The Proverbs are chalked full of wisdom, literally, packed to the brim on the importance of wisdom, urging the reader to listen to, walk in, abide in and dwell in wisdom. The younger the person, the louder the call to listen – I'm sure that's because Solomon was hip to how a young person thinks - they don't care about wisdom and it's value. Youngins, from the beginning of time, are and have been, hard headed, know-it-alls that feel invincible (guilty as charged). It's their way or the highway.
Wisdom in Proverbs is likened to a beautiful and intriguing woman. She is strong and demands a lot of care and attention to keep up with. She wants to be cherished and sought after and she's oh-so-valuable. "Do not forsake her and she will keep you." Yet so many run from wisdom’s calling. People seek their own way and the warning against running from Lady Wisdom is loud and made crystal clear. Wisdom can be gained by reading the word, but all throughout the book, Solomon urges the reader to listen for it – literally listening to the counselors all around you to gain wisdom. "The way of the fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice" (Prov 12:15). "Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future" (19:20). These verses tell me that first, we need counselors. That means we need people in our lives that can and will be involved enough to share advice, biblical truths and wisdom and secondly, that we need to be open to listening to them. Proverbs tells us that gaining wisdom is better than having gold and understanding is better than choice silver (16:16), and it's far better than jewels or anything we could ever dream of having (8:11)!!! WOW! Yet, so many don't want any part of it. Their way is right in their own eyes and they don't want to hear anything other than what their hearts want and if you dig a little deeper into the Scriptures you'll find out what it tells us about our hearts...hint: They are desperately sick and beyond a cure (Jer. 17:9). Why do we insist on listening to our sickened hearts?
By the world’s standards I am no feminist, but when I think of all the amazing women God has put in my path to sharpen me as a wife, mother, sister, friend and daughter of the Most High, I am all “hear me roar!” The role that women and only women can play in the lives of other women make me want to parade down a street, hootin' and hollerin'-- kind of like Lady Wisdom does in the Proverbs--and I want to make sure this is a truth that is experienced for all womankind. Amen? Amen! I'll have shirts made up!
I have a lady I can go to when I am a discouraged parent and she offers advice, counsel and encouragement. She shares all of her tips and tricks as she has traveled a lot farther down the road than I have. Then there is a lady that has helped me think through important decisions in my life, like "should we have another baby???" (By the way, we did). There is a lady that had the courage to confront and lovingly rebuke me when she heard me as a young gal gossiping about someone I love, and the same lady has made a point to pour herself into my life and has served to prod my faith, asking how I'm growing in the Lord and has for years. I have cried on her shoulder during darker days of my marriage when I felt embarrassed and ashamed and she just loved me. There is one that listens to me as I talk through my irrational night time anxiety and she helps me to put off those untrue thoughts and put on Christ and sends me texts to check in. I have a lady I can run to and with one look or one word can send me to the Kleenex box and right into her arms. I call her and she speaks truth to me, whether it's about how to handle conflict in a relationship, or when my husband has changed jobs and I'm uneasy, or when I've been a discouraged homeschool mom. And there are ladies who just have God's word on their mouths at all times and it is sweet encouragement to the soul when I hear them speak. I have women that I can text and say "please pray for me," and they do. Some of these ladies have taken me on as their personal project, consistently and selflessly, making time for me. Others it has been for a time, but they have had an amazingly profound and meaningful impact on my life. And there are some who may not even know the impact they have made on my life. And ALL of them are there when I need it. If every woman could have just ONE woman like this in their life, they would be richer than Oprah. And Oprah doesn't count as your wise woman of choice.
So why me? I have no clue apart from being it the Lord’s will for my life. BUT, I think it also takes some humility. They didn’t just walk up to me and start pouring into me. I think it takes a heart softening and a big piece of humble pie to make yourself vulnerable and let those walls come down and say, “Hey, I don’t know what I’m doing, but maybe they can help,” and to just talk and to be engaged, but more importantly, to just listen. Proverbs says that "with humility comes wisdom" (11:2) and that is truly what we should be striving for in this world. 1 Peter 3:3-4 says, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." This should be our heart's desire.