I am somewhat obsessed with decorating. I enjoy keeping my home nice for my family. Being a hairdresser, the artistic part of me likes moving and redesigning hair, furniture, people; you name it, and I will decorate it. Over the years I realized I am also somewhat obsessed with books. I have books stacked here, there, and everywhere.
I have even begun to use them in my decorating, setting a lamp on a few of the larger ones and candles on the smaller stacks.
I have to say I think my eye for design has been somewhat skewed by my love for these words bound together. My favorite place for my books, however, is still between two sturdy horse head bookends I have had for years. They don’t slide around or fall over. The books are safely kept in place by these majestic bronze equestrian heads.
In the Book of Proverbs, a similar force is at work. I’ll explain what I mean…
Most of us have heard of the woman in Proverbs 31:10-31, and get exhausted and maybe even a little angry when we read the description of this marvel of a wonder woman. That will only be our response if we are trying to keep up with her in our own strength. Ladies, let’s get some help!
Bookend One: Proverbs 1:7
“The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Mark and I were married when I was only 18, and he was a much older man at the age of 20. My, my…we were mere babies. Those early days of marriage were downright hard, but what made them the most difficult was me! Yes, I admit it — ME. I tried to be a good wife; it just eluded me no matter how hard I worked at it. Until one day a lady named Deloris (a “real” churchy lady — at least I thought so back then) came into my life.
She had heard of me through someone I worked with and had asked if she could disciple me. She wanted to meet once a week and read through the Bible together. She said it would take about a year, but what she didn’t realize is how slow I was. Well, I called it slow, but it was just downright disobedient. As the year and a half went by, I would read and read. Little by little God’s Word was being planted. It was just a little seedling, but underneath some deep roots were taking hold.
To be honest, some of the Old Testament passages made me cringe, but Deloris was faithful to help me understand. She would draw pictures and write out descriptions of the books. As time went on, I saw a clearer picture of God’s great love for me, but I also developed a great fear of the Lord. My bookends were being installed…at first I saw it as dreaded fear. People were being turned to stone, getting swallowed up in the ground, and the whole earth was being flooded for its wickedness. Oh my, God was someone to be feared!
Then I began to see another side of fearing the Lord — the side that drew me into a personal relationship, that loved me unconditionally. The dreaded fear changed into a reverent, respectful fear. I desired to please this God, to know Him more fully. I became more aware of the change going on in my heart. The roots of God’s Word were taking hold and transforming this “want to be” good wife into the wife God had desired and created me to be. Am I the Proverbs 31 woman yet? Well, not quite, at least not all the time. But I am confident of this, that the Lord Who began a good work in me will carry it out to completion until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:16).
Bookend Two: Proverbs 31:30
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
I was young and foolish at 18 years of age — some even said too young to be married. I would have to agree. Without the Lord, I don’t imagine that our young love would have lasted. In fact, I am sure that without the fear of the Lord this once pretty young lady would have torn her house down with her own two hands (Proverbs 14:1), or at least sent her husband up on the corner of the roof to get away from her
(Proverbs 25:24). Thank the Lord that a much wiser woman came alongside me to show me how to fear the Lord rightly (Titus 2:4).
Unlike me, who redesigns things daily in my decorating frenzy, the Word of God is unchanging. It never goes out of style and is always sufficient. It has the ability to change us into the Proverbs 31 woman. We have a God to be feared, who is awesome in all He does. The FEAR of the Lord makes up the bookends that hold the Proverbs and my life together. It is what keeps us from being shoved and redesigned by our culture and our circumstances. These heavenly bookends display us in a way that never needs to follow the trends. I love our God and am so grateful He has the perfect design for me and for you.
Directions for Installing Heavenly Bookends:
- Pray for our Father to do the install (Proverbs 2:1-6).
- Don’t despise correction in your design (Job 5:17, Proverbs 3:11).
- Develop a lasting beautiful design (1 Peter 3:3-4).
- Desire to be kept safely within the bookends (Psalm 27:4-5).
- Enjoy the most valuable book on your shelf — His perfect Word — your BIBLE! (Psalm 119:111).
We will not fear the Lord if we don’t know the Word, and we won’t know the Word unless we read our Bibles!
My heart’s desire is to have this said of me: “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Proverbs 31:28).
So, let’s install some bookends, ladies!