December 7, Monday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional is a reprint of Kate Moon’s blog originally posted on December 31, 2014.  Kate continues to serve the Lord in E. Asia. 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“What Qualities Are You Looking for in the Marriage Market?”

Proverbs 31:10-12, 29

“A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.  11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life . . . 29 ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’”

“27 yrs old, 5 ft 3, female.  College grad; art major.  Monthly salary: 2500 RMB ($400).  Good-looking.”  So read the hundreds of letter-sized flyers posted along the walls near the entrance of the park.  It is  Saturday afternoon, and the area is full of men and women in their late 30s and 40s milling around looking for spouses… for their children.

The infamous “marriage market” of Shanghai.  Parents used to stand around holding these signs advertising the more desirable qualities of their yet unwed offspring.  Other parents would come up to express interest; phone numbers would be exchanged.  Now it seems in an effort to be more civilized, the signs are posted on a wall in orderly fashion, and sometimes even the younger people will come by to take a look for themselves.  

What qualities to look for in a spouse?  The Bible doesn’t say directly, but it does say that if a man ends up finding a wife of noble character, he has found a treasure.  What man wouldn’t want a wife he could be fully confident in?  Proud of (v. 11)?  A wife who will bring him good and not harm, not just temporarily, but for a lifetime (v. 12)? This is what a woman of noble character can be to a man.

What woman wouldn’t want to hear her husband say that there are no other women who compare to her?  That to him, she is the best (v. 29)?  What woman wouldn’t want to know that her husband feels so lucky to have her because she is such a rare find (v. 10)?  This is the love and regard that a noble woman can bring out in a man.

Those looking for wives, look for true value.  Those looking to be wives, develop a noble character.  Those who are wives, continue to be noble.  Those who have wives, treasure and honor the noble qualities in your spouse.

Prayer: Lord, help me this day to value the things your word tells me is important to value in people.  Help me to value and honor noble character, in myself and in others.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 9


Lunch Break Study

Read Proverbs 31:25-27, 30: “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.  26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness . . . 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

Questions to Consider

  1. Describe a wife of noble character in your own words (vv. 25-27).
  2. What are not necessarily the qualities of a wife of noble character?  What kind of a woman should be praised (v. 30)?
  3. What qualities do I value more in others?  What qualities do I spend more time investing in developing in myself?

Notes

  1. She is not an insecure woman but one with a strong sense of self and her worth.  She does not worry about the future, but not in a foolish, careless way.  When she speaks, the content of her speech is quality content, not empty chatter.  She is responsible, hardworking and not lazy.
  2. Being charming or beautiful.  One who respects God and lives her life to honor Him.  If you encounter someone of noble character today, consider praising that person, giving a word of encouragement.
  3. In others, am I attracted more by charm and appearance or inner character?  In the mornings, do I spend more time preparing to present my outward appearance to people than I do preparing my heart to meet them as I spend time praying and meditating on God’s word?

Evening Reflection

Was I a person of noble character today?  Did I look for and encourage those qualities in others?  How were my words?  What is the state of my household affairs?  Did I make the best use of my time today?

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