Monday, July 19, 2010

Royal Purple

Proverbs 31:21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.

Women have a natural sense of jeopardy when subject to threats, and from threats arise fears. It is natural that institutions such as society, marriage and the church offer a degree of security regarding those threats. But it is not only these others that should sustain a woman from her fears. Her own efforts, doing what it takes to provide the “scarlet” clothes that are adequate to warm, have removed her fears. Were a woman to not rise to make this sort of contribution, she might think that her lack of provision highlights her husband's securing influence, thus she might revel in the romance of being a little “princess”. A woman’s fear can have a pervasive effect on her household, children especially. But her own work at resolving the threats she can, ameliorates those fears in her and in them. If she has cast all tasks back on her husband, her fears don’t necessarily vanish. Men have a way of being less than omnipotent. Her temptation (instead of a goodwife's resolve) is to turn her fears into frets which has its voice in nagging. A goodwife is the source of some part of the family's security and is certainly praiseworthy.

Proverbs 31:22 She makes herself coverings;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.

In the beating back of primal and survival fears, a goodwife runs up the score. Not only is her family warm, but she also takes care of her own appearance, and that in a rewarding fashion (pun intended). Whatever the economic level of a family, the wife should know that one of her tasks is the bedecking of herself as well as she can afford. God made women decorative and each should have the will and way to honor that intention. To some extent the new patriarchy/home school culture has drawn up a vision (stereotypes are not always true but are recognizable nonetheless) of some harmless drudge that, hopefully, no one notices. Just as her modesty of clothing ought not threaten the intimacy of the vow made to her husband, her fashion should enjoy the level and merit she inhabits in society. We will not have the Queen dressing like a charwoman. Dress with the glory you have earned. Advertise the glory of a goodwife.

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