Sometimes you can find serenity in wise words from someone else.
You can learn a great deal about a person if you know what they read. A person’s taste in books will give you insight into their philosophy, upbringing, and even character. I have learned a great deal from reading wise words from other people. When we use our words properly, they have power. They have the power to teach, encourage, inspire and motivate. One of the best things about words is that we don’t have to learn every lesson or ourselves. Instead, we can learn lessons experienced by others when they share their words with us.
This article is the first in a five-part series of articles. Each article will have another set of wise words from someone and some of the lessons those words teach us. Upcoming articles include the following:
Langston Hughes “Crystal Stair”
Claude McKay “If We Must Die”
Paul Lawrence Dunbar “We Wear the Mask”
Maya Angelou “Phenomenal Woman”
A virtuous woman is worth more than rubies.
Today I am sharing my favorite section of literature in all the world. It is taken from the Bible, It is verses 10 through 31 of the thirty-first chapter of Proverbs. I am sharing the King James Version.
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
This woman is incredible. I am impressed with who she is and what she does. She is more valuable than precious jewels. Her husband trusts her and needs no treasure besides her. This woman shops and finds incredible bargains. The Proverbs 31 woman takes care of her family and dresses beautifully. The words that come forth from her mouth are wise and kind. Children love their Proverbs 31 mother. Her husband praises her as does her hard work.
Just look at that! In my mind, there is no higher calling than to be a Proverbs 31 woman. I know a lot of people use the Bible to justify claims that the women are second class citizens. But look at the words from the Bible for yourself. This is a woman who works, makes deals, does foreign trade and the like. There is nothing second class about a Proverbs 31 woman. She takes a back seat to no one. I like her, I want to be her.
I have read thousands of books over the course of my life. I enjoy reading and do it as often as possible. This passage, in this book, is my favorite thing I have ever read. It gave me something to model my life after. Now you know a little something about me. So the question for you this serene day is what is your favorite passage of literature? Share your favorite in the comments below.