Proverbs 31 (Part II)
Welcome to another week of looking at Proverbs 31 and feeling inadequate.
Last week we talked about being a good woman. Solomon defines “good” the way all men from B.C.-era Israel defined it: Good cook, earns money, is really hot, etc, etc, etc… But what is behind all the superficial stuff?
I love this now-canceled television show called, “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” It’s this show about this guy trapped in space who is forced to watch horrendously awful movies. He and his robot pals make fun of these movies in order to stay sane. It’s hilarious. (I recommend finding the DVD’s of the show and watching as much of it as possible.) There was this one episode where Mike and the ‘Bots were trying to determine what the woman of the future would look like. Among the ideas that were thrown out were such winners as, “She will be covered in Mexican tile,” “She will be equipped with the patented NorthStar System,” and “Power Take-off.” It’s funny in its absurdity, but it illustrates my point. Ask a guy what he looks for in a girl and 8 out of 10 items will be something superficial or ridiculous (and the other two will make all the girls around him go, “awww!”).
In Proverbs 31:16-31, Solomon keeps going on about how a virtuous woman is a good gardener, an early riser, a hard-worker, a good domestic goddess, a helper of the poor, is respected, etc, etc, etc… Notice that she’s out doing all the work while he’s sitting at the gate. Typical male. But we get so caught up in being “The Perfect Woman.” We so often miss the point. The point of the whole passage is found in verse 30 “Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-GOD.”
I truly think that the hallmark of a Christian woman is that she is known as a woman who loves God more than anything else. There are two key elements in that sentence. First (and most importantly), is that she LOVES GOD MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE. God is numero uno on all her lists. Is she living a right relationship with God? Is she pleasing God? Does she seek to honor him in all that she does? If the answer is yes, we have a winner.
Second, the woman of Proverbs 31 is a woman. She’s feminine. She cries at Hallmark commercials on TV and that Sarah Evans song about Marines that plays on KZLA every 2.5 seconds. Proverbs 31 is really a celebration of womanhood, and though the Modus Operandi of women has changed substantially in 3000 years, womanhood should be celebrated and embraced. So take a cooking class, learn to crochet, experiment with a new hairdo. But while you’re learning (and hopefully enjoying) the feminine arts, remember that the most important part of Proverbs 31 is that the good woman is kind, honest, genuine, sincere, diligent, hardworking, loving, helpful, inviting, warm, and, most important of all, deeply in love with Jesus. All that is required is a heart that is full of Jesus, not an overworked Martha Steward gland.