East of the Pews: Conduits of Grace
Last Sunday, Pastor Blair spoke to us about what it means for a woman to be made in the image of God. Similar to last week, Pastor Blair spoke about how womanhood and Christ-likeness are synonymous, just as manhood and Christ-likeness are synonymous.
So let's boil this down to the big idea, because this has to be seen through the book we're reading, which is the book of Proverbs. So what does Proverbs have to say about excellent women?
Each day, we face a choice to act like Jesus. To either bow down and serve the Lord of Heaven and Earth and submit our actions to our Heavenly Father, or – as PB (Pastor Blair) puts it – raise our middle finger to Him. And this is why womanhood and Christ-likeness are synonymous. Christ's life was one submitted to God and to the service of redeeming men and women back to God. A woman's life's (as well as men's lives') main priority is to be made into the image of Christ and take on His life – a life of submission to God.
And Proverbs says the first and foremost way we must start and continue to be transformed into Christ-likeness is through the fear of the Lord, not through a list made-up from attributes of "The Proverbs 31 Woman." This is important because we need to continue to understand the difference between the "root" and the "fruit" of a tree. The difference being what nourishes the tree compared to what the tree produces.
The Root of a Tree
The fundamental component of the tree that grounds the tree, provides nutrients for the tree, and helps the tree grow.
The Fruit of a Tree
Outcomes that are produced from the tree. Apple trees produce apples. Fig trees figs. Fruit is also valued based on the quality it is produced at. If it is a good tree, it will produce good fruit.
We are the tree and Proverbs 31 has been and can be easily seen as the root of a woman. AKA "A woman who does these will be an excellent wife." Well... that's not exactly right. These are fruits that are shown when a women truly does fear the Lord. You see, it's important to understand THE FIRST AND FOREMOST things, which we've already identified as someone, "who fears the Lord."
This means that the list found in Proverbs 31 is only an example of what a godly woman might look like. She might do all these things. She might do more than all these things. This "Fruit" is therefore not exhausted because a woman who fears the Lord will do anything that will benefit the advancement of the Gospel.
The fruit of a woman can take on many different forms, but God wants to transform us from our roots up. And there is only one root that grounds the whole tree. Do we fear the Lord? Take this quick four question survey:
Are you not worried about what is going to happen next in your life?
Are you speaking kindness and wisdom in your home?
Are you feeling emotionally strong?
Are you standing up for other people?
These are fruit questions! These answers are displayed for others to see. So how did you answer? If you answered "no" for one or more of these questions, it might be a good time to check your roots...