Following is a bible study lesson that I wrote from a Proverbs 31 study that I facilitated last year. I thought I would share it with you all today.
Proverbs 31:30 (NIV): Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
When I think of the word character, my mind can’t help but take me to thoughts of “is my character the same on the outside as it is on the inside” and “what character traits do others see in me”?
I must confess that if the “woman of noble character” squad knocked on my door today, they might just convict me of a crime rather than give me a jewel for my crown. On this very day, my character just downright stunk. Could it possibly be the attack of the enemy (1 Peter 5:8; NIV) since he knows the Lord is teaching us great things about that famous noble woman? I will not keep your wondering minds in suspense any longer, yes, I will share with you what character oops I have committed on this day. J
My kindergartner, Jonah was having his fall festival at school on Saturday. I am a room mom for his class and volunteered to make a cake for the festival’s cake walk. With eager intentions, I set out to make the most adorable pumpkin orange cake layered with pumpkin shaped sugar cookies. I was going for the “wow” factor instead of making my very yummy home- made chocolate chip cake that is to die for to the taste buds but not so much to the eyes. Deciding to make the pumpkin cake was all about the looks; while the chocolate chip cake had the tastiest inner beauty. I baked all morning long and my kitchen showed for it. I am not sure who was covered more in flour, myself or the counter tops. The aroma of the kitchen was inviting. I was just about to pat myself on the back for the “Proverbs 31 mom of the cake walk” award when the oven timer went off letting me know that the cake was ready. Yummy! It looked delicious and I couldn’t wait to put all of the “wow factor” touches to it. Well much to my dismay, the cake split right down the center and fell apart as if it were an earthquake splitting the ground apart. What in the world was I to do? I did not have time to make another cake because this cake was supposed to be turned in when I picked up my son in about an hour. I really didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. Instead, I did the next best thing, phoned a friend! My sweet friend, Courtney came to the rescue. She offered to go buy me a cake at Publix and turn it in for me. As hard as it was for me to allow her to do that, I did. I was in complete disarray that I was about to have a store bought cake turned in with my name on it. It was my sons very first fall festival and I was submitting a store bought cake, but I really had no other choice. What happened to my day? Where did I go wrong? The Proverbs 31 woman would have never turned in a store bought cake. Needless to say, I finished the rest of the not so “wow factor” cake and shared it with my family and Courtney’s, although they would practically have to eat it with a spoon instead of a fork.
Was the Lord trying to teach me a lesson from this cake catastrophe day? It wasn’t until my son said his bedtime prayers that I really obtained meaning from all that occurred. During his prayer, Jonah thanked God for my cake, stating that it was “so delicious to his tummy” and that he was so happy that I made one for his school and one for him to eat because he loved it so much, ending with “I especially liked the inside of it.” Are you following me here? Jonah ended his prayer with a common theme for this week’s study, the inside. All day, my character allowed me to run away with the exterior presentation for the cake when all along it was the inside that was the best. Pride or not, I would not have turned in that ugly cake in a million years. However, I wonder how my day could have been much easier and less stressful had I just made the old faithful chocolate chip cake that may not have been so “charming” to the eyes. It is true, charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting. Besides, Jonah liked the inside the best of my charming cake after all. “A woman who fears the Lord” really is one to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)
Questions from the lesson:
Explain a time in your life when the Proverbs 31 squad might have convicted you of a crime instead of giving you a jewel for your crown. (i.e.: a situation with your husband, children, friend, complete stranger…)
What about those jewels? Have you ever just felt really good about possessing that certain Prov. 31 characteristic? Now is the time to brag on you. If you are like me, this is a very hard thing to do… but go ahead. I know there are many examples you could come up with. You deserve a moment to shine. Please share…..
Name a woman or two who comes to your mind when you think of the good qualities of the Proverbs 31 woman?
Why is this “woman who fears the Lord” such an example to you?
If you cannot name a woman, ask the Lord to place someone in your life that you could use as a mentor and glean from her Godly example.
Please write out Hebrews 10:24:
If there is such a woman in your life, why not send her a note via snail mail or email and let her know what a jewel she is to your life. She deserves to be “spurred on.”
I hope you enjoyed the story/lesson. The Lord brought it to mind this morning because today I got up at 7am and made cupcakes for my son’s fall festival. They were quick, easy and no hassle at all. Are you proud of me for not even attempting to be elaborate this year? Besides, who doesn’t like a good home made cupcake!