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Word to the Wise: June 21

by Neal Windham, Spiritual Formation Pastor

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” – Proverbs 31:29

While Proverbs 31, a chapter largely devoted to one incredible woman, is written from the husband’s perspective, in the wake of this Father’s Day I find myself wondering just what her dad might have said and felt about this woman. After all, she is a loving wife, shrewd businesswoman, providing mom, and tireless professional. She cares for the poor, clothes her own, has the skills of a chef and brings honor to her husband among his peers. She just sounds too good to be true. Nevertheless, here she is with the very last word in the Book of Proverbs, and that’s really significant. 

That’s because the Bible is largely patriarchal. It’s just the way people wrote in those days. In fact, Proverbs is explicitly written, for the most part, to sons. But this Father’s Day, I’m really feeling it for the daughters among us. After all, I married someone’s daughter (Cecil’s daughter) who, more than anyone on the face of the planet, gives me every reason to believe God is still at work in the world today. She has been the very kind of wise, good-humored, no-nonsense, let’s-get-it-done person I have needed all my (Enneagram 9) life - a Proverbs 31 woman if ever there was one. And our daughter Charis, who along with her husband Joe, son Stephen, and two-month-old daughter Mariah, are up from Knoxville this Father’s Day, is a whole lot like her!

So here’s to the daughters who make their dads so stinkin’ proud. You’re just amazing! (I wonder, is it possible Proverbs was explicitly written to sons because they’re a little needier than you? Hmm…) We love you, both daughters and sons alike. We do indeed love you!

Dads, how would you describe your daughters were you to write a chapter about their lives? Just what would you say?

A Dad’s Prayer
Dear God, we thank you for all of our children, both daughters and sons. While at times, we have not known just what to say or how to say it and just what to do or how to do it, we nevertheless celebrate both the challenges you’ve placed before us and the gifts you have given to us in these precious little and not-so-little persons we call our children. Just as you will always be our Father, we will always be theirs. So please, help us to live and love as those entirely devoted to their wellbeing, just as you have lived and loved among us. In Jesus’ name and strength. Amen.