Seeking 31.

Proverbs 31.

I have always found this to be such a daunting chapter of the Bible.
In middle school someone told me that with the heart I had, I had the greatest potential to be a Proverbs 31 woman of anyone my age they had seen in a while.
Someone else once told me that I wore too much makeup to be a Proverbs 31 woman.

From those moments on, I would get scared that I had to choose between paying attention to my physical appearance, or only my inner qualities. I was always scared of being too much or too little in one or the other.

That stuck with me.
To this day that sticks with me.

Did I have that potential?
Do I currently have that potential?
Am I too much? Am I too little?

But then I realized, I was missing the point.
Many in the church are missing the point.
You can be both.
There is no rule that says you cannot be beautiful and Godly.
It is a balance.
You can put effort into your appearance, but be sure to put effort into your soul.
You can put effort into your soul, but be sure not to neglect your body in the process.
We are designed in His image, and in Psalms it says we are marvelously made –
body AND soul.

But anyway, back to what I was getting at …
The women in my life that I look at and think: “She. She is a Proverbs 31 woman”;
can I look at myself and see those same traits?

It is a journey that I welcome daily.

This woman. This “woman of noble character”, she is amazing.
She is a wife, mother, entrepreneur, hard worker, amazing cook, servant, designer, kind, eloquent in speech, excited to be productive, and is someone who is respected and praised.
But most importantly, this woman is reverent toward the Lord.
She is humble before Him and follows Him.

She is both. And she is brilliant.
That is a woman I think we could all strive to be like and benefit from it.

In my time working in the kitchen at camp, I would dream and pretend to be like this Proverbs 31 woman. At 6am, I would have a smile on my face in the stillness of the morning before everyone else got up and the craziness started. I would think to myself, “this is it. this is what she must have felt like.” And then that feeling would go away about 7:30 when the world began to stretch it’s arms and crawl out of bed.

Whenever I get married one day, she demonstrates the kind of wife I would like to be.
This woman is up in the morning preparing breakfast.
She keeps the family organized.
She helps provide for her them.
She keeps them on track.
She is a good example to them.
She chooses her words carefully, and is kind.
She has style – she is well put together.
She is selfless, and a servant.
She is a renaissance woman, so to speak.
This woman is skilled in many areas.

But what sticks out to me is that this woman has amazing character:
Her husband trusts her without reserve and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.

Amazing.

And how unlike what we frequently hear in the media today.
This is not like the stories I see on magazine covers in the check out line.
In a culture filled with unfaithfulness, jealousy, cheating, lying, fighting, and fraud;
this woman is unconventional. And in all of the best ways.
I frequently see women, especially young women, striving to be like the women in those magazines. I am guilty of it too, at times. As women, we are captivated by their charm, the glow of fame. But what we forget to pay close attention to in their pursuit to be like these women is what the words in those articles are actually saying. This isn’t all celebrities, but it is a large majority of them. We are drawn in by what we can see; and even if their character isn’t that great, we attribute it to stress or fame and let it slide. This is dangerous because we can then start to treat our own lives with that attitude.

It’s like Solomon could see into the future when he said “charm can mislead”!

What we often don’t realize is that even though we don’t have a picture of what this woman looked like in Proverbs 31, the author Solomon paints a gorgeous picture of her heart for us see and learn from. And not only are we able to see her character, we also can see that she is stylish and put together as well! This. This woman is the full package! This woman is a role model.

While this woman is known as the model to be a wife, she is so much more.

I used to only read her story and think: “this the kind of wife I would like to be”
But that is limiting her to less than she is.
I think it is something to strive for in daily life as a woman, too.
How amazing to read about this woman and be able to think:
“this is the kind of woman I would like to be”

I can’t be this woman in a marriage currently, because I’m not married.
I can be like this woman in dealing with my family, friends, and those I interact with.
I can learn and grow.

I can be a servant. I can be kind. I can be hard working. I can learn to be a better cook. I can take care of myself. I can be slow to speak. I can be prepared for life.

My goal currently is not to find a husband.
My goal is to become the kind of woman that is ready to get married one day.
My goal is to become the kind of woman why is able to be independent until that day comes, because it’s possible it may not.
My goal is to be a positive role model to those around me.
My goal is to be more like Christ.

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