by guest contributor Valerie Morse
“ But each should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is…” (I Corinthians 3:10-13)
I have always found this Bible verse to be a little overpowering, as I attempted to categorize my intents and actions under each of these columns. Are my actions and intentions like precious gold or chaff?
Some Bible verses are quite challenging. As a new wife, I remember reading Proverbs 31, commonly referred to as the ‘Proverb’s Woman’ and being greatly inspired, and at the same time overwhelmed by her. A truly remarkable woman by all description. A business woman and entrepreneur, who could juggle running her own family business, all the while seeing to every need, not only of her family, but also the poor and destitute. She never seemed to tire or run short on wisdom. I sometimes felt exhausted just reading about her, but at the same time, wanting to emulate her at every level.
Now that I am older, the busyness of running a household and raising a family behind me, I sometimes read it and try to tally up my successes and failures, in comparison to this paragon of virtue, the ‘Proverb’s Woman’.
But then I read I Corinthians, chapter 3, and my outlook began to change. Interesting that the wood, hay and straw spoken of, all grow on the surface, while the gold, silver and costly stones originate below the surface of the earth. The materials that grow above the earth are prone to burning, but that which is below the surface, although needing to be mined, and refined, are of true worth.
Proverbs 31 refers to this remarkable woman as being ‘…worth far more than rubies.’ I like that. It speaks of the depth of her…that which has been mined, refined, and made durable in her. The Lord looks on the heart. We may not be wives and mothers of physical strength who can juggle businesses, households and societal organizations, but we can be women who are rich.
When the Lord looks upon our hearts, He will see that we are His. Open and available to His refining hand. Rich in love toward others…rich in devotion to Him… and rich in hearts that are willing to be refined into the image of His Son, Jesus.
Happy Mother’s Day to all!