A Review of Robin Luton’s new book,
Valor: A Messianic Journey Through Proverbs 31
Before I finished the last chapters of Valor: A Messianic Journey Through Proverbs 31, I knew it would be the next book that our local women’s group studied. I had the pleasure of meeting the author, Robin R. Luton, in the fall of 2017 at a women’s retreat at her congregation in Ohio called Beth Tikkun. There, she serves along side her husband, Grant Luton. I was immensely impressed with the entire assembly. Grant and Robin have fostered a thriving Torah keeping, Messiah rooted, people loving community. I often frequent their website’s audio section to hear good, sound teaching.
So, when Robin told me she was publishing a book, I couldn’t wait to read it. I was not disappointed! In Hebrew, the Woman of Valor, or the Proverbs 31 Woman, is written in acrostic form with all twenty-two Hebrew letters. Robin’s twenty-two chapters follows this beautiful example. She also exemplifies a particular woman from the Bible in each chapter. These women express the verses being elucidated perfectly.
I found myself wanting to slow down and let her words linger on my tongue like a fine wine or a decadent piece of dark chocolate. Rather than being intimidated by this “perfect woman,” Mrs. Luton inspired, encouraged, and challenged me to become “acquainted” with the Woman of Valor. As she brought forth the rich and meaty Hebraic concepts in each verse, I realized that Robin truly points one to the problem AND the solution. It’s actually the first thing King Solomon asks the reader:
“A Woman of Valor, who can find?”
I think most of us miss this question that demands an answer. Mrs. Luton invites one to find or search for this “woman.” And the discovery is glorious! I’ve read many works about the Eshet Chayil. I’ve even written and taught about her myself. But, no resource I have consulted has packed as much wisdom on the Virtuous Woman in one volume as Valor. I will be referencing it often, as it has inspired a great deal of musings that you will find here in the future. I practically desecrated my copy with underlines and margin notes.
My favorite chapter is five where the verse, “She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from afar” is examined. That is a perfect summation of what Robin has done for us. She has traveled deep into the spiritual realm and has brought delicacies for us to enjoy for years to come. If you have ever felt like you will never measure up to this “perfect woman,” or if you’ve secretly thought that God expects too much from women after reading Proverbs 31 or hearing a poorly informed sermon about her, this book is for you.
Let Mrs. Luton uncover the real Woman of Valor by cutting through poor translation, and misguided assumptions. The Eshet Chayil isn’t just a role model for women, she is “the image of perfected human potential.” We must seek her out and let her inspire us. There is no condemnation here. No matter who you are, this book will help you to better emulate the Messiah as His Bride.
Get your copy here.