Proverbs (Part 153) - Pro 11:16


16. Pro 11:16 – "A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches." A. A gracious woman retaineth honour: i. Definitions a. Gracious adj. – 1. Enjoying grace or favour; in good odour, acceptable, popular. Also of actions: Winning favour or goodwill. 2. Of a character likely to find favour; having pleasing qualities. b. Endowed with grace or charm of appearance, attractive; also in more limited sense, graceful, elegant. 3. Characterized by or exhibiting kindness or courtesy; kindly, benevolent, courteous. b. Retain v. – 1. a. To restrain; to hold back, check, or stop; to prevent or hinder. Obs. c. To keep in custody or under control; to prevent from departing, issuing, or separating; to hold fixed in some place or position. c. Honour n. – 1. High respect, esteem, or reverence, accorded to exalted worth or rank; deferential admiration or approbation. a. As felt or entertained in the mind for some person or thing. c. As received, gained, held, or enjoyed: Glory, renown, fame; credit, reputation, good name. The opposite of dishonour, disgrace. d. In other words, a woman who enjoys grace and favor from God, who is graceful and elegant, and who exhibits kindness, courtesy, and benevolence will remain in a position of high respect, esteem, admiration, and good reputation. ii. Gracious is a synonym of compassion (Exo 33:19 c/w Rom 9:15; Psa 111:4). a. A gracious woman is a compassionate woman. b. A compassionate woman will: (i) take care of abandoned children (Exo 2:6-10). (ii) forgive repentant, wayward children (Luk 15:20-24) or others (Heb 5:2). (iii) feed the hungry (Mar 8:2-9). (iv) take care of the sick (Luk 10:33-34). (v) help the poor and needy (1Jo 3:17-18; Pro 31:20). c. A gracious and compassionate woman is clothed with honor (Pro 31:25), and she will retain it. iii. Graciousness is one of God's characteristics (Exo 34:6). a. Other characteristics that accompany God's graciousness are mercy, longsuffering, goodness, and truth (Exo 34:6), righteousness (Psa 116:5), and being slow to anger and displaying great kindness (Neh 9:17). b. God is honored for these characteristics (Psa 104:1; 1Ti 1:17; Rev 7:12), therefore it follows that a gracious woman would retain honor. iv. A gracious woman will speak gracious words which evidence her wisdom (Ecc 10:12). a. Wisdom and kindness are found in the words of her mouth (Pro 31:26). b. A wise woman will have honor (Pro 8:18). c. Therefore, a gracious woman will retain honor. v. Following the Lord's example, a gracious woman will be gracious at the cry of her children or others and hear and answer them with help (Isa 30:19). vi. Following the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, a gracious woman will speak the gracious words of scripture to her children (Luk 4:18-22). a. Her children will in turn call her blessed (Pro 31:28). b. Therefore, a gracious woman will retain honor. vii. The fact that most women in our country have not retained their honor is indicative of a culture in decline. a. "From all that I had read of history of government, of human life, and manners, I [have] drawn this conclusion, that the manners of women [are] the most infallible barometer, to ascertain the degree of morality and virtue in a nation. All that I have since read and all the observation I have made in different nations, have confirmed me in this opinion. The manners of women, are the surest criterion by which to determine whether a republican government is practicable, in a nation or not. The Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Swiss, the Dutch, all lost their public spirit, their Republican principles and habits, and their Republican forms of government when they lost the modesty and domestic virtues of their women... The foundations of national morality must be laid in private families. In vain are schools, academies and universities instituted if loose principles and licentious habits are impressed upon children in their earliest years. The mothers are the earliest and most important instructors of youth." (John Adams, second President of the United States) b. The women (and men) of our country to should seriously ponder these wise words. B. and strong men retain riches. i. Definitions a. Strong adj. – 1. a. Of living beings, their body or limbs: Physically powerful; able to exert great muscular force. 3. a. Having great moral power for endurance or effort; firm in will or purpose; able to resist temptation; possessed of courage or fortitude; brave, resolute, steadfast. b. Retain v. – 1. a. To restrain; to hold back, check, or stop; to prevent or hinder. Obs. c. To keep in custody or under control; to prevent from departing, issuing, or separating; to hold fixed in some place or position. c. Riches n. – 1. Abundance of means or of valuable possessions; wealth. Also, in certain constructions, the possession of wealth, the condition of being rich. d. In other words, men who have great moral power, are firm in will and purpose, are able to resist temptation, and are possessed with courage, fortitude, and steadfastness save, keep, and do not spend a significant portion of their money and wealth. ii. Strong men retain riches because they have the inner strength to be firm in their will and purpose to save money for the future and the power to resist the temptation to spend their money on things they desire in the present (Pro 15:6; Pro 21:20). a. It takes inner, spiritual, moral strength to be content with what one has and not succumb to the urge, desire, and lust to spend one's savings, or go into debt, for something he doesn't need (Heb 13:5; Php 4:11-13). b. It takes moral strength to be patient and wait years to buy things instead of going into debt for them. iii. Weak men do not retain riches because they lack the moral strength to purpose to save money (and follow through with it), and they cannot resist the temptation to spend their money on things they desire in the present (Pro 21:17, 20). a. Most people who receive and inheritance or win the lottery blow all the money in a short time (Pro 13:11; Pro 20:21; Luk 15:12-13). b. This is because they are morally and spiritually weak and cannot hold on to money and resist the temptation to spend it. c. Those who have wisdom, and are therefore strong (Pro 8:14; Ecc 7:19), will hold on to that inheritance (Ecc 7:11). d. A good man leaves an inheritance to his children and grandchildren (Pro 19:14; Pro 13:22), but a fool blows the inheritance he received and has nothing to pass down to the next generation. e. Parents ought to lay up for their children, not live off them when they get old (2Co 12:14). iv. A man who cannot control his spending and is a debtor rather than a saver lacks the character of a truly strong man. a. The amount of debt a man has is inversely proportion to the amount of moral strength he has. b. Relative to his income, the amount of savings a man has is directly proportional to the amount of moral strength he possesses. v. A wise man is strong in character (Pro 24:5), and therefore a wise man will have riches (Pro 8:18, 21). C. Wisdom is the thread that connects a gracious woman retaining honor and a strong man retaining riches (Pro 8:18).
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