Proverbs 3:16-18, “Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.”
These verses are personifying wisdom. Wisdom is a woman, that because of her wise nature, exudes many wonderful traits. Oh, how my heart longed when I first read these verses. I wanted to be this wise woman of Proverbs 3! A long life. Riches and honor. Pleasant. Peaceful. Life-giving. A woman that blesses those around her. A woman who gains her wisdom from God. I broke the verses down and compared myself to these truths.
Long life is in her right hand: A woman that makes wise decisions in her life is likely to physically live longer, but the long life this scripture can be referring to is guaranteed as an eternal one. When you love and accept Jesus into your life, you now grasp eternity in your right hand. I am so thankful to have done that!
in her left hand are riches and honor: I am certain that riches, in this context, go beyond money and wealth- but refer to relationships with family, friends, and God. Riches in memories, laughter, seeing your children walk and grow in the Truth. Honor in your speech, marriage, morals and values. Am I continually building my wealth? Creating an inheritance for future generations?
Her ways are pleasant ways: I want to be pleasant. It is so easy in this earthly world of congested traffic, long lines, and common colds to easily become unpleasant. Just yesterday, I honked the horn long and loud at a car that cut me off in town; I am guilty of failing in pleasantness.
and all her paths are peace: Every word spoken and every decision made is done so with peace in mind when you are a woman living by this verse. I am not sure my husband would agree I always model this part of the verse; and I would say he is not completely wrong in his assessment.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her: Do I help give life to those who hold on to me? Women play so many roles. So many hold onto us, need us, look to us. Are we helping them flourish or wilting them down? I do not want this out of self-righteousness- only to further help draw people to Him! My husband, daughter, family, friends, blog readers– these are all the relationships in my life that I want to bless! When I am unpleasant and not peaceful, is that life-giving? No.
those who hold her fast will be blessed: The end result? If we live out the words that lead up to this, we bless those who are holding on to us. The MSG translates this last bit as “Hold her tight- and be blessed.”
The beauty in this verse, is the beauty I want radiating off of me! What woman does not want these things? Wisdom. A long life. Riches and honor. Pleasantness. Peacefulness. Life-giving. A woman that blesses those around her.
It sounds great, I know, but the reality of the verse was- I knew I could never fully perfect any of these things. It gave me despair, made me feel like a failure, like I had these great expectations I could never reach. Then, I realized that was Satan placing those thoughts in my head and not God’s truth.
Of course I will never perfect the traits of this wise woman, but Jesus died for me so that I do not have to be perfect- only striving to be a godly woman for Him. That is the real truth and a beautiful one at that.
Sisters, let us continue to keep on doing all that we can to have a long life with riches and honor, pleasantness, peacefulness, is life-giving and a blessing to those around us. We want to keep becoming wiser and wiser. It is what God wants us to do, and when those moments happen that we fall short- look to His strength, seek forgiveness, and try again.
In those moments when you succeed- praise Him for leading you to that, smile, and enjoy the end results of blessing those around you.