Won Without Words
winning the marriage you desire through wisdom

Shari Popejoy


July 19, 2011

P31 Post 22: “What Manly Hips You Have, Madame!”

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Written by: Shari Popejoy
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As much as I’ve enjoyed the ‘Considereth a Field‘ verse, the next verse in our Proverbs 31 For The Average Woman series is full of wisdom, too.

She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. Proverbs 31:17

The Hebrew words are:

chager. . . mothen. . . ‘oz. . . amats. . . zerowa. . . amats

And the translation for those Hebrew words is:

put on a belt/to clothe. . . hips. . . might/power/strength. . . make yourself courageous/brave. . . shoulder/strength/outstretched arm. . . make yourself courageous/brave

This verse is interesting in that the Proverbs 31 Woman is preparing herself for physical duty, — and not just physical work, but a typically masculine duty.

She purposely and intentionally clothes herself with might and power and strength. And the Hebrew word for loins/hips is a masculine word meaning slender hips — dainty man hips, manly woman hips. . . ugh — bad word picture! But the meaning seems to imply feminine strength, or to put it into a more beautiful word picture to replace that last one — the strength of a man and the beauty of a woman.

Think of it as buckling on a tool belt to do a ‘man’s job’! Of course I’m not talking about taking on the authority of a man in the marriage, or dressing in men’s clothing in order to defraud or deceive or decoy . . . I’m talking about the strength to do a mighty job. . . perhaps a job that has been traditionally thought of as a man’s job. . . but with the proper tools, knowledge, and preparation, a woman is quite capable of completing the job that is required in a certain season.

Remember in Christ there is no male and no female. No male roles — no female roles (although in a marriage there are — but that’s a whole other post :).  The verse doesn’t say: Be strong [O men] in the power of His might. When God instituted marriage, He intended for the woman to help the man complete big and important projects TOGETHER.

If you live long enough, there will be a time when you are called on to be the strength of your family. Your husband might be absent, or ill, or unable to bear the burden for a season, and you might have to rise up, O Deborah of a woman, and fight for your family.

If not in the work force, or in the world, then you will probably have to take a stand against the domain of spiritual darkness, to claim the freedom for the captive, to proclaim the victory, to hold up the flag of your family, to keep it from being trampled in the dirt by the enemy, who would seek to steal, kill and destroy your family.

Be strong, O Mighty Woman of God! Fight the good fight! Put on the full armor of God that you might be able to stand against the evil one. (That admonition is not just for males.)

This morning, while I was dutifully completing my traditional female role of fixing breakfast for my man before he goes off to bring home the bacon, I looked down at my husband, stretched out on the floor, emptying the trap of the kitchen sink, which had mysteriously backed up the evening before.

I was so grateful for his handy-man hands which can fix anything, but as I watched him, I thought, “I could do that.” I would have had to use some pliers thingies to loosen the screw-thingy, but it was really a simple (albeit disgustingly gross) job, that any average woman could have done! I’m sure ehow has the instructions! Yep!

The point is that I wouldn’t have even thought to do it myself, because we have a fairly understood division of labor and duties at our house, and sink traps are on his list, and diapers are on mine! But, who says that emptying the trap (or the trash) is a man’s job? If circumstances required it, you, O Proverbs 31 Woman are capable, qualified, and completely equipped to do that job (and others!).

Don’t think there are things you can’t do because you are a woman. If God provides the inspiration, then He will provide the realization (if you provide the aspiration, preparation, motivation, and perspiration :).

The Proverbs 31 Woman has the proper tools. And there is nothing more empowering than a power tool! Look around at your resources, and at the jobs that need to be completed in your home and for your family, and stop waiting for your husband to ‘fix’ everything for you. Strap on that tool belt. Get to work. And act appropriately grateful if he gets you a weedeater for your birthday!!

Gird your loins, and fire up that power tool!



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Won Without Words by Shari Popejoy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at blog.wonwithoutwords.com.

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About the Author

Shari Popejoy
Shari Popejoy is the author of the book Won Without Words, and the blog Won Without Words, encouragement to wives. She writes the Livingstone Library, an adventure series for young people, and the blog Oh Joy!, (injoyinc.com/oh/) for busy moms. She is a frequent contributor to Christian print and online magazines, and writes from the quiet country of the Ozarks, where she lives with her husband, Marc, and their three children. You can find out all about her at sharipopejoy.com!


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