Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Gracious Woman

on August 5, 2013

“A gracious woman retains honor, but ruthless men retain riches.” Proverbs 11:16

I love this verse. It’s really a wake-up call and a reminder of what’s important in life. We so often get it all backwards. I know I do. Then God gives us a beautiful scripture like this and reminds us that there is more to life than what the world seeks. There’s more than riches and wealth, fame and power. There’s more important things than achieving worldly beauty or fighting for position. A gracious woman retains honor.

Graciousness is a beautiful characteristic of how God describes an honorable woman. The word could be translated to mean “favor, grace, charm, having found grace in someone’s eyes.” The idea here is that a woman who is seeking the Lord walks in His grace and is consequently a gracious woman herself. She is humble, kind, generous, loving and sincere. She walks in integrity and dignity, as befitting a daughter of the King. She is also generous and charitable, not looking down on the poor but feeding them. She is gracious, slow to answer with harshness and quick to forgive in love. She retains honor because she walks in the grace of the Father. She knows where she came from and how much she has to be grateful for, and she therefore has no interest in chasing the material things of the world but rather enjoys the honor of the Father.

I love the word that is used here: “retain” or “retaineth” for the KJV fans. A gracious woman retains honor. That word retains is the Hebrew word “tamak” which means “to grasp, hold, support, attain, lay hold of, hold fast.” Notice that the translation covers the before and after of the verb? It means we are to grasp or lay hold of something and then we are also supposed to hold fast to it. It’s a continual process. We lay hold of honor and then we keep honor purposefully. Well, the laying hold of honor happens when we become daughters of the King, doesn’t it? When we become joint heirs with Christ, because of His amazing sacrifice on the cross, we are given a certain honor. It’s an awesome thing that God does. He calls us daughters! Then, as we walk with Him, we must walk in a way that holds fast to that honor. We walk in grace. Can we lose that honor and dishonor ourselves? I believe we can. I believe we do when we get distracted by those pollutions of the world again. We can set aside the honor we’ve received, but we can also take it up again by simply turning our eyes back to Jesus and accepting His grace and favor.

A gracious woman retains honor…she walks in honor and keeps honor because she is walking with her Father the King and seeking Him in all that she does. While she walks in honor, there are ruthless, strong and terrifying men and women seeking riches. If we want to seek riches instead of the honor that God gives via His grace poured out upon us, then we can choose that, but it will never satisfy. It will never bring joy and peace. It will only bring emptiness and despair. Riches of this world fade and will eventually burn, but God’s grace and honor endure forever.

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