could go wrong. But the Bible tells us “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

So what does this mean for us? How can we aspire to be clothed in strength and dignity, and laugh at the days to come? I believe that being clothed in strength and dignity are the natural result of someone who models their life after the teachings of Christ. We must seek to be like Him in everything we do.

When a worry begins to creep into our hearts, we must not “be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present [our] requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6) If we do that, the Bible says “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) May we all live our lives with joy and trust that we can laugh at the days to come.

Today’s Prayer:
Lord, when people see me, I want them to see you. Help me to be clothed in strength and dignity. Help me to give my fears and worries to you so that I can laugh at the days to come. Teach me to walk in your ways. Amen

Other Contributors to Set Apart:
Ashley Roe, Joyful Thrifty Home
Kendra Stamy, A Proverbs 31 Wife.
Danielle Tate, More Than Four Walls.
Sarah Nichols, Simple Life, Abundant Life.
Jennifer Fountain, Growing Up Triplets.
Karli Von Herbulis, Feed Me Mama.
Anjanette Barr, Raising the Barrs.
Virginia George, Virginia George .Com.
Rachel Marie, Day to Day Joys.
Crystal Hatcher, Wisdom Seeking Mommy.
Whitney Cornelson, Beauty in the Mess

Set Apart: A Supportive Woman in a Modern World

Today’s post is the second in a five-part series called Set Apart, with excerpts taken from Set Apart: Becoming a Virtuous Woman in a Modern World. I, along with several other bloggers, collaborated to write this new 28-day devotional for women based on the principles found in Proverbs 31.  Today’s study is written by Crystal Hatcher of Wisdom Seeking Mommy.

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Her husband is respected at the city gate,

where he takes his seat among the elders of the land

Proverbs 31:23

At first glance this verse appears to be a prerequisite unrelated to us as women, but instead to the quality and character of the man we chose to marry. How many times have women looked at verse 23 and felt it didn’t apply because their husbands aren’t in this position?

But may I challenge you today that this verse is a reminder of who your man can become with encouragement and support from his wife?

Our culture beats men up in so many ways. They are supposed to be “manly”, but we complain when they aren’t sensitive enough. We make jokes that men are stupid and incapable, and guess what? Many men have believed this lie and just decided it is easier to act stupid and incapable than to disprove the stereotypes!

We have the ability to change this for our husbands. We can be their cheerleader as they try new things. We can encourage them to pursue the dreams God has given them. We can respect them publicly and behind closed doors. And when we do other people take notice of our men too!

A few years ago I felt strongly that God was calling me to scale back my own activities and support my husband in our church. We had been through some trying times and he needed me to be there for him. It was difficult for me to turn down my own ministry opportunities, like teaching Sunday school, but God really worked in both of us during that time. A year ago he was ordained as a Deacon, and last fall he began a Master’s degree program to pursue full-time ministry. With my support he has been able to accomplish great things!

We are called to support our husbands, whether they are elders of the land or leaders in their homes.

Today’s Prayer:
Father God we thank you for our husbands and the work you can do in their lives. Lord we know each of our husbands are in different places in their walks with you right now, but we know you have a plan for them. Help us to be supportive and respectful of our husbands, and help others to see the good qualities you’ve given our husbands to serve your kingdom. Lord, where we struggle to see how to encourage and support our husbands, open our eyes to see ways to lift them up and pray for them. Help us to find and walk the fine line of being encouraging and not nagging. Thank you Lord for the work you are doing in our husbands! In Jesus’ name, Amen!Other Contributors to Set Apart:
Ashley Roe, Joyful Thrifty Home
Kendra Stamy, A Proverbs 31 Wife.
Danielle Tate, More Than Four Walls.
Sarah Nichols, Simple Life, Abundant Life.
Jennifer Fountain, Growing Up Triplets.
Karli Von Herbulis, Feed Me Mama.
Anjanette Barr, Raising the Barrs.
Virginia George, Virginia George .Com.
Rachel Marie, Day to Day Joys.
Crystal Hatcher, Wisdom Seeking Mommy.
Whitney Cornelson, Beauty in the Mess

Set Apart: An Honorable Woman in a Modern World

Today’s post is the first in a five-part series called Set Apart, with excerpts taken from Set Apart: Becoming a Virtuous Woman in a Modern World. I, along with several other bloggers, collaborated to write this new 28-day devotional for women based on the principles found in Proverbs 31.  Today’s study is written by Kendra Stamy of A Proverbs 31 Wife.

