Proverbs 31, a portion of the Bible (which is posted below), contains a poem about a godly wife that has long been held as a guide for Christian wives and mothers. This role model woman in various versions of the Bible is called the 'noble wife,' the 'wife of noble character,' the 'virtuous woman,' and the 'excellent wife.' It is from these verses I launched my idea of Little Red Parkas.
While the entire poem has been the inspiration for this project, the name "Little Red Parkas" came from verse 21. "When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet." This verse is about being prepared for the future and providing for one's family. The wife/mother is not concerned about the harsh weather, rather she is prepared for it and has what she needs. She has done so well in other areas of her life that she has clothing of 'scarlet.' The color red was more expensive to create in clothing. Not only has she provided for her family, due to her labor and excellence in character, they are dressed in fine clothing. I began to picture them in Little Red Parkas (clothed in scarlet); practical yet beautiful as well.
Which is what I think many christian wives (myself included) would like to be. When we get too concerned with what the world thinks is important, we become very frivolous and even immoral. "For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other so that you do not do what you want." (Galatians 5:17) I thought of this worldview as being symbolized by the Little Black Dress. (I think I had been looking at too many celebrity magazines in the break room when this idea came to me, but it seemed that it was such a fitting analogy.) The Little Black Dress Mentality is all about me, about how good I look, how much I deserve to do whatever I want and only cares for today. (disclaimer: I am NOT saying that if you own a little black dress that you are thinking this way...again, this is a metaphor.) To our society, the Little Black Dress seems to be such a status symbol, sign of accomplishment, as well as extravagance.
In contrast, we have the Virtuous Woman, who is clothed in "strength and dignity" and she speaks with "righteousness" and "faithful instruction." (Provers 31, verses 25 and 26).
The Wife of Noble Character (Proverbs 31:10-31):
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.