Proverbs 31:10-31 (NLT):
10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm[c] clothes.
22 She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
I don’t know about you all, but the Proverbs 31 Woman has both fascinated and frightened me. She has also encouraged yet shamed me. Yes, I know I am a bundle of contradictions, but I am also very honest. I am fascinated by her because she is so strong and productive, but frightened by her because I pale in comparison. I am encouraged to do what she does, but shamed when I fail to meet her standards.
I was raised by a very independent mother who was raised in the aftermath of the women’s lib movement. My family is made up of mostly females (mostly dominate females). I grew up in a family where the women called the shots; the women ran the relationships; and I didn’t know any better. I thought this was the norm. When I started going to church and hearing about submission, I thought these people were off their rockers. It no longer works this way..hello..anyone ever hear of women’s lib? I am just as good as a man, no man is going to tell me what to do, no man is going to control me! Sounding familiar? I didn’t understand. I didn’t get it. It took me years to decide that my way of thinking was wrong and that my female role models were wrong. My family is not unique. I think this type of thing has happened in a lot of families; hurts and insecurities have gotten passed down from generation to generation.
Okay, I should probably let you know that I am not expert on this subject. In fact, I am struggling with this issue and have been for many years. [ In fact, anyone who knows me is probably laughing right now.]
Once I accepted my ways of thinking were wrong, I began searching for how to become a biblical wife. Of course I was lead straight to Proverbs 31. I read it; I laughed; I closed my Bible. My first thought was “You’ve got to be kidding me!” I didn’t believe any woman could live up to the expectations set out in those verses. I mean, I was exhausted just reading it let alone actually doing all those things. If you know me, you know that I am a perfectionist. When I want to do something, I want to do it right, I want to be the best. If I can’t do something perfect, I won’t do it. Ridiculous, I know, but, once again, so true. After reading Proverbs 31, I knew that I could not possibly live up to that kind of women, so I just refused to try and that was the end of my searching for a while.
At this time I was still a stay at home mom, who was looking for something to fulfill her. I was a young mom and I was ashamed that I just graduated from community college. I felt others looked down on me. I thought a good job would make me feel more successful than just being a mom. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!!!! I got a good job doing what I wanted to do. At first, it was great. I felt rewarded. I felt successful. Now I feel trapped. I long to be back home in the kitchen, barefoot, and pregnant. Okay, maybe not the whole pregnant part (lol). As a working mom, I miss doing all those little things with my kids (i.e. field trips, class shows, after school snacks, etc). Women’s lib did some great things, but it also has it draw backs. I may have a good job, make decent money, but I also still have to do all the things I did before and work! Who thought this was a great idea? Oh wait..that was me. Ugh!
A few years ago I felt God calling me to be a better wife and mother. I had been reading some books by Lysa TerKeurst and decided to check out her Proverbs 31 Ministry on-line. I remembered reading Proverbs 31 a few years back and I was not so sure this ministry was going to be for me. I thought it would be centered on those Christians mothers who home school their children, make wonderful crafts, cook gourmet meals, etc. (not that there is anything wrong with these types of mothers-that is just so not me). I did not think this ministry would have anything to offer to this mother who worked a full-time job and was struggling to keep her head above water. I was wrong. This ministry has a lot to offer to a diversity of women.
Naturally, the title of this ministry encouraged me to look again at the Proverbs 31 Scripture. I was surprised to find it encouraging. Yes, I did feel some shame, but I decided to put this shame to good use. I did not use this shame to beat myself up, but to encourage me to change. I was not happy with myself in my roles of wife and mother. I wanted to be better. I knew God was calling me to be better. I decided to pick a few verses, set some goals, and work on one or two issues at a time. It helped. I also began to realize that women have always had it hard and had to be wives, moms, and workers. It is not something new to my generation. It goes to show you that the Bible does still apply to us today. Just as importantly, I realized the Proverbs 31 Woman is an ideal; it is something we strive to be. So, when I fail, I don’t beat myself up about it, and I lean a little harder on my Lord and Savior to help me better. I don’t know about you, but I long for blessings and praises from my children and husband.
I would like to say that when I made that commitment two years ago, I became a new women, wife, and mother, but the truth is I have fallen short. My dedication has wavered. God is now calling me to rededicate myself to the process, and I would like you all to join me on my journey of becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman. I have decided to start with becoming a better wife. My first read is Lysa TerKeurst’s “Capture His Heart”. My goal is to write about my studies 1 to 2 times a week as well as share stories and experiences as I try to apply what I learn to my everyday life.
I am not sure exactly how this will work, but I am truly excited to find out. I will begin this new adventure on Tuesday, May 28th!!!
Until next time, stay safe and God bless,