As our pastor opened his sermon on abiding this past Sunday, he caught my attention as he asked the question, “Do you desire to abide?” My focus immediately shifted to our upcoming study on the Wife of Noble Character. Just for a moment though. 😉 I couldn’t help restate his question with these words, “Do you desire to become a wife of noble character?” Of course! And I’m sure you responded the same way as you read my question.
Yet the Bible says, “A wife of noble character who can find?” It seems that there isn’t an abundance of women fitting this description. Perhaps the number who desire are greater than the number who become such a woman. Why? As I’ve pondered this question, two thoughts have jumped out at me. Man looks at the outward. We are naturally inclined to focus on the charm and beauty that the Bible calls deceptive and vain. Culture has promoted the external since that fateful day in the garden perhaps. And maybe we read God’s Word and desire to be what He desires yet we aren’t intentional in doing what God’s Word tells us to do. We’re like the man James describes when he exhorts us to be doers not only hearers. (James 1:22 -25)
We’re told much about this wife of noble character in the verses that follow this initial question. After discovering the qualities and characteristics that make her who she is, we read these words: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” In these words, we find the key to becoming a wife of noble character. It all begins with our relationship with the Lord – a relationship marked by reverence that leads to obedience. And that brings me back to my pastor’s sermon this past Sunday. Listen to these words of Jesus. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5) Do you desire to become a wife of noble character? Abide in the Vine!