I was recently reading in Proverbs 31, which praises the virtuous woman—both a picture of the perfect wife and a symbol of the bride of Jesus—and the Lord revealed to me that I am called to be more than just a virtuous bride: I am also meant to be a warring one.
The Hebrew word used to describe the bride in these verses (chayil) is most often used in connection with military prowess and depicts a wife who is a force of might, power, ability, efficiency, and righteousness; full of substance and integrity—with the strength of an army. The same word is used over 200 times throughout the Old Testament and depicts valor, or great courage in battle. It is frequently used to describe men and soldiers; however, in Proverbs, it is used to describe the bride. The church.
The ones who are called to wage war for His Kingdom.
The Hebrew letters depicting chayil are Chet, Yod, Lamed:
The Chet is a picture of a fence, indicating a place of protection, sanctuary, and security. The Yod shows a hand closing on or claiming a mighty, finished work. And the Lamed shows a hand reaching up to Heaven to either offer or receive something.
So, as the virtuous bride of Christ, our role is to reach up to Heaven and claim the mighty, finished work of Jesus so that we can provide a place of protection, sanctuary, and security in a broken world. In other words, to fulfill the will of God: “On earth as it is in Heaven.”
Some days, waging this divine war has felt like a heavy burden to bear. This year, in particular, the battles have seemed endless. But the Lord encouraged me by leading me to Habakkuk 3:19: “The LORD God is my strength.” The word used for strength here is also chayil. Which means that as I serve as a fierce warrior for God, I know that He is doing the same for me. Jesus is the bridegroom—the voice of authority—who has claimed the mighty works on His bride’s behalf and has promised His eternal protection, sanctuary, and security. The Kingdom cannot and will not be shaken.
So rally, bride of Christ.
Chin up, shoulders back.
The Kingdom of God is within us. And we will not be afraid.
“She sets her heart upon a nation and takes it as her own, carrying it within her. She labors there to plant the living vines. She wraps herself in strength, might, and power in all her works. She tastes and experiences a better substance, and her shining light will not be extinguished, no matter how dark the night.”– Proverbs 31:16-18