Woman of Valor: Eshet Chayil
Along the years I have witnessed the Proverbs 31 woman being the platform for many women’s meetings or in teachings regarding women. Only recently I sat at a women’s meeting that gave a different perspective of the meaning of the Proverbs 31 woman. This peaked my curiosity and provoked me to do a little research regarding the scripture. In my research, I found the following:
1. The scripture is a Hebrew Acrostic poem. Each verse begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in order.
2. The scripture in Hebrew is translated as, “A woman of valor who can find? She is far more precious than rubies (jewels)”
3. The entire poem is sung to the woman by her husband (or by the males in the home) every Friday night at the Sabbath table.
Intrigued by such information, I began to analyze my thinking as it pertains to women. I’ve recently come to terms with the notion that I’m frail and that’s okay. I believe that we are living in a society that is currently putting too much responsibility on women by highlighting the “superwoman” as the ideal woman. Preachers of Proverbs 31 have often chimed in with this ideal superwoman by teaching Proverbs 31 as a list or checklist of the ideal woman. I challenge you to consider that the Lord is not saying that you should aspire to become the Proverbs 31 woman, but that He already sees you as the Proverbs 31 woman. This scripture of text is His song to you, not His directive of you
Women Have Delighted God’s Heart
God has not burdened us with a list of to-do or to-be items. He is saying that through the years we, collectively as women, have accomplished these things and we are worthy of our praise. I emphasize “we” are worthy because we should see ourselves as a group that’s been chosen by God, not as individuals who have to strive to become great. As a group, we have been brave in our pursuit of the Lord and in our admiration towards Him and He wants us to know that He recognizes it. Consider the following:
At least five women saved the baby Moses when the men had resolved to accept the persecution of their sons being killed. (Exodus 2: 1-10)
Two midwives: Shiphrah and Puah; Moses’ Mother, Moses’ Sister, and Pharaoh’s daughter
Women stood by Jesus at the cross when all, but one, of His male disciples abandoned Him (John 19:25)
Women made it into the promise land, when all of the men in their generation died out (Numbers 14:28-30).
Women, led by Miriam, led the first praise session onto the Lord after they were delivered from Egypt (Exodus 15:20-21)
In our states of oppression, we’ve still found ways to glorify God. The world will teach that this is a result of women being emotional, but we all have emotions. Many of these scriptures clearly show the bravery, the gratefulness, and the intuition of women. God says I see your greatness and I call you, Eshet Chayil, Woman of Valor!
God Loves Women
God chooses women. I’ve often wondered the following, “Why didn’t God just replace Eve in the garden?” Wouldn’t this have been easier than this whole redemption plan? No. God loved the woman and saw her as a key part of His redemption plan. Let’s look at Genesis 3: 15-16, which reads, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Over the years, I’ve been taught and I believed this text to be a curse unto the woman. However, in reading through the eyes of God’s love I was able to see that this text points out to us that redemption for mankind will come through the woman.
When speaking to the serpent, the Lord identifies that there will be enmity between the serpent and the woman and that the “woman’s” seed will bruise the serpent’s head. This scripture is intentional that the blessing of Christ came through the seed of a woman and not of a man. The seed of the ovary was used, not the seed of the sperm. Another section of text that should be highlighted is the part that says, “in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.” For too long, we saw this as a curse, when it is actually a blessing. We’ve, well I’ve been taught that we were cursed with sorrow in childbirth, but if we consider the mind of Christ and God’s redeeming plan for humanity we would see this as the blessing that it is meant to be. This scripture is not adding sorrow, but is adding the “bring forth children”. Therefore, in the midst of our trials and tribulations we will have victories and will birth possibilities. You see, we have been given the ability to press through struggles while producing good fruit.
Multiplication in Affliction
Here’s one more section of the scripture that needs to be highlighted, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception.” Too often, we try to birth control the population of the down trodden and the oppressed. However, the Lord does the reverse. When sorrow is multiplied, conception is multiplied. An example of this is seen in Exodus 1:12, “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.” Scripture also confirms, “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them” Exodus 1:7. Note that this was in Egypt while they were in slavery. Although the enemy will oppress and bring sorrow, the Lord will multiply your conception in the midst of it. Don’t abort! The multiplication of your conception is God’s way of giving you artillery. You see, this is how the Lord sees the conception of children, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate” Psalm 127: 3-5. We should begin to see children as the blessings that they are. Too often, we condemn groups of women, particularly minorities or families in poverty, for having children. Whereas, God sees the oppression of such groups and multiplies their ability to produce children. The world will say that children reduce a person’s wealth, but children increase the family’s wealth. Therefore, when sorrows are multiplied, so is our ability to reproduce.
You are God’s Eshet Chayil
In your sorrow, the Lord will multiply your births and your ability to birth new possibilities. Don’t allow the enemy to oppress you into thinking that you are not worthy of new possibilities. He’s oppressing you because he is afraid of such possibilities. You are the Lord’s Eshet Chayil. The Lord believes that you are courageous and are more than an overcomer. He knows that challenges, sorrows and afflictions will arise in your life. However, if you keep your mind steadfast on Him, you will see His glory in the midst of your circumstances. Don’t be ashamed! This is another tactic the enemy uses. He will oppress you, expose you and try to kill your testimony. Yet, this is your opportunity to speak boldly, “Yes, I was afflicted, but look at this baby I created in the midst of the affliction!” You are Eshet Chayil!
God recognizes that through generations, you have kept the family together, have stood against oppression, and have praised Him in the midst of dangerous situations. Be not oppressed with the world’s view of you; you do not have to be a superwoman to please God. He is pleased with you as woman. Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.
Be renewed in your thinking. Understand that the Lord has intentionally chosen women to help advance His kingdom. He knows that in the midst of your storms, you are still a powerful woman of valor. He knows that you will birth children in the midst of your sorrow. You are His Eshet Chayil.
Dr. Mickisha McKoy aims to develop women to understand how to live Godly so that they are able to provide their families, communities, and churches with spiritual support through a vessel that has been cleaned, baptized with the Holy Ghost, and refined through God’s process. To receive the entire teaching of "Woman of Valor: Eshet Chayil" and other teachings by Dr. Mickisha Mckoy contact Love and Faith Women's Ministry.