It’s crazy because I have referred to myself as a Proverbs-wanna-be woman, wife, and mom on several occasions. I’ve yearned for even a portion of what Scripture says about her. But, I have also found myself reading this chapter of Scripture and almost instantly filled with a depressive state of mind and feelings of not measuring up. Sound familiar?
I had a dream about writing this blog post and I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to actually do it. But you know what? I’m not the only one who needs to hear these words – Girlfriend, STOP elevating the Proverbs 31 woman!
I know that all Scripture is for our benefit, but sometimes I believe we can take things too far through the twisting, tweaking, and watering down of its context. I don’t know about you, but I will admit that I’ve done this with Proverbs 31. With motives of spirit-boosting and goal-setting, most of the time I find myself right back at square one – still lacking and not measuring up.
Another funny thing is that my husband and children have never asked me to be the Proverbs 31 wife or mom. If anything, my husband has only asked me to be his helpmate in a way that compliments his call as a man. In other words, trust him, hold down the homefront, and make it pleasant to live with me (LOL).
So how do we stop elevating the Proverbs 31 woman and use that chapter for the positive fuel that it can be? Here are my suggestions…
Focus on the Principles
It’s super easy to plug in the “checklist” of “things that make a great woman” and instantly start working at them like they’re going to give us a raise at a new job. However, the point of the attributes that Solomon’s mother pointed out was to give him examples of what to look for in a woman. These were characteristics that – as my husband would put it – make it pleasant for a man to want to be with a woman.
These are principles that we shouldn’t see from an “I can’t measure up” perspective, but a perspective that gives us something to work toward.
Focus on Purpose
Whether you are a woman, wife, and/or mom – you have a purpose. Part of that purpose is to be a woman after God’s own heart, one who seeks His presence, His will, and His ways. Within that are all the underlying things of making good choices, saying appropriate things, doing things that bring Him honor and glory – and in return, those things filter out to those around us.
I know you’re probably thinking, “But Michelle, you don’t know the temper I have…” or “I just snapped at my kids and said ALL the wrong things!” Girlfriend, I get it. Trust me. My husband and children used to refer to a side of me as an ape because when I snapped, I went crazy. Yeah, no bueno memories there.
The thing is… this is where repentance and making one right decision at a time comes in – WITHOUT feeling regret.
Focus on the Wisdom
Yes, the Proverbs 31 woman seems like she had it all together, never had any bad days, and definitely had life all figured out. Sure, you can believe that if you want; however, I choose to see the wisdom in how she handled what she did. There is wisdom in having the trust of your husband. There is wisdom in choosing to work from home and with your hands. There is wisdom in speaking of righteous things.
When it comes down to it – this chapter is in the very book of wisdom itself! It serves us well to see this chapter from that perspective. And if you ever question what kind of wisdom are we to glean, and what for –
For knowing wisdom and discipline, for understanding the words of understanding, for receiving the discipline of wisdom, righteousness, right-ruling, and straightness; for giving insight to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young. The wise one hears and increases learning, and the understanding one gets wise counsel, for understanding a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles. – Proverbs 1:2-6
The Final Focus
In closing I’d like to encourage you with some words of wisdom I received from two important people in my life. The first is from a woman that I met a couple of years ago who just shared an incredible talk about not being able to pour from an empty cup. She reminded those of us tuning in to breathe.
The acronym for breathe that she gave was this:
- B: Be in God’s presence
- R: Recognize your stressors
- E: Evaluate your life
- A: Accept your limitations
- T: Take your life back
- H: Help yourself to restore
- E: Experience the feeling of being full
So much of this can be filtered into our journey’s of becoming women, wives, and mothers who are pleasing to ourselves, our husbands, our children, and others.
The second piece of wisdom I received was from my husband. It’s not always easy to accept what he says (mainly because he has a very straight-forward way of communicating things), but what he told me was true. He said every woman is capable of being a Proverbs 31 woman. We just have to make the choices to do so.
I believe wrapped up in what he said is understanding the very focuses discussed in this post. And if I may add, don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to make all the changes all at once. Start with making one small change at a time!
CHIME IN: What are you thoughts about the Proverbs 31 woman? Share with me in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!