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.
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I love this. It is so easy to compare myself to the Proverb 31 and I will always come up short but like you talk about, it’s all about perspective. I really appreciated your comment about how you would be friends with her, she would be coming alongside you and helping you. I had never thought about that but it’s true for me too. I would be trying to glean everything I could from her. Yet, I need to realize that I can still do that from her through Scripture and by coming alongside strong Christian women around me.
Beautifully written. This is very inspiring and reassuring that no one is perfect, but embracing our abilities and doing the best we can. You’re definitely not alone in this! <3
I love your poetic narration of the Proverbs 31 woman. I always feel I’m not yet qualified to be called one but I’m very much geared towards it. When I grow a little more, I want to be a full Proverbs 31 woman.
I couldn’t agree more! It’s so easy to feel envious of other people, and it’s a lot harder to shift to the mindset of them being a role model instead of an enemy. Thank you for sharing this!
This is so good. “I wish your weakness was highlighted just a little more. I wish I could see you in myself.” – I love the vulnerability here; how many times have we all felt this way? This post was good for my soul today! <3
Ah, The Virtuous Woman! I think as women, we’ve all wanted to be her! And if I was a betting girl, I’d say we’ve all hated her too! I’ve always hoped that when I was a little old lady, I would be able to look back and see that I became her over the span of my lifetime. I don’t know if that’s attainable or not, but I really do love how you put this all into perspective. Fantastic post!!!
Beautiful message! I’ll have to check out some of the other books in your post!! I am always looking for supplemental reading.
Andrea | Southern Momdays
Oh I love this so much! I was literally just writing about this myself over Mother’s Day, when it felt like the Proverbs 31 verses were everywhere. So not me, but such an amazing reminder of who I should strive to be. (Maybe. One day. Far from today, no doubt! Ha!)
Allyson | Rapt Motherhood
Thank you for this! To be honest, I’ve been getting tired of all the posts I’ve been seeing lately, talking negatively about the Proverbs 31 woman. Do I wish that I could be 100% like her? Absolutely. Do I get upset when I’m not? You bet. But, it’s in the Bible for a reason! And you captured that reason perfectly…”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).” Instead of making us upset or jealous, let this passage point us to our need for our Savior!
Wow this is beautiful. Thank you!
What a great post, but wow! Your photos are gorgeous! I write often on the Proverbs 31 woman. I can understand your frustration. I believe that each Proverbs 31 woman is unique to her husband and his needs 🙂
Love the way you wrote this post and the honesty and truth that shines through your words. I’ve struggled with the “Proverbs 31 woman” many times myself. Thank you for writing with such grace and clarity.
iz | izzabelle.co
Kat Charles @ Kat Charles Blog
Beautiful post. I have often compared myself to the Proverbs 31 woman and been frustrated. She is an excellent example, and something to strive for.
I am obsessed with your photos and love this Post
As an introverted person, the part about hiding in our house rather than going out to the world God placed me in was especially impactful! Opening yourself up for people is terrifying! But, if we are living for Christ in other areas of our life, we have no reason to fear what others would see in us and no reason to hide it.
As a fellow introvert, I know what a challenge it can be! It is so important though and, as you said, we have nothing to fear.
Good reminders to read the Bible in context and broaden our own view to allow ourselves some space for grace!
Kristin's Peppermints and Cherries
I love the passage in Proverbs 31. It is very inspiring. We just have to do all we do the the glory of God and work with the resources we have been given. The Lord’s mercies are new every morning!
BaileyKristin’s Peppermints and Cherries
Amen! We need to keep the eyes focused on what God has tasked us with and trust that He will bring the seeds to fruition.
So, often I have read through Proverbs 31 and feel overwhelmed. How can I ever do all that? I have trouble waking up to feed the baby, how am I going to find the best ingredients for my children and take on the business world and still manage to laugh without fear of the future. Thank you for this post. I feel like you made it all a little less intimidating.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus and trust that the rest will sort itself out <3
Heather @ A Heart of Humility
I love that you call out that we don’t need the “how to get more done…” but instead we need to focus our efforts on how to have hearts centered around our saving grace! Enjoyed this post!
BaileyHeather @ A Heart of Humility
Yes, I truly believe that the heart attitude before God is where the Proverbs 31 woman’s success comes from.
Love this! It is so helpful to see how we can use that as inspiration instead of just comparison, and what lessons we can learn from her. Needed this!
Amen! Scripture is to encourage us in godliness and to convict us of sin, not to make us feel inferior.
I think it is also helpful to know that proverbs 31 when read in its original language is an acrostic poem. You know those poems in school where each line started with a letter to spell out another message or word?
It was also a poem given by a mother to her son. It’s used in the Jewish community as praise to wives. It’s not necessarily a must-do or prescriptive list although of course the idealized woman here has many good and godly ways. I just think it’s harmful for women to think they must live up to a poem. https://equippinggodlywomen.com/homemaking/the-proverbs-31-woman-shes-not-who-you-think/