Equally Yoked

In 2 Corinthians 6:14 (KJV), Paul the apostle warned believers to avoid being “unequally yoked” with nonbelievers. He used the image of two oxen—one strong, the other weak—harnessed together to pull a plow. Every farmer at the time knew what the outcome would be: the weaker animal invariably set the pace. The stronger animal, trying to remain in step with its partner, will not pull to its full potential.

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Godly Confidence

The “excellent woman” of Proverbs 31 casts a long shadow for her sisters through history! Not only is she strong, wise, trustworthy, industrious, and successful, but she also “fears the LORD” (v. 30). The Hebrew word rendered “fear” has a wide range of meanings, including the idea of respectful reverence. I learned about this kind of fear when, fresh out of high school, I began my formal training to become a mechanical engineer.

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Industriousness

To be honest, I never quite understood the dogmatic assertion, “A woman’s place is in the home.” While I agree that the responsibility for provision falls upon the man of the house, I see nothing in Scripture that suggests a woman has no part in it. On the contrary, the “excellent woman” of Proverbs 31 is nothing short of a business genius.

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Trustworthiness

In the opening lines of his ode to excellent womanhood, Lemuel expressed his great admiration for someone close to him. He obviously wrote from personal observation of someone truly great—perhaps his own wife or mother. The Hebrew word translated “wife” is the general term for “woman,” and the wise man described the excellent woman as a wife and a mother because, in his culture, most women were both.

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Great Expectations

Without taking away from the joys, rewards, and those extra-special moments of motherhood, I do want to acknowledge that the daily tasks of that assignment can be a grind! Washing mounds of laundry; ironing; folding; cleaning; shopping; cooking; carpooling; being a referee, coach, encourager, counselor, cop; remaining tactful, lovable, compassionate, cheerful, responsible, balanced, and sane (!)—every day

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A Prayer for Mothers

“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13) We do worship You, our Father, and in our worship we give You our thanks. We thank You, not only for our own mothers and grandmothers but for all women who have filled that role. We remember those who are now deceased, who helped shape our lives, who taught us faithfully, and who enduringly loved us.

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The Fog Is Lifting

Imagine swimming in a vast lake and getting three or four hundred yards offshore when suddenly a freak fog rolls in and surrounds you. You’re trapped in this tiny circle of diffused light, but you can’t see beyond your arm’s reach.

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A Charming and Graceful Spirit

Clearly, Esther had something about her that caused everyone to “favor” her, from the king to the women in the harem who were competing against her for his attention and affections. I think she must have had a winsomeness about her.

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Modesty and Authenticity

Esther exhibited an unselfish modesty and authenticity. Think of it: no job, no responsibility, no cooking, no clean-up, no washing, no ironing, no errands, no budget-watching, no holding back in any area. Imagine!

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Strength and Dignity

Esther exhibited a grace-filled charm and elegance. In this verse, the literal translation of the original language says, “She lifted up grace before his face.” Isn’t that a beautiful expression?

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