Proverbs 11:16. A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.
Gracious women and strong men are what our churches need more of. Gracious women and strong men are the starting point for godly families. Every church is only as strong as the families in it. Strong families, in the local church, are made from good preaching and obedient hearts. As Christian young men and young women hear the preaching of God’s Word and grow, they become ready to “set up housekeeping”, as the old-timers used to say. It is important for young people to prepare themselves for marriage by becoming gracious women and strong men.
A gracious woman is one who retains, or keeps, her honour. She values keeping a good testimony. The Webster’s 1828 defines gracious as: “Favorable; kind; benevolent; merciful; disposed to forgive offenses and impart unmerited blessings.” A gracious woman goes out of her way to be a blessing to those about her. She is not petty, bitter, or caddy. She has a meek and a quiet spirit. She is kind and merciful. She is quick to forgive and does not harbor grudges against other women. She is definitely not the woman of today. She is in stark contrast to everything in this world. Most important, she works hard to retain, or keep, her honour; not out of pride, but out of a desire to please her Saviour.
Strong, godly men is something that is lacking in the church today. One definition from the Webster’s 1828 for strong is: “Having great force of mind, of intellect, or of any faculty; as a man of strong powers of mind; a man of a strong mind or intellect; a man of strong memory, judgment, or imagination.” There is physical strength but there is also strength of mind. A man must not be lazy, and work to keep his mind sharp in the Word of God, if he is going to lead a family. Those who study and learn of God, and live by the Word of God, will prosper and have spiritual riches in this life, and the next.