Let’s face it-none of us really feel we measure up to the standards listed in Proverbs 31:10-31.
I mean look at this partial list:
Verse 11-Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value Verse 12-She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life Verse 13-She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands Verse 15-She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family
Verse 17-She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks Verse 20-She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy Verse 25-She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come Verse 26-She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue Verse 27-She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness Verse 28-Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her Verse 29-Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all
I just personally don’t feel I measure up to even a fraction of the things this woman does. Some might say these are standards we aspire to achieve but that God is full of grace and He understands that we can’t achieve all of them. I would disagree though. God is full of grace, but He also expects us to try.
Some of my favorite women in the Bible do not, on the surface, fit the Proverbs 31 description. What about Rahab? Let’s discuss.
Yes, I know Rahab’s career was not ideal. I would imagine that she probably had few choices though-from what I have read, prostitutes do not willingly choose their path. They are normally forced into prostitution, or believe it is their only choice. Rahab had a family though-we know from the Bible she asked the spies to save her father, mother, brothers, sisters, and their families. She negotiated with the spies to save her family in exchange for hiding them from the Canaanites- her own people. Now that’s a brave woman! But she was also smart because she quickly realized the Israelites had the one true God on their side. She knew Jericho was going to fall and she risked everything to protect her family. I just have to admire that woman. Rahab is one of only two women in the Bible recognized for her faith. Rahab literally believe God was real and Israel was His chosen people. She had great faith and placed it completely in Him. She placed her life and the lives of her family in His hands. Who among us can say we have that much faith?
I personally feel that I must keep my eyes on the big picture-what is most important. If I have great faith that God is with me, then my whole attitude changes. If He is for me, who can be against me? Certainly not that huge pile of laundry still waiting to be folded. The grocery store trip that has to be accomplished with only $50 because money is tight this week? Not a problem, because God is with me. My son has yet another earache and can’t stop crying and I feel like the worst parent in the world because I forgot to get the prescription when I went to town? It’s okay-God is with me. I may not feel I am a Proverbs 31 woman, but through my faith He transforms me into her. And that counts.
The site Middaymornings.com has a wonderful topic called “A Modern Version of the Proverbs 31 Woman.” Here’s a bit of an excerpt:
· 13 During the day she googles how to get stains out of her daughter’s brand new jeans, wipes the toddler’s tray for the 50th time, and balances the budget.
· During the nights, when she just wants to curl up in bed and sleep, she packs lunches for tomorrow, irons clothes for tomorrow’s workday, and wonders how long her eldest will continue to call her “Mommy;” she also remembers to put the clothes to donate in the trunk of her car so she doesn’t forget it (again).
· She works hard to multiply what life gives her so that it is enough and more for her family; she is a wise steward of her resources.
· She doesn’t waste her time or emotional energy comparing her life to others’: Pinterest does not define her self-worth.
· She recognizes the abundance of her blessings – most of the time – and generously shares her talents, compassion, and material resources with others.
· Her countenance radiates strength and goodness; and she is striving to allow her faith to overcome her fears of the future.
· It’s easy for her to gives compliments; and she repents when she realizes she’s said something unkind about another.
· Being #ontrend and staying out of pictures because your hair/makeup/outfit doesn’t look the best is lame and you know this: it’s a woman who is trying her best to keep the commandments of the Lord and repenting often who truly has joy.
· When you see a good woman, speak it; we rise by lifting others.
I try to find a lesson to be learned in everything. I am still struggling with this lesson, and I feel so not a Proverbs 31 woman. But God is full of grace and He doles it out in abundance for my sake. So I keep plugging away.
Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this post. How do you struggle as a Proverbs 31 woman?