Mrs. Stephens, who was a widow, worked the same job at the local hospital since 1967. She was the mother of 5, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 9. She had been a member of our home church for over 30 years. She was faithful!
Why do I tell you about this ordinary lady, whom you will never know, and who wasn't famous or do anything great in the eyes of the world - or even in most of the eyes of Christianity? Because we younger women need to know about women like Mrs. Stephens - we need her kind of faithfulness, the kind that just does the job without any fanfare, without talking about it all the time - just living your faith before your family day in and day out! Yes, she worked outside her home, which is anathema in some circles. No, she didn't wear what we would call beautiful clothes or fix her hair in the most stylish way for her age. As far as I know, she didn't grind her own wheat, bake her own bread, sew her own clothes, or keep her home beautifully decorated with feminine decor and colors. She didn't homeschool her children or grandchildren. She didn't have a cottage industry. These are the things that you'll see others magnify as the "Proverbs 31 Woman" that we should aim for. I don't discount the bread-baking and decorating and homeschooling - those are good things, if that's what you feel you should do. We should look our best and use our hands to work for our families, and we should make our homes a haven for our loved ones. But the Lord is most interested in how faithfully we perform the job he gives us to do. Don't be fooled into thinking that baking bread and homeschooling will make you a virtuous woman!
As Mrs. Stephens' memorial service is conducted today, our pastor will most likely read Proverbs 31, and he will unreservedly call Mrs. Stephens a virtuous woman, a woman worthy of her children's praise. She was a woman who feared the Lord, and that is of more value than rare jewels in God's eyes!
Pro 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
Pro 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.