Just so you’re aware, I’m working on a book about Proverb 31- and I’m going to start by telling you something you already know, but then I’ll expertly segue into a few things maybe you weren’t aware of, things that I hope bring fresh perspective and revelation as you journey forward as a woman in the faith.
So, here’s the thing I’m sure you don’t need me to point out to you (although I’m going to): being a woman in the Kingdom of God is not very easy. Actually, I’ll clarify that, because, honestly, men have it just as hard, although in very different ways: Being a woman in the Kingdom of God, living a dark and fallen world that is fast approaching the end of the End Times is full of unique challenges that we must each turn and face, pull the scab off of, choke down, grit our teeth and get through, scream into our pillow over, journal about, stand firmly against, channel our emotions away from and learn to lean on God for.
It seriously is unique to be a woman of God and, while everyone is chosen and called to be a follower of Jesus Christ, not everyone chooses to continue on in that calling, into the depths of the Kingdom of God. But I have chosen. You have too. God is worth it. He proves Himself over and over and over as One who can be trusted, even though we continue to struggle (or is that just me?).
If you’ve been in any ladies’ Bible study, or attended a women’s conference, or if you’ve ever had any sort of instruction whatsoever on the attributes and characteristics of a godly woman, I’d bet my favorite yoga pants that you’ve heard about “The Proverbs 31 Woman”. Oh, yes. In Christian circles, she’s IT. She’s the woman we should all aspire to be. We learn about her and feel like we’ll just never measure up, so why bother? The Proverbs 31 woman wouldn’t have a sink full of dishes. The Proverbs 31 woman would smell her kids’ clothes and make them wear the ones with the fewest stains because she didn’t feel like doing laundry. The Proverbs 31 woman wouldn’t serve leftovers for dinner. The Proverbs 31 wouldn’t spend any of her time on Instagram or Facebook, let alone Snapchat. Those are a waste of perfectly good time better spend running to merchant ships to buy leather! Well, unless you’re into things like getting up at the crack of dawn to bake bread and constantly exercising and … weaving stuff with flax, you’ll just never be her. You’ll never be godly – as some would define it – because you’re too busy just getting a shower or scrubbing Kool-Aid out of the couch or driving your kids to their next scheduled “life-enriching event”, among everything else.
Well guess what? I’m not here to encourage you in those things and point out all the ways that you can be like her. Nope. You can binge watch Netflix all you want and I’m not saying a word about your time being better spent. Why? Because what I want to show you, that maybe you don’t already know or won’t allow yourself to truly believe, and what I can absolutely prove, is this: You already are her.
I’m not saying that in faith. I’m saying that literally. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you already are a “Proverbs 31 Woman”- and all that this encompasses. Yes, it’s true.
No more impossible standards. No more public smiles, no more private tears. No more wondering how everyone else is keeping it all together while you’re falling apart. No more judging. No more comparison. You can let go now, and just be you – and that. is. enough.
The “Proverbs 31 woman” was not perfect and never claimed to be. We have taken it to mean so, and we have shoved her onto a pedestal and worshipped her beauty and accomplishments and we have let ourselves feel worthless because of her achievements, but that is the exact opposite of what we should be doing, and, I daresay, the opposite of what a woman like her would want.
In fact, if we believe the “Bathsheba wrote this” theory, we know that the Proverbs 31 woman is a WOMAN’S idea of what a woman should be. This is not a man’s standard of perfection. Of course, we women are always hardest on ourselves, first, and then on each other. (Is that just me?)
Proverbs is a book of wisdom. This section outlining godly womanhood was deliberately added not to be an impossible standard, but to give women of God an idea how to make wise choices in the various roles we will play. We all have choices to make in every role – we can work harder, love more, listen better and more. That is true of ever human, ever. So, give yourself a break…
So- you ready to keep going?!