Won Without Words
winning the marriage you desire through wisdom

Shari Popejoy


July 28, 2011

P31 Post 25: Watch The Door

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Written by: Shari Popejoy
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I don’t know what translation of the Bible you use. . . but when we get down to the base foundation, we find that unless we’re reading the Hebrew from the original scrolls. . . we’re reading a translation, and words are subject to interpretation.

For example, what does “Watch the door,” mean to you?

“Watch the door,” Marc said as I began to get out of the truck. I had dozed on the way home from church, so I blame the next few moments on groggy miscommunication.

You know how ten thoughts can go through your mind in one second? Here’s what I thought in one second:

Watch the door so the wind doesn’t catch it and blow it out of my hands? No, the wind isn’t blowing.

Watch the door, because that big horse of a dog is going to come greet us, and jump on my nice clothes? No sounds of prancing paws. Okay. Not that.

What does he mean by watch the door? Surely my mind was not so hazy that I was incapable of understanding plain English. . . or was I? I hadn’t been paying attention, and I was caught off guard.

Suffice it to say that a simple suggestion turned into a series of explanations (of why he shouldn’t have to explain such an obvious statement), and it turns out that he just wanted me to be careful as I opened the door, so that it wouldn’t swing into the old washing machine that he had removed from the house the day before. . .and left sitting beside the back driveway.

Well, that’s plain enough, but by this point, I was just testy enough to be tempted to watch the door all right — watch it slam smack dab into the side of the washing machine. Oops! Understand that subtle message that I just sent your way, Marc? :) By the way, why is that washing machine still sitting there??? Huh? Are we speaking the same language? Can you hear me now? ;)

Now, of course I didn’t verbalize all those contentious thoughts that raced through my mind. . . or did I? Hmmm, well I don’t tell everything on this blog!! I’ll reserve a few secrets, just between me and the old washing machine!

Anyway. . . where was I? Oh yeah, translations are subject to interpretation. . .

We have been talking about the Proverbs 31 Woman, and studying verse seventeen, about her strengthening her arms for the task.

What does this “she strengtheneth her arms”  mean anyway? Just like “Watch the door,” could have several meanings, what does “She strengtheneth her arms” mean? And how does something that was written in Hebrew thousands of years ago apply to us as modern women today?

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

The Hebrew words for that verse 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

Girdeth her loins, can refer to catching up your robe, tucking it into your belt, so that you can get down to work without the skirts swaying around your feet, tripping you up, getting dirty, or hindering your movements.

Or, it could refer to clothing yourself with the proper tools to do the job.

Or, it could mean wrapping yourself in metaphorical strength, power, authority to be successful.

Whichever meaning we assign to the phrase, chager mothen ‘oz, the Proverbs 31 Woman was strong — on purpose. She was intentional about her work. She was effective in whatever she stretched out her hand to accomplish. She was prepared and ready for her day.

I’d like to challenge you to watch the door. Make an intentional effort to be aware of the obstacles you face. Look around and assess the pitfalls. Take an inventory of what you need to address in your life. Watch the door for potential enemies who might be lurking, attempting get in your way, to trip you up. Get the proper tools to be effective and powerful in your duties. Eliminate distractions and things that could disrupt your effect. Strengthen your arms.

Don’t be caught unaware, or sleeping, or off guard. Watch the door! Make your arms strong. Gird up your loins! Be prepared. Heads up! No matter which words I use, or how it’s translated, it means the same thing — Get Ready!!! You have a powerful job to do, and you need to be at your best, your strongest, your most effective. Get your game face on! Watch the door!


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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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