Last week, I posted the first lesson from a Bible study I wrote, Daughters and Disciples, several years ago before my daughter graduated high school. Purity was about having a pure heart devoted to following God. However, it’s kind of hard to want to follow God completely if you don’t really have a close relationship with Him.
What keeps us from being in a close relationship with God, with Jesus?
I remember in junior high school, this boy was interested in me. At some point while we were at the local skating rink with a group of friends he told me he loved me. I was like, “You don’t even know me.” His declaration of love turned out to push me away instead of causing me to be more interested. How can someone who doesn’t know me use such strong language of affection?
Many of us have heard and seen the message that – Jesus loves you!
But do you trust that? I wrote about trusting God’s love for us last January in the posts, Blind to Love and If You Love Me . . . . I could really take the time to explore how well God knows us, but I think I did that very well in those two posts. You can also read Psalm 139 if you want to read more about the depth of care and thought God has for us.
This lesson is more about our worth and value. It may be helpful to read Proverbs 31: 10 – 31 before reading further. I’m adapting the lesson for the blog, and I’m going to try to make it a little shorter than last week – more user-friendly. So here goes:
More Precious than Rubies – You are precious and valued by God
The objective here is for you to gain a better understanding of your value in who you are, who God made you to be – each in your own unique way. My hope is that you will come to appreciate the love God has for you, how He delights in you, and to not be susceptible to the world’s idea of who – and what – is valuable.
Read the first line of Proverbs 31; then read the next section on wisdom.
- Proverbs 31: 10 [b] (NIV) – 11 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
- Proverbs 3:13-20 (NIV) Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.
- What are the things that make a person valuable?
- What does our society value in a woman? What about the church?
- What do you think about the way different cultures value women?
- What does God value? Does He value women differently than men?
I find it interesting that the comparison of a good and virtuous wife to rubies is similar to the comparison of wisdom.
Check out this verse:
- Psalm 111:10 (HCSB) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His instructions have good insight. His praise endures forever.
Questions to Consider:
- What value do you have for yourself?
- Do you feel valued by the people in your life? For what?
Why It Matters.
If we don’t think we are valued, we are susceptible to all kinds of harmful actions and feelings. We become vulnerable to the lies the world tells us. We will be more prone to making choices that lead us down dangerous paths, depression, and despair. If we don’t understand our own value, then how will we recognize when others devalue us?
From my early childhood, I heard, I sang songs about, I believed – Jesus Loves Me. I heard about God’s goodness, His promises, and His love for me – going so far as to allow His Son to die for me on the cross so I could be with Him in heaven. Of course I wanted Him in my heart. I thought if I was good, then I would see good things in my life, that the promises I heard about were meant for me.
However, even though I grew up in a Christian home, there were a lot of things that weren’t good. Even though I was in church all the time, singing in the choir, memorizing verses, praying, obeying my parents, and trying to be kind even when others weren’t, I didn’t experience peace or gain confidence. In fact, many things seemed to reveal the opposite of what I thought was supposed to be true. This mostly came from the way other Christians acted towards me, my family, and even within my family. Additionally, I observed that men were considered more important as leaders and for their strength. I was a girl, too small and insignificant to matter. I was not valued. The result was I didn’t trust or believe God’s promises were true for me.
God has taught me over the years, that is a lie. During college, I was torn between wanting to please God, pleasing myself, and others. Sometimes the lie – that I really didn’t matter – won. Sometimes, I was able to hold onto the hope that I did matter to God. Overall, I lacked the confidence in knowing how much God really loved me. I don’t want you to have those doubts, and I want to share with you God’s word that reveals the truth.
- Zephaniah 3:17 (HCSB) The Lord your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring (you) quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.
- Ephesians 1: 3–8 (HCSB) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, in Christ; for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
It has taken me a while to recover from the lies I believed about myself, and my place in God’s family. As a woman who fears the Lord and who seeks to live by His wisdom, I am more precious than rubies. I am honored by God, and I am honoring God.
The Big Question (Personal Quiet Time)
- Do you think God values you?
- Do you feel valued by God? How?
Sometimes, we have to dig deep, searching as for buried treasure, or go through trials that are difficult, but when we sincerely, and determinedly seek Truth, the outcome is a treasure – a pearl, and each pearl is unique. Don’t forget to look at the scriptures surrounding the ones referenced to get a better idea of the context in which it was used. Doing so gives you a more complete understanding and allows the Holy Spirit to teach you in a personal way.
Dig A Little Deeper (All HCSB)
- Psalm 139
- Psalm 149:4
- Psalm 147:11
- John 15:11
- Acts 2:17- 18
- Jeremiah 29:11
- Proverbs 8:35
- Proverbs 8:11
- Job 28:18
If you want to learn more about what the Bible says about our role as a wife, take a look at these verses specifically about being a virtuous wife: Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 18:22; Proverbs 19:14; and Ruth 3:11. There is also a book, Your Captivating Heart, by Stasi Eldredge. I found it very inspiring, and I use it when I fall back into the trap of undervaluing my role as a woman and wife. On pages 118 and 119, she explains the search for the best definition of the Hebrew phrase, “ezer kenegdo,” used in Genesis 2:18 when God makes Eve. It comes to mean, “desperate helper,” as in a helper who is desperately needed – not a desperate housewife!
There is so much to say about our value as women, in society, in the church, as individuals, wives, and mothers. That would require several posts – maybe this coming summer. . .
Many of the verses I include do talk about women who are wives; however, I don’t think we have to wait to be married before being valuable to God or implementing what makes us wise women. We are valuable to Him because He created us.
Sisters, you are valuable and precious to God, no matter what the world says. And we would be wise to remember that!