Why I LOVE the Proverbs 31 Woman

~sweet moments~
  Have you ever noticed that when you vow to do something or to not do something, it suddenly becomes harder than ever to do/not do that thing??
  It reminds me of a Bible passage that we discussed in our Sunday School class last week:
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
 For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work. Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sinat work within me.24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:15-25
 

  That’s Paul talking, and isn’t it reassuring to know that even such a great man as Paul struggled?  

You know, this year my main goal was “to chill”.  I just want to be this calm person that doesn’t get all stressed out.  I want to be the mom that never beats herself up and never raises her voice.

I will say this.  Yes, I lose it with my kids sometime, but whether I raise my voice or not, you can ask any one of them and they will tell you.  None of them are scared of me, and every single one of them can be secure with me and know how much I love them.  They know.  I adore them.

It warms my heart when I’m trying to sleep in in the morning and they come and climb into bed with me and talk my ear off.  I love it.  I will gladly sacrifice that sleep.

So yes, I mess up.  Yes, I panic over things that do not warrant panic.

But I get some things right too.

Perhaps part of “calming down in 2014” is just coming to terms with the fact that truly, I will never be as perfect as I’d like to be.  God did not make me to be June Cleaver, and that’s okay.  She was a fictional character.

  But do you know who maybe wasn’t a fictional character?
The Proverbs 31 woman.

I know.  The Bible scholars will tell you that it couldn’t possibly all be talking about one woman.  She’s an example for us to follow.  Proverbs 31:10-31 is an alphabetic acrostic in Hebrew…..so it’s really like a poem…..

Well, who knows, maybe it was this one wonderful woman that Solomon knew well.  After all, the man did love the ladies…
I don’t care.  I love her.  I think she’s awesome.  Here’s why:

1.  We focus too much on how perfect she sounds.
Focus on what this passage does NOT say.

2. No where in this passage does it say that she did EVERYTHING all by herself.

3.  Never does it say that she never lost it with her children.

4.  Never does it say that she was a perfect size six.

5.  Never does it say that she never had the second slice of pie.

6.  “She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar,”
….I bet she had fun with cooking!  I love cooking.

7. “She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants.”
Did you catch that??  She had to hire help!!!!  Love you, Proverbs 31!

8.  “She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms”
I LOVE THIS.  She took the time to take care of her own body, so we shouldn’t feel guilty for devoting time out of our day for exercise either.   It’s not good for us to always give, and give, and give to our families while completely neglecting ourselves.

9. “She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night.”
SEE!  She also stayed up too late sometimes.  Is it possible to be a successful woman and never stay up late?

10.  “She extends her hands to the poor.”
You can’t be jealous of someone who is generous with the poor.

11.  “For all her household is clothed with scarlet”
I bet she didn’t do all her shopping at second-hand stores, ya’ll!  It sounds like her family’s clothes were NICE–  not that I don’t love thrift-store shopping–because I do—but we need to FREE ourselves of guilt over buying nice things for our family!!!

12.  “She makes tapestry for herself;  Her clothing is fine linen and purple.”
Sounds like she would have been more of an Ann Taylor shopper than a Family Dollar clothes shopper to me.  Don’t you think?
Wear your pretty clothes, and hold your head up high!  : )

13.  “She makes linen garments and sells them.”
Wait a minute…..she had a job!  Don’t look down on those workin’ mommas!  (Yes, I’m aware that I generate no income whatsoever…some day, some day…)

So my message to all my friends:  embrace this woman.  She’s not there to make you feel bad.  She’s there to encourage you.  I like the last two verses as well:

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”  Proverbs 31: 30-31


Here’s to being “chill” in 2014….tomorrow is another day….