The SHINE Factor

13 01 2011

“For her worth is far above rubies.” –  Proverbs 31:10b

Think about it, a woman whose value or worth is far surpassed anything or anyone else. That woman stands out from all the rest!  Why?  Because she is rare!!!   

Webster’s dictionary defines rare as marked by unusual quality, merit, or appeal.   I start this blog with this bible verse because God’s virtuous woman stands above the rest, just like a precious stone.  Actually any precious stones (pearl, ruby, diamond) are precious and costly because they are so rare.  Hmmm….when you think about it rare gems can only be found in certain locations and are usually available in limited quantity.   You can’t just go swimming in the ocean and find a pearl.  You can’t just take a trip to Africa to find a diamond lying on the side of the road.  No it ain’t that easy!!  It is the fact that they are rare and hard to find that makes gems worth so much.  Even more, when they are found, these rare stones are like none other as they are radiant, brilliant and beautiful. 

Just like the rare gem, the virtuous woman is a beautiful woman, however not just on the outside but the inside too and she does not come a dime a dozen, that’s what makes her so rare!  It is her inward beauty that shines forth to outside for all to see. What makes this virtuous woman so rare you may ask?  She is a woman of strong character and exceptional value.  Her life is constructed using God’s blueprint for design.  She is the standard, the mold for ALL woman to aspire to be.  What a timely message this part of Proverb becomes for EVERY woman with all of the conflicting message we get today.  From music video’ to hearing things like “I don’t need a man”, to seeing shows like Basketball and Football Wives that glamorizes the pursuit of material worth instead of worth of character.  These images we see and hear everyday confuse women as to who and how we should be.  So as we explore this example of the woman who is marked by unusual quality, merit, and rare appeal, let’s begin by looking at the state of women in America today.   Did you know;

  • Black women hold more jobs nationwide than black men, yet — despite their breadwinner roles — earn less on average, $566 a week compared to $629 for black men. (Julianne Malveaux, the president of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C)
  • In an essay about the home loan crisis, Andrea Harris, president of the North Carolina Institute for Minority Economic Development, suggests that black women have suffered disproportionately. Assessing recent federal data on subprime loans, which are a main culprit in the foreclosure epidemic.
  • Dr. Doris Browne, a public health expert, details the above-average rates of cancer, diabetes and heart disease among black women.
  • Of the world’s 1.3 billion poor people, it is estimated that nearly 70 per cent are women.  (UN Department of Public Information (UNPI)
  • Of the world’s nearly one billion illiterate adults, two-thirds are women. (UNPI)
  • Worldwide, 20 to 50 per cent of women experience some degree of domestic violence during marriage. (UNPI)
  • 358, 000 estimated number of women who die each year in pregnancy and childbirth  (World Health Organization (WHO)
  • According to the latest (2008) WHO and UNAIDS global estimates, women comprise 50% of people living with HIV.  (WHO)

 After reading those statistics it seems to me that our rarity does not lie in character but in our ability to survive!!!

A woman’s value can be defined in many ways. Her work, her family and how she puts herself together.  However ultimately it is her character that shines forth through all those things and that is what we each aim for – the SHINE factor.   This is what we shall look at as we explore the Proverbs 31 woman in 2011. A virtuous woman has an inner beauty, a strength of character and a moral steadfastness that is not too often seen in today’s women.  It goes beyond what she has and who she knows to actually being defined by the woman that dwells within. Our question to ponder this week is – if you were a box to be opened, what gift might someone find within?

 “A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; wherever he turns, he prospers”  – Proverbs 17:8

 “Stop trying to fit in when you were born to stand out.” – Unknown

 “Charm strikes the sight, but merit wins the soul.” – Alexander Pope 

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