“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” – Proverbs 31 v 25
Clothe: “to endow with a particular quality”
Endow: “to bestow”
This is a nice-sounding verse; almost poetic. While it is nice to read and easy to quote, this verse contains a lot of importance, especially about the character of a Christian woman. As explained in the definitions above, to be clothed in something, one needs to be endowed with that particular thing. In this case, those things are strength and dignity.
The strength being referred to here is not physical, but rather, it is an indication of one’s strength of character. The whole scripture about the virtuous woman is based on the condition of her heart and character, but more importantly, it highlights the Source of all of these qualities displayed. Proverbs 31 is not that popular amongst all women, and reading it on the surface, I can understand why. It almost paints a picture of sheer perfection; an impossible goal for any woman to reach. How could anyone in their right mind ever achieve all of this? The answer, dear sister, is very plain.
Proverbs 31 does not paint a picture of perfection for no reason. Every word has been strategically placed and is completely God-breathed. Am I saying that God wants us to feel incompetent and unworthy? By all means, no! He simply wants us to realize that we cannot achieve the kind of strength of character that pleases Him on our own – we need His help, of course; we need His Spirit! The Lord sets an impossible standard because without Him is just that – impossible.
To be endowed with something, one needs to be completely soaked on the inside to be able to display it on the outside. When we come to Jesus, he bestows upon us His beauty and loveliness, soaking us in His glorious light. His Word transforms our hearts and renews our mind until He has completely taken over on the inside and the out, making it possible to display godly strength of character. “Strength” and “dignity” are listed separately; almost as if the two have nothing to do with each other, when actually, they point to exactly the same thing: character. Another word for dignity is “honour”, which God graciously gives us when we accept His salvation – it is an automatic part of the package.
We can be called virtuous because we have been redeemed by the Most High God. He has replaced our ashes with His unfading and ever-increasing beauty. He has replaced our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh. We can “laugh without fear of the future” because we undoubtedly know Whose we are and what spectacular future lies ahead for us here on earth as well as eternity. We are safe and secure in the arms of our Saviour, now and forever more.
So, dear virtuous woman, rest in the fact that Jesus has clothed you with strength of character, which He has given you to stand out in this dark world. Today and every day, make a mark for Him. Rest in the fact that regardless of what happens, you are safe in your unfailing Saviour’s embrace. Trust and rely on Him to perfect you – He will surely complete the work He started within you. Laugh without fear of anything, because Jesus had got your back.