Dear Proverbs 31 Woman, Sometimes I Want to Hate You
Okay, I understand you’re an archetype, but seriously, how can I ever live up to the standard you have set? You’re like Wonder Woman on steroids, ready to take on the business world while also balancing a perfect home. I’m pretty sure you’re the person the magazines still reference when they try to sell us on how to “balance our roles” and “have it all.”
There’s a part of me that wants to brush you off completely and pretend you’re not in the Bible. But if I’m being real, I’m insanely jealous of who you are and what you can accomplish with your day.
You’re a pillar of your community. We would all love to know that people think of us as savvy, prepared women. But more than that, you come home and you’re family affirms that, in private, you’re what the community thinks you are – a woman who fears the Lord and is truly excellent in all her ways.
I wish your weakness was highlighted just a little more. I wish I could see you in myself. But I guess that’s not the point. Because while I do not see you in myself, I see in you the women around me who regularly show me what it means to live life as a woman of God.
And that’s why I want to hate you.
Because I’m not them, and I’m not you.Dear Proverbs 31 Woman, While I would like to hate you, I’m going to have to thank you. You’ve inspired me to live with the strength you embody and shown me what I really need to be chasing after today. Click To Tweet
So while I would like to hate you, I’m going to have to thank you. Because while I can’t live out each and everything you do, you’ve inspired me to live with the strength you embody and shown me what I really need to be chasing after today.
You showed me that my home is a launching pad, not the end
It’s clear that your preparation extends to your home. You prepare not only yourself but those in your household for anything that might come your way. It is the center of all that you do. But it is not the end of your work.
Your love for your household means that you seek out ways to bless them. Daily, you’re looking around you to bring in what is beneficial, making wise financial choices and acquiring the finest for them. But you also bring that blessing to others by actively seeking out ways to serve the poor. You don’t wait for opportunities to show up at your doorstep, you seek them out.
The will of God is evident in your day to day plan. Christ has called me to go into all the world and I can see this going in your day to day life. You do not hide in your home, afraid of what you might face, but rather, you go boldly into the little bit of the world God has called you to.
When I read about your life, when I look at the women around me who embody this eyes-open approach to living, I’m equipped with fresh eyes to look at my little portion of the world. I see where God has given me strengths and I seek out opportunities to use them. My doors transform from a place to hide from a cruel and unpredictable world into an entrance to a little part of Eden where I can share the goodness of God.
You reminded me to keep my eyes on what truly matters.
While I can look at all that you do and get overwhelmed, when I read about the end result I realize that I might be on an okay path. Our day to day lives might look different, but if I’m seeking out the same end goal as you, I like to think that you’d be walking right beside me, cheering me on.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. -Proverbs 31:28-30 esv
If I am living in reverence of the Lord, following His commandments, that’s the end goal of my daily activities. Every decision, thought, and action must center around this, above all else.
Your husband and children praise you, but the part of your life they admire isn’t about your ability to rock fine linen or make a savvy field purchase, it’s your fear of the Lord.Dear Proverbs 31 Woman, Your husband and children praise you, but the part of your life they admire isn’t about your ability to rock fine linen or make a savvy field purchase, it’s your fear of the Lord. Click To Tweet
You are praised because in all of these things, you reflect a love for God.
And when I read through Proverbs 31, when I marvel at all you can accomplish, I’m amazed at the end. Because I realize that who you are, a woman who is praised for her fear of the Lord, I know this is something I can never accomplish on my own. But I still have hope.
Because I also realize that you didn’t accomplish it on your own either.
And I realize that you probably had doubts about whether you were doing it right and whether you were enough to contribute anything of value to those around you.
I know this because the same Bible that tells me about you, tells me that I can’t do anything apart from the help of my God and Savior (John 15:4-5). And that the best we have to offer, you and I in our daily efforts in our homes and community, it is all being done through us, by the power and strength God offers (Philippians 2:13).
So yes, Proverbs 31 Woman, I want to hate you, but I can’t.
Because when I read through everything there is to know about you, I realize that you and I, we would be friends. You would be the woman I would be seeking out to come alongside me and encourage me to conduct my life and my home in a way that honors the God I serve. You wouldn’t be judging me, you’d be cheering me on as a sister in the faith.
While the practical wisdom you offer is helpful, I don’t need tips and tricks to get more done, I need a heart that was centered, like yours, around the loving God who empowers us to face the tasks He has called us to with dignity and strength. And I think if you were here, sitting across from me with a cup of coffee, that’s what you would be telling me. To surrender myself, like Mary, like you, at the feet of God.