I’m counting down to Valentine’s Day with verses I love from God’s precious Word. Today, I’m sharing Proverbs 11:22 – As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.
I suppose this is an odd verse to love. But, as I grew into pre-adolescence, I was looking a whole lot like a pig with a jewel in my nose. I did not have discretion. I spoke too much, too loudly and always – always – spoke the wrong words at the wrong time. I can think of several illustrations from my past which would prove my point, but if I shared them with you, it would show that I had not learned my lesson about discretion. I don’t mean to say that now I have arrived in this area, because even to this day I catch myself sticking my foot – or both of my feet – in my mouth all too often. But I do believe God has allowed me to improve over the years.
When I was about ten years old, my sister sent me a birthday gift from Bible college. It was a copy of the book Those Kids from Proverbsville by Elizabeth Rice Hanford. In the book, Mrs. Hanford illustrates Proverbs 11:22 with a short tale about a young girl who says the wrong thing and convinces her friends that her family is so poor, that they don’t even have food to eat. My mother had already been working to teach me discretion, and this story helped me to better understand what I was doing wrong. Until then, it seemed to me that the words just came out on their own. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who felt that way.) After reading that story, I began to memorize Proverbs 11:22. It helped me to remember to pause and reflect on what I was going to say before I said it. It showed me the power of a misplaced word. Or, in my case, misplaced millions-of-words.
Just as with yesterday’s verse, I am thankful to my mother for her faithful instruction to me in this area. I can still see her concerned expression as she said, after one of my many faux pas, “Think before you speak.” She knew I didn’t mean to say such thoughtless things, and she pointed me to God’s Word for help.
To this day, when I read through Proverbs and come across chapter eleven, verse twenty-two, I think of my struggle with words. I suppose it sounds silly, but God’s Word is right. Women without discretion are like a hogs with a diamond ring in their noses. Once you get that picture in your head, you really want to be the opposite! With God as my helper, I can be.