Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Younger Women Honoring the Elder

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5
Younger submit unto the elder. You know I’m going to age myself a bit to say that I think the younger generation has really lost the respect and honor that the older generation was taught to have for their elders. While this lack of respect seems to come from both genders, I’m going to address the young women who are called to submit to the teaching of their elders in the body of Christ.
I’ve met and discipled with some incredible young women in my time. It blesses my heart when young ladies come with open and teachable hearts. I consider myself at their age. Was I so receptive? Did I hunger for instruction as these girls do? I’m proud of these girls, knowing they have so many obstacles in their way as they press forward to Christ. These young ladies take Titus 2 and 1 Peter 5:5 seriously. They seek to learn from the spiritually older women.
Unfortunately for ever one young lady we see seeking discipleship and spiritual teaching, we seem to witness five of their peers turning their back to instruction, turning their nose up at the idea of discipleship and turning their attitudes away from submission and towards self-elevation. It’s not entirely their fault. Society is trying to raise generations of independent, confident and bold young women. In some ways their characteristics are good. We want young ladies to be independent enough to follow Christ alone if need be, confident in the gospel and bold to share the love of Christ. On the other hand, we see the world raising women who think they are too independent to need counsel from their elders, so confident in their own way of thinking that they are unwilling to submit to sound teaching, and bold to disrespect and dishonor elders instead of sitting at their feet of instruction.
For those of us who have daughters, we can see the challenge that lays ahead. The older generation will tell us that, in their time, elders were treated with respect. They would be honored for their years and wisdom. Young people would learn from them and be taught in the solid counsel of the Word. While the world tries to redirect our daughters into a “new” way of thinking that leads to self-focus and, quite frankly, arrogance, we need to train our daughters to walk in humility and to sit at the feet of the older women with open hearts and teachable spirits.
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Gracious Woman

“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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A Strong & Honorable Woman

“She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.” Proverbs 31:17

      Is a strong woman a masculine woman? I suppose it depends on how you define strong and in what ways she shows her strength. I’ve personally always thought woman body-builders tend to look masculine, but this Proverbs 31 woman is certainly no weakling. She is girded with strength and has strengthened her arms. It is important to note here that she does not flex those muscles to compete with her husband, but rather to serve her family and household. She does not compete with her man, nor assert herself as a strong, butch woman. God says that we are the weaker vessels and that’s the way He made us. Not inferior, but softer. Gentler.

We are meant to be soft, precious and delicate to our men. They like us that way. Yet, we are to be strong women when it comes to hard work—our bodies must be fit to carry out the work of building up our home and keepingit running smoothly. We need to be strong in endurance while raising children and serving our husband. Most importantly we need to be strong spiritually. The virtuous woman is a strong woman who works hard, but she allows herself to be weak with her husband, trusting him to be her protector and provider.

      “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” Proverbs 31:25

      The virtuous wife is clothed by honor and strength. That means she doesn’t leave home without it. This is an interesting concept to wrap our minds around because clothing is not necessarily who we are but something we put on. Being strong and honorable is not always our nature, and this woman is no exception. As we read about her many good and upstanding qualities, we can sometimes be deceived thinking that this was easy for her, or that it came naturally as if it’s just who she is by birth. Good genes right?

Putting on clothing is an act of will. We put it on to cover up our nakedness. This woman puts on strength and honor everyday by choice. It is a conscious act. She may not feel like responding honorably in every circumstance, but she does because she has made a commitment to living her life this way. You can put on honor and strength to. We all can because we have the help of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit!

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