Ahhhh the Proverbs 31 Woman…
She is an amazing tower, shining bright for all women to see. She is admired and set apart as an incredible example.
Every Christian woman should want to study her and gain wisdom from her and her ways….Right?
But what if you don’t want to?
Rather, you prefer to cower away from her in guilt or choose to dismiss her entirely?
Maybe you begin to look around at other Christian woman you know instead.
Soon, the thought of studying Proverbs 31 is replaced with “It’s good for her to study it, but not me, not right now”.
“I will just … later”.
You begin comparing in your heart.
Que the start of the condemning thoughts…
– She is perfect
– Her life is unattainable
– I don’t measure up to her
– I could never be her
– She has it all together
– What is wrong with me?
– I am such a failure.
She seems like some impossible “standard to achieve”.
I promise you friend, that is NOT God’s intention.
Last week I had one of those unforgettable, God-led-conversations with an incredible sister in Christ.
I shared with her fears of where I am at in business and life balance. Fears that are stopping me from stepping out in what I believe whole heartedly God is leading me in.
She so sweetly encouraged me to go back to Proverbs 31 to seek God’s wisdom and study there.
Awesome! Great idea, I thought!
Until it sank in later that day…I didn’t want to look at the Proverbs 31 woman.
I fear her because I am still operating out of shame and comparison.
God quickly challenged my thinking. I felt I was to simply ask Him to help me read it – with fresh eyes and an open heart. I believe He was asking me to NOT compare myself to her but to read it and look for wisdom.
Yep, It was different for me this time. God so graciously showed me that it was His strength in Her that was the foundation that made any of it possible.
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Her complete love and devotion was to God first – followed by her family, community and using the work of her hands for His Glory. Christ flowed through her. All that she did was completely rooted in her respect, awe and love of her Lord.
Those were the roots that gave her the confidence to step out in all else God was calling her to do.
So what to do with the list of virtues?
I believe it’s especially relevant to note this is what King Lemuel is remembering his mother taught him. She shared with him the qualities she hoped he would look for in a wife.
The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:
I know that in teaching and praying for our children, we aim at God’s best, not man’s best for them. With Christ in us all things are possible. It seems to me she is doing the same. She would have known that these characteristics are hard to find, rare, outstanding and also that apart from Jesus Christ in the Proverbs 31 woman, they would be impossible.
Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
I know there are differing opinions as to if she was a compiled picture of many women or one real woman.
I could honestly see it being either way. I believe our focus should be on the heart of the matter, not to determine what kind of standard she is – just to measure ourselves against her.
God has placed this woman prominently in scripture and it is important that we take note.
God doesn’t want us to live in shame, guilt or comparison to her. HE will encourage and equip us for any good works He calls us to do if Christ is in us.
We should pray for His eyes to see which of these virtues HE may want to work on in our lives, but I also believe if she was one woman (or many) she would be the first to encourage us and admit that she has bad, broken days as well.
It seems to me what we should learn from her is that she has learned to rely fully on the God who saves. She lets all that she does beat to the heart of the gospel. From that stems all else.
Now that is something worth studying!
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33
So If you are like me and have been battling against the Proverbs 31 woman’s standards, will you ask God to help you let go? I want to encourage you to look at the scripture through His eyes and ask Him to help you see how He is speaking to you.
One thing I know for certain friend, Your God – the God who loves you and who created you as you are, wants you to grow in your relationship with Him more deeply then you ever could imagine! Ask Him to help you understand. He is there, Go Boldly!
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Did any of this ring true for you? What is your battle with Proverbs 31? Can I pray for you? Please either comment below or contact me. I would love to pray for you!
Talk to you soon,
O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul;
You have redeemed my life.
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