Her worth is far above rubies ."
Have you ever seen rubies straight from the mine? To the untrained eye they look more like aquarium gravel than precious jewels. But once a master jeweler gets finished with one—grinding, polishing, cutting, shaping, and even refining it with fire—the beauty that lay hidden beneath the marred surface is exposed for all to admire.
It's an exacting process to take a rough chunk of mineral and create a valuable jewel. It's not easy—a ruby is second in hardness only to a diamond. And it takes the skill of a master to see the possibilities in each stone—to choose just the right size, shape, and pattern of facets to best display the gem's inherent beauty. A properly cut stone is perfectly balanced, so the light that enters the face doesn't pass through, but reflects from one facet onto another, creating a fascinating, ever-changing kaleidoscope.
Brilliant. Shining. Multi-faceted. Colorful. Sparkling....words used to describe a fine gem. The same words can describe a fine woman.
Proverbs 31 describes a lady who's "a real gem." She's the type of woman that a mother wants her son to marry—respected by the community, praised by her family, industrious, wise, resourceful, enterprising. And while we might resent if someone holds us up to that seemingly impossible standard (and the implication that we're not really okay the way we are), we still make our own efforts to become just such a woman.
I used to resent her when I was under the impression that this woman had her act all together from the start. But one of the things that came with my new perspective on Proverbs 31 is the recognition that it's not about being a 'finished product' right from the start. This passage is looking back at what a virtuous woman can become over a lifetime. That seems do-able.
That's what Ruby Tuesdays is about. It's a closer look at the many possibilities our lives can include. Based on characteristics that made one ideal gem of a woman beautiful, each post will explore one element that can add radiance to our lives as well. Every Tuesday we'll look at aspects of life such as:
- Financial management and investing
- Interior decorating
- Working from home
- Knowing God
...an almost unlimited combination of pursuits. Some of the facets may not fit into our lives just now; others may not belong there at all. And we don't need to perfect each of these traits; we need to see that the aspects of life that seem so ordinary are actually reflections of the character and nature of God. We'll find the meaning in the mundane by considering the spiritual as well as the practical perspective of these pursuits.
And the most important thing to remember is that we aren't expected to become shining, brilliant reflections of God by our own efforts any more than a pebble of corundum becomes a sparkling ruby without help.
The Master Jeweler knows what we were intended to look like from the beginning. He works carefully and slowly to shape us perfectly, creating just the right combination of characteristics to reflect His light in our lives. And He has promised that little by little, with His help, we will become the fully faceted, beautiful women he created us to be.
"...of this one thing I am certain, He who began a good work in you will perfect it." Phil. 1:6 NASB
If you blog about any of the topics listed above sometime during the week, you're welcome to use Mr Linky so others can see your post (please use the URL from the specific post itself, not just your blog URL).
You can also grab the Ruby Tuesdays code and place the button in your sidebar so more of your bloggy friends can come along. I look forward to seeing you on Tuesdays to discover more ways we can become the 'gems' God intends us to be. (And don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway. Mention Ruby Tuesdays on your blog and get another entry. Winner chosen on April 7.)