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She brings him good, not harm,

all the days of her life.

Proverbs 31:12

She does him good. What does that mean? Nearly the entire chapter of Proverbs 31 talks about all the good things she does. Isn’t it a bit redundant to say “she does him good”? Isn’t caring for her household, being a good steward, and reaching out to the poor, doing good?

She does him good. Him. The focus is on her husband. So how does a wife do her husband good? When I read this I see an issue of the heart, and a focus on doing her husband well in all things.

Many women seem to be extremely gifted with an abundance of words. When we have a good day you will know it, and when we have a bad day you will also hear about it. Our words can be a blessing or curse to those around us.

One thing I have noticed among women is that we tend to try to one-up the person speaking. “Oh your boss was crabby yesterday? Well you should hear what my co-worker did to me!” Or “Your child woke you up 3 times last night? At least he wasn’t puking like mine was last week.”

What happens when the conversation turns to our husbands? Do we do him good?

I have heard some of the worst husband-bashing conversations and sadly enough, in the past I joined in. Even worse, I was in a group of Christian women who were old enough to know better. I had been married less than a year, and in order to fit in and be like these “seasoned wives” I found some trash to toss at my dear husband as well. It didn’t do him good, and it didn’t honor him at all.

Doing him good means using our words to build him up and support him, even when he is not around. When we only say good about our husbands it turns our focus from his annoying, quirky traits, back to the very reasons we married him. Additionally, we may continue to discover new and wonderful things about him that we had not noticed before.

The words we use are our own choice. We can choose words to do him good or we can choose to do him harm. Will your words bring him honor, or dishonor?

One parting thought: If we look forward to verse 23, it states that her husband is known in the gates and that he sits among the elders of the land. How did he get there in that place of honor? Could it be because his wife showed him great honor first?

Today’s Prayer:
Father, I come to you now, praying that you will guide my tongue. I pray that you will help me to see and make mention of the good in my husband. I pray that you will give me the words that will build him up and do him good. Whether I am speaking to him or to others, I pray that my words will honor him always.

Other Contributors to Set Apart:
Ashley Roe, Joyful Thrifty Home
Kendra Stamy, A Proverbs 31 Wife.
Danielle Tate, More Than Four Walls.
Sarah Nichols, Simple Life, Abundant Life.
Jennifer Fountain, Growing Up Triplets.
Karli Von Herbulis, Feed Me Mama.
Anjanette Barr, Raising the Barrs.
Virginia George, Virginia George .Com.
Rachel Marie, Day to Day Joys.
Crystal Hatcher, Wisdom Seeking Mommy.
Whitney Cornelson, Beauty in the Mess

Set Apart: Becoming a Woman of Virtue in a Modern World

Hello, friends!

I am very excited this morning! Some blogger friends and I have been working very hard for the past few weeks to bring you a beautiful new devotional. SET APART: Becoming a Woman of Virtue in a Modern World is a 28-day devotional on Proverbs 31, highlighting the character traits of the noble woman and helping us set attainable goals and pray through our own hearts.

This was an incredible project to work on and I am so thankful to have worked with such amazing, passionate women. In addition, I am thankful that, through this writing process, I am able to provide some income for my family- and I feel that this helps me embody the preparedness and entrepreneurship of the virtuous Woman herself. So please know that a portion of your purchase goes to support my family- THANK YOU!

I will be sharing excerpts from the book over the next two weeks. Thank you for reading and supporting my little blog- I am so thankful for your encouragement and support!

You can click the photo below to download the devotional for just $3.99:

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