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The Proverbs 31 Woman Is More Than "The Good Wife"

Inspiration
"Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies" (Proverbs 31:10)

After attending a wedding many years ago, I can recall the remarks on behalf of the bride and groom.


It was repeatedly stated that the bride was a virtuous woman and her groom was blessed to have found her. I had heard the term "virtuous woman" several times when referring to a wife or a mother, and since I was neither, I never really felt it applied to me. In fact, when I took the time to read Proverbs 31:10-31, I did not feel I could even measure up. Though I was a Christian, I felt I was too far gone by living the less than virtuous life. So, I admired the bride at the wedding and accepted that that would never be me.

Time had passed and the thought about being a virtuous woman would cross my mind, but I still felt I could not meet the standard. I did not measure up. It was just too late...or was it? If I listened to society, then the answer was an undeniable yes! But if I listened to God, it was an unequivocal no!

I was looking at "her" the wrong way.

In studying and applying all 22 verses, we see that though this woman was an amazing wife, that's not all she was and definitely not all she was created to be.

When you really stop and think about it, she wasn't always a wife and she didn't become amazing when she became a wife. It is written she was found and found already virtuous. So whether she was childless or a mother, employed or unemployed, praised or feeling inadequate, insecure or confident, dejected or rejected, breaking down or breaking through -- she was already virtuous in all her greatness and her glory. Meaning yes, at every step of your life, even right now, you are amazing during this walk – even in your missteps. Every moment always brings you full circle to God's plans for your life.

This woman was so amazing that she was described as being more precious than rubies. Research reveals that rubies are part of the precious stones family. While we usually think of rubies for their beauty as birthstones and treasured jewelry, rubies also have another very specific use: research shows they were laid at the foundation of most ancient Asian buildings as a symbol of structural stability.

Being compared to the ruby is not by mistake. As women, we need this reminder that we are the foundation of our families and communities.

To expand on this further, the Proverbs 31 woman understands that her role in the family and community extends beyond being the good wife and mother. She is also an amazing entrepreneur, a respected woman in society and one to be reckoned with. And as stated, she was all of this before the ring, saying "I do" and changing her last name. She is all of this because she is Woman.

Understanding our importance to the family unit and overall community will help us look at ourselves as the regal queens that we are...and then ladies, others will have no other option but to view you in the same way. So, let's start.

Women ask yourselves, are you making yourself a precious and valuable find?

Anything inexpensive or cheap or invaluable is available to everyone; yet anything worth having and valued takes effort to find, obtain and keep. In the material world, most valuable things are guarded and protected. There are limited editions and once it is gone, you have missed out. That is how it should be with us. We should be regarded so valuable that a man will seek us out and pay whatever price it takes to be with us. And no, not financially, but through sacrifice. Sacrificing other women, sex, misogyny, and egos. They will know when they have found a limited edition and will not want to miss out. But wait, I want to pause here to make this clear:

Being a Proverbs 31 woman is not about winning a man or finding a man or winning people. It is about being the woman God created us to be.

That may not include a man, may not include that best friend, or having children, that ideal job or ideal situation, but it does include something much more valuable, and something more precious than rubies – and that is being in the right relationship with God, serving others and most of all loving ourselves. We tend to miss that last point of loving ourselves because we may not have realized our own value, choosing instead to value the opinions of others.

When we begin to focus on the woman that God created us to be, we find our decisions are not based on the opinions and approval of others but on God's approval.

Remember, to be anything other than what God has called you to be is being less than your best. We must turn our ear to God and the things He says about us. Turn our ear away from the naysayers, negative influences and temptations. My prayer for you is found in Ephesians 1:8 of The Message Bible:

"I ask – ask the God of glory – to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him – endless energy, boundless strength!"

Carla George is an author and speaker hailing from the Island of Bermuda. She is passionate about encouraging change agents and thought leaders to renew the way they think of themselves and their challenges by honoring the power of their "I Am…," as explored in her book Proverbs 31 Woman: More Than The Good Wife. Follow Carla on Instagram @iamcarlageorge and connect with her at iamcarlageorge.com.

Featured image by HEX/Getty Images

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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