She was beautiful. Well dressed, stylish hair and handbag. Adoring husband on her arm, and perfectly poised children at her side.
But, stop and look a little bit closer. Beneath the makeup were tear stained eyes. And just moments before exiting her flawlessly detailed car tempers flared and words were thrown like darts at the perfectly poised children.
Look even closer and you'll see a heart that is empty and yet so full. Full of anger, bitterness and shame. And completely empty of peace.
Yes, she is beautiful. She has been given great gifts of beauty and poise. She has worked years to perfect the image of who she appears to be. But beneath the surface she is ugly. Beneath the polished exterior lies a heart that is bound and broken. And lying just beneath that phony smile is a desperate cry for help.
I am intimately acquainted with this woman. It is me. (I argued with God on the beautiful part, but He told me not to disagree with His opinion). I guess I should say; it was me. Oh, don’t get me wrong… that old girl likes to rear her ugly head from time to time, but for the most part she is dead. Thank God.
Because trying to be her is exhausting. Yet for years that is what my effort was poured into. I had to dress the part. Look the part. Act the part. But then I realized, it was just a part.
I’m a theatre junkie. Grew up on the stage. I’ve been cast in many parts. Its fun assuming the personality of a fictional character, getting into costume, grabbing your props and standing beneath the spotlight. And the best part… the moment right before the curtain closes for the last time. That moment when the audience rises to their feet and applauds with gusto. Ahh, theatre.
But life really shouldn’t imitate art. At least not to the degree that we assume a role every time we leave our house. Life should imitate life. Because after the curtain closes the actor leaves the bright glare of the spotlight. Costumes are returned to the costume department, props are returned to the prop master. And then they sit in front of a mirror and wipe away every trace of the character they just moments before portrayed. Hair is brushed, and usually pulled back in a pony tail, jeans and sneaker are put on, and they walk out the door of the auditorium into the real world.
And that is where you and I live, in the real world. Sure you can spend your time and energy trying to play the part of a “perfect” woman. Or you can spend your time an energy becoming a different sort of woman.
Long ago a question was asked. “Who can find a virtuous woman?” It’s a good question. One we would be hard pressed to answer today. Who can find a virtuous woman? Do we even know what a virtuous woman is?
Virtue- morally excellent, good, righteous, chaste
And in the context of Prov. 31:10- strength, might, substance
A virtuous woman is strong, she is good, she is a woman of substance. Not just a shell of perfection with nothing substantial inside. A virtuous woman is valuable. She is to be treasured, she is to be praised.
It’s not easy being a woman of virtue. It takes time, it takes effort. It requires diligence and perseverance. But it is worth every ounce of energy. Because when the final curtain closes, the virtuous woman will have no borrowed costume to return, no props to turn in, no mask to remove. She will simply stand in the spotlight. Poised, confident, and beautiful. And the reward she will receive will not be a standing ovation, but a simple invitation to come and join the One for whom she performs. And hand in hand, they will exit the stage and enter eternity.