I’m posting a bit late today due to sleeping in this morning and having errands this afternoon.
In 2000, some missionaries from our church came home on furlough from Uganda and spoke at my college church one Sunday in an effort to continue receiving funding from the church for their efforts. As part of their presentation on their work, they did a quiz on Uganda. It dealt with where Uganda was located, how many languages and cultures were represented, etc. One question was on what kind of women Ugandan women love. Quoting the missionary, “Ugandan men like big beefy women. A tall and heavy woman would be worth ten cows. The two ladies on your worship team (myself and another woman who were quite petite and skinny) would not be worth three chickens!” Everyone dissolved into laughter and it was a few months before members of my college group let me live that one down!
While it didn’t occur to me to use “Worth More Than Three Chickens” as a blog title or domain name when I started blogging, it does fit with the first verse (verse 10) in the Epilogue in Proverbs 31. Depending on the translation, the woman described is valiant/virtuous/of noble character/capable/valorous and her value/price is far above rubies/jewels/pearls/diamonds. These items belong in the dowry of a princess because that kind of wealth is far above what any peasant would know. The wife was frequently the manager of the household as she bore and raised the children, instructed any servants (again, only in the houses of the wealthy), cooked the food, made all clothing and linens, and sometimes took goods to the market to sell. Having a wife who was capable in these areas was indispensable for a man because they could then focus on their trade, knowing that all was taken care of at home.
These days, I too am manager of the house. I cook the food, clean (badly), handle the finances, take care of Daniel, fight with insurance/Medi-Cal/SSA, and generally try to keep the household going. Were I not capable of doing all of these things, Jon would have a harder time being free to pastor his church. Because I can handle calling UC Davis on Monday to let them know that Medi-Cal is messing up with the billing on Daniel’s hospital stay from a few weeks ago (for example), Jon can meet with his Monday morning coffee person, go through music with one of our pianists, and plan out the liturgies for Lent.
My worth is also not dependent on what I can do for Jon or for Daniel. My worth comes from being a child of the living God who chose to send His Son to give his life for me. That alone is far beyond the worth of jewels or pearls.
I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won [delivered] me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, in order that I may be [wholly] His own, and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true.
— Luther’s Small Catechism