I am studying the Proverbs 31 Woman with a great group of gals. We are having a wonderful time learning not to resent or be intimidated by Scripture's portrayal of this woman but rather to glean from God's Word how He wants to manifest these Truths in our own lives.
As always, His Word is rich and deep...and life-changing.
We recently examined verses 17 & 18. I want to share with you what we found...
First we learned that the last phrase does not mean that she never sleeps - thank goodness! Although we Moms admit there are plenty of nights our light stays on because we are dealing with stomach viruses, scary dreams, or sleep training a newborn!
This word in the original Hebrew language does mean "light" but it conveys a more figurative than literal definition. It means "instruction, progeny"...we might use the word "legacy".
So verse 18 is saying that this woman's legacy, her message to the world, her lamp, is not diminished in the darknesses of life.
And her light keeps shining during these times because she has strength.
Notice that her strength is not only physical - the "and" in the first phrase lets us know this is not a repetitive thought but rather an additional one. So, physical strength is indicated in "makes her arms strong" and we need to know that keeping ourselves fit & healthy is one of the ways we keep our lamp burning in the nights of life.
But that is not the only goal nor the main source of strength. (And, also note that our motivation for physical strength/fitness needs to be one of strength for our light --- not attention for our bodies!)
What other aspects of strength are we to pursue?
Since Scripture tells us that we are a three part being (I Thessalonians 5:23 - body, soul, spirit), we realize that we need strength in all three parts of ourselves.
How do we strengthen our souls and our spirits?
Let's look at that together over the next few days. But for today, let's think about the need to keep ourselves physically strong in order that our lamp can keep burning. Our physical fitness/health plays a significant role in our being able to victoriously handle the "nights" of life, the times when our circumstances are dark. I am quick to point out that it is easy to focus too heavily on this or to pursue it from selfish motives but I do want to urge us all to take care of the bodies God has given us, the temples of His Holy Spirit while we are on earth.
It's certainly good stewardship but physical fitness also brings great benefits to our mental/emotional and spiritual health. Strength in one aspect of our being positively impacts the other parts.
And vice versa.
What is one thing you can do that will be a step towards greater physical health?
If you need ideas, check out my friend Caroline's website https://www.transfitathens.com/
She has some great encouragement there!