My son Benny is very particular about his clothing. Even though he is only four years old, he knows what he likes and what he doesn't when it comes to getting dressed. There are many times when he comes out of his room looking quite mismatched, but to him he feels like he is styling. One of the things that bug him though, are the huge, scratchy tags that are commonly sewn onto the back of most shirts. Almost all of his shirts are missing their tags now, simply because he has come to me with requests to cut out the pesky tags that keep tickling his neck. I try to buy him the shirts with the stamped tag now, just so I can know what size his clothes are so I can pass them on to others who have growing familes.
Everything in this world has some sort of tag or label on it, whether put there by the company who made the product, or simply a name that people have made up for different reasons. Store names, brand names, purse names, shoe names...the list could go on forever. Most everyone knows where to look for the items we all need in life, though some are willing, or simply have more money, to invest in higher priced items that may last a little longer than the average product found in Wal-Mart. We can look into Consumer Reports to find the better quality items when it comes to bigger buys such as washing machines, oven, or automobiles, but in reality, everything is made by man, not made to last forever, and will one day break down and become a new heap of junk in the garbage dump.
People have labels too. We see a person over six feet and we label them "tall." We see a person with no hair and we label them "bald." We label people short, funny, ugly, slow, beautiful, smart...again you name it and there is someone out there with that title hanging over their head. We must be careful how we label someone because that name will stick in their minds. It can be a good thing, or it can be devastating to the one given the name depending on the attitude and reason the caller of the name said what he did. Even what we say to our children may affect them for their lifetime.
For Bible this year, the girls and I are studying the character of the virtuous woman listed in Proverbs 31. As we were discussing the ruby today, I found out that it is much more valuable than the diamond because it is such a rare gem. King Lemuel's mother instructed him to find a virtuous woman. I looked up King Lemuel and though nobody knows who he was, some think it was a poetic name for King Solomon. It is sad to think that King Solomon did not heed the words of his own mother. After reading Proverbs 31, I realized that being called a virtuous woman is putting God's label on your life. Here are a few points to think about when it comes to being like a ruby:
1) When a man wanted a wife, he often paid a dowry to her family. Lemuel's mother was telling her son that no amount of money could pay the price for a virtuous woman. Jacob worked 14 years for his wife Rachel and to him it was but a few days because he loved her so much. Even Rebekah, Isaac's wife, was paid for by much gold and riches sent to her family by Abraham's servant. Yet, no physical amount of money could possibly pay the price for a Godly woman of virture. Now, that is amazing!
2) A ruby is worth more than a diamond. I looked up the cost of a ruby and found that one carat ruby is worth twice as much as one carat diamond. Yet, as you go up in size, such as a three carat diamond versus a three carat ruby, the value goes up ten times as much. This is because the ruby is so hard to fine. This leads me to my third point...
3) A ruby is an extremely rare find. Diamonds are beautiful and amazing, but I have heard that the owners of the diamond mines have most of them locked up, only releasing some of them which keeps their costs high. Rubies are extremely rare, which makes them more valuable because they are harder to find. A woman of virtue is becoming harder to find as the years go by. People are forgetting their Maker and God, and then in turn do not teach their children the wonderful freedom of knowing an Almighty Father. We have lost our Godly heritage and we are losing our virtuous and Godly women. They are becoming a rare find.
4) In order to gain favor and more riches, kings usually married into other royalty that also had a lot of money. From what I can gather, King Lemuel's mother did not care about the riches that a bride could bring her son. She cared about his spiritual walk with God and wanted him to marry someone who could encourage him in his faith. She wanted a bride that would do him good and not evil all the days of his life. She wanted him to marry someone whom his heart could safely trust in, knowing she would never do anything to hurt him in any way. Even a poor girl from the village would be a good wife for the king, if she was a virtuous woman. He would be richer than any other king in the world if he found a Godly woman such as his mother described.
These days, the world does not put a nice label on a pure, Godly young woman, and they are often laughed at or scorned for their decision to walk a holy life. Yet, I think the world is doing this because they are convicted and do not know how to handle the idea that it is possible to remain Godly, pure, and holy in this messed up world.
I remember when I was nineteen years old, I worked at the Champion factory in Williston, Vermont, doing quality control for the items they shipped out. For two months I worked there, measuring box after box of unmentionables, and on the opposite side of my table was a young, Catholic guy. We talked for hours as we worked, and we got into deep conversations, including what I believed and why. He lived with his girlfriend and had a little girl and told me all about them, though he really was not fully committed to them in his heart. When he found out I was still pure and had never been with a man, he did not believe me at first. Yet, over time my innocent and naive responses to his questions showed him that I was telling the truth. I remained constant in my Christian attitude and testimony and did not waiver from what I believed. I pray I made a lasting impression on him that even today he cannot shake.
I received this reaction quite a few times, and to be honest, it was like the men of the world actually respected me much more than they did the other girls around them. There were times they stepped back or refrained from touching me in any way, and I believe this was because they were putting a Godly price on me without even knowing it.
I want my girls to have this same blessing in their lives. I want them to have God's label on their lives, and be respected for the precious ruby that they are. And like the shirts that I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, I want God's image stamped on me so nobody can cut it off. I do not want to become a pesky, itchy tag that bothers someone else around me. I want to make sure I always wear God's label in everything I do so I am known as a high priced, valuable, virutuous woman to all who see me, and be much more valuable, in God's eyes, than a mere earthly ruby stone.