Being a Proverbs 31 Woman or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Who I Really Am”
I can’t sew. I am not crafty. My artistic ability is non-existent.
Apparently, because of this, I am disqualified from being a truly Godly woman.
I always read Proverbs 31 and sigh. I am not what you would call a seamstress (Although, I can do a pretty mean whipstitch!), and if I’m getting up before dawn, there had better be a Venti Mocha from Starbucks in the VERY near future. I cannot grow anything (let’s put it this way: silk plants die at my house). About the only thing I do well from that list is cook.
So, there’s a very real tendency for me to read Proverbs 31 and think that I will never be a truly good woman, and subsequently, I will never attract a Godly man. But, (don’t you just LOVE that word?) I think that all women read the wrong meaning into that passage. Let’s look at Proverbs 31 and see what it’s really saying.
DISCLAIMER: Proverbs 31 was written at a time when women were no better than cattle. In Jewish law, a male child of 12 was considered to be a more trustworthy witness than an adult woman. So, please take what Solomon says here with a grain of salt. Since women were a possession, a good woman was an asset a man could take to the bank!
Proverbs 31:10: “A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.”
The King James Version says that her price is “Far Above Rubies.” We’re always used to saying that it’s hard to find a good man these days. Well, face it, guys are saying the same thing about us, ladies. Being good isn’t always easy, but if it increases our value, it’s definitely worth it. So what is good? Luckily (maybe) Solomon tells us…
Proverbs 31:11: “Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.” A good woman is trustworthy. Can you be trusted to keep a secret? Can you be trusted to be the keeper of someone’s hopes and dreams? Will you use the information that you are privy to for your own advantage? Can people rely on you to finish what you start? Are the things that you produce of a good quality? Can people really say that they can count on you? I would hope that each of you would be able to say of me that I am someone you can count on to be there for you in each stage of your life. But that is something that each of us must constantly work on. Being trustworthy is not something that happens once and then stops. It is a constant decision. Will you be trustworthy today?
Proverbs 31:12: “Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.” Don’t hold grudges. Don’t be mean. Remember the whole “Do to others what you would have them do to you” thing. Be generous with your time, your talents. Give up yourself for others. Be a gracious servant. Don’t give of your time and then constantly remind people that you did it. Jesus talked about the Pharisees and how they prayed on street corners and tried to garner other people’s praise. They already have their reward. They won’t receive one from the Father.
Proverbs 31:13: “She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing.” Aside from the whole yarn deal, a good woman makes beautiful things. Anything can be made beautiful. Even a simple card can be beautiful, if the note inside is a note of encouragement or gratitude. You don’t have to quilt or knit or even make latchkey rugs. Just make someone’s day beautiful.
Proverbs 31:14: “She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.” I know some of you are getting seasick already. Take a deep breath. Ever get an unexpected letter in the mailbox? You know how neat that feels. Make your presence like an unexpected letter…neat…
Proverbs 31:15: “She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.” Groan….must…have…coffee…This is actually good advice. Now I’m not saying you all have to be up at 4:45 every morning. But think about it. On the days when you actually get up early, you have time to have breakfast (how many of us don’t even do that…it is the most important meal of the day!), you have time to do your makeup and hair, but, most importantly, you have time to spend with Jesus. Organize your day according to His schedule. Time spent with Him is better than a Venti from Starbucks.
Last March, some friends and I went to Lake Arrowhead for Spring Break. We had a great cabin up in the mountain, just outside the village. Every morning I would get up around 7:30, take a shower, get dressed, make a pot of coffee, then grab my journal and head for our balcony. From this balcony I had a gorgeous view of the mountains. It was just so still and peaceful. The air was crisp, the sun was shining, and it was still. In those precious moments all to myself, I poured out my hopes and dreams to the Lord. That half an hour before everyone else was up was more refreshing than any conference, more relaxing than anything else we did that week. I wish I could say that I came down the mountain and continued that practice. But I remember the peace that filled my soul on those days, and I long to be able to spend time with God like I did that week.