Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"The Virtuous Woman" Had Maids!!

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Jan 31, 3:57 PM EST

Today is the 31st and I read reluctantly, once again, Proverbs 31, about "The Virtuous Woman."

I sooo do not relate to those perfect standards. I try, though, I really
try! (See photo below of a not-that-virtuous woman goofing off in an old abbey ruins in Scotland. Posing as a non-saint--not that hard in my case!)

The real Virtuous Woman (is married, Hollyweird notwithstanding) does housework, raises her children, buys a field and plants a vineyard, even makes blankets for her beds.

All right, I realize we can substitute modern applications of this, and run down to the latest no-longer-White Sale and buy electric blankets or the new Vellux ones, etc.

But she has it all. Does it all. And all at the same time.

Or does she? That's just it: I finally decided, I don't believe it's all at the same time.

The Bible doesn't say it all happens together. It just lists all her accomplishments without any time frame.

Except for early morning, when she gets up and feeds her maids! Plural! The Virtuous Woman had maids!

What I take from this is that she accomplished a lot over her whole life, and had a lot of help along the way.

Vacuum cleaners and washing machines? Mmm, simple homes in Solomon's time didn't require a lot of work, yet she had helpers. Our homes require a lot of work.

I think maids is maids and we should have maids! I'm workin' on that.

Meanwhile, thank God for Flylady.net who teaches how to work smarter, not harder, and have plenty of time left over for other worthy pursuits.

But I digress. The Lord says:

The Virtuous Woman is worth more than rubies.

She is to be praised by her children.

She is to be praised by her husband.

She is to receive her reward.

The Lord obviously loves women, and wants us diligent in service to our families and to our own self-fulfillment.

But I feel that women today have been sold a rotten bill of goods: We can have it all, and all at the same time. I don't think so!

I see a rising divorce rate. Not judging anyone, here, who has had a divorce! Not at all. I haven't walked a mile in your moccasins.

But there's a problem when the divorce rate is as prevalent among Christians as in the world.

I see a lot of problems with our children. I keep reading about inappropriate, um, encounters on middle school buses (Thanks to one very famous bad example that will go unnamed) or on campus, and observed and cheered on, even video-taped by young classmates. These kids could benefit from a lot more availability and training from over-worked parents.

I see a rise in overall bad manners and selfishness, from loud music and loud cellphone conversations in public, to road rage. (The latter from lack of sleep, some say. Big surprise!)

Addressing some of these problems is an excellent book, Simple Social Graces by Linda Lichter, which ought to have a stronger and more descriptive title. It sounds like a nice little etiquette book. Not.

It covers the alarming loss of quality of life, today, compared to the gracious way of life of the Victorian Era.

And no, Lichter says, the Victorians weren't prudes. Freud gives us that impression. He wrote in the Victorian era, about abnormal, unhappy people. Not much is written about average, happier people, because they were not what Freud or Jerry Springer or even Oprah would ever have the opportunity to interview. The Victorians were reticent, respectful and discreet. Some things, they kept private and special. Even sacred. Imagine! But they were not prudes. Queen Victoria really gets an unfair rap, Lichter writes. You'd be surprised.

Mainly, Lichter says that without manners and morals, we are at the mercy of one another's whims.

Women, being smaller and more vulnerable, will not come out ahead!
Read this book!

And this rant is not to lay a guilt-trip on women who have to work in order to put food on the table. My heart and blessings go out to those women.

But to those who just want to go out and "find themselves," as they used to say a lot, I suggest: Wait! Stay home. Before your kids get lost. Before you and society get lost!

A woman who trains her children well definitely is worth more than rubies.

My heroine is the diligent, devoted mother of a baby girl. The baby contracts an illness that has no cure but prayer. The heroine is also an artist, and rather fits the stereotype--emotional. Sad to say, because of a desperate need to find a certain answer, she's been dabbling in the occult and paying the price.

And she doesn't know it, but one of the important men in her life is a murderer.

Most of us don't have such problems! We just have to decide what to cook for breakfast. For our maids. I'm still workin' on the maids part.

Then I'll have more time to write!


Susan Kaye said...

Bless your observation! I've always thought it strange that Christian women will go to one seminar and be taught that the Virtuous Woman was actually a Super Woman, and then at another, try to reconcile the teaching that we should not be busy Martha, but obedient Mary, who sat at Jesus feet.

Father, save us from our Compartmentalized Christianity!

I'll be back.

LaShaunda said...

Hi Margo,

The title tempted me over here. I've read the virtuous woman many times too and I definitely skipped the feeding the maids part, now I have to re-read.

Where is my maid? I know I could use one. Working full time, being a wife and mother full time, full time care giver of my mother and trying to break into the writing business. I need two maids. LOL!


Gina said...

I love your take on the Proverbs 31 woman. I don't even try to measure up to that standard. Right now 3 piles of CLEAN laundry are taking over my bedroom, but I'd much rather be at the computer writing. Wonder what Flylady would say about that? I think I need to check out her website again!

Margo Carmichael said...

Susan, I'd much rather do the Mary part! LOL

LaShaunda, I'm with you. Two sounds about right. One to pull me off my blog! It's too much fun.

Gina, Flylady would say "Where is your laundry?" LOL Only she can get me off my blog and onto my book, or off of my book and onto my laundry.