I have gotten back to the habit of reading a chapter of Proverbs each day. It's fun how it works out to go through and match the chapter to the day of the month; chapter 31 gets saved as a special treat for long months.
I was reading the seventh chapter and thinking about some things. It is easy to get to verses 10-20 and think "Well I am not like that!" But there are some interesting and important contrasts that deserve a little attention. The woman who is described is the woman we are not to be. That woman does not bring glory and honor to her Creator. However just thinking to oneself "Thank God I am not like her!" (see Luke 18:13 and following) is not enough. If you really think about it, if we are not to be like that, how are we to be as women?
Perhaps we are to be quiet, rather than loud.
We are to be attentive to the path of righteousness, rather than wayward (how much time and energy did I really give to righteousness today as compared to the television, the radio, that book I couldn't put down, that Facebook account, etc.)
We are to be attentive to our home rather than a woman whose feet do not stay at home ~ please note that the word used is "home" rather than "house". There is a big difference between a woman who makes a home for her family and a woman who is all about her house!
We are not to be bold in evil.
We are to be loyal to our husband, whether that is a man, or whether as a single woman that is Christ.
We are not to tempt others to sin whether that is through flaunting our bodies and sexuality or whether that is standing around with other women "sharing concerns" ~ which is a pitiful euphemism for gossip.
Think this doesn't apply to you, men? I would suggest that if you are single and looking for a wife, this needs to be on your list of attributes! And if you are a father this is something that you might want to teach your sons to look for and your daughters to emulate.
There are many more gleanings from this chapter ~ which I why I keep going back to it every month! ~ but those are just a few of the jump-out-and-smack-me ones.