"A gracious woman retains honor..." Proverbs 11:16
I love this verse. The word, "gracious" here comes from a root word in Hebrew meaning, "to bend down." God did this for us. He showed us His grace by bending down very, very low. He got all the way down to the level of a condemned man hanging on a cross. That's what makes God so amazing, so great, and so huge! His power and awesomeness was shown in that He made Himself of no reputation, He made himself a willing slave and humbled Himself to the point of death (Phil.2:5-8).
I see it all the time, and I find the temptation myself, to stand up and be counted, to make my voice known, "I am woman hear me roar…I am strong…I can do anything you can." I saw a video at the gym the other day and the female band was singing, "It's all about me!" The message I got from that song was, "I have to prove myself, and we have to teach our daughters to prove themselves. Be sexy, use your power, and show the world it's all about you!" It was just so sad.
It's true, I know because I see it in God's word, I do have power, I have the very image of God planted in my person as a woman through Christ, but it's not the queen who stands haughtily on her throne letting everyone boldly know she's got power, who has honor. It's the queen who knows so confidently the power and position that is hers that allows her to get down on the level of the poor and needy and messed up lives of those around her. That's the queen the people say is honorable. That's the queen, the King of Kings says is honorable. Our great God, King over all the earth, took on shame, was able to go to the lowest places, to bend down and offer us His rescue, because He knew who He was. Our God is higher, way higher than us, but He never makes us feel low when He's around, in fact He lifts us up. He never uses His position over all to lord it over us, although He is Lord over us.
I can serve my husband, kids, neighbors, friends and even my enemies with honor when I know who I am and I don't use it as a pedestal to stand on over them. I have joy, like Jesus has, when I can smile, and almost secretly know, "I'm God's own princess. God's own daughter. They don't know it, but I'm secretly a gracious queen sweeping floors, fixing meals, changing poopy diapers, giving a massage, forgiving that offense, praying for grace in the life of that person who just cut me down..." I know my honor is a gift I never earned given to me by God's own graciousness, and I know it's retained for me in a place that never dies. I'll never loose it, I'll have it even more fully than I can imagine one day when I see my King Jesus face to face.