A Proverbs 31 woman…who can be that?
I have read and studied this Proverb a number of times. The debate is always the same. Who can actually do all those things? And even if we could, who needs to do all those things? In today’s world where it can be exponentially more expensive to make your clothes rather than buy them, what do we do with this bit of wisdom?
In reexamining the Proverb, I discovered something. This text isn’t so much an exact representation of what we should be doing, but whom we should become. It is a clever way of wording the heart condition we, as women of God, should be seeking.
But this Proverb is so rich. Where do I start?
Here are points of our Christian walk we can focus on to be more like the Proverbs 31 woman and, consequently, more like the women God intends us to be.
1. Be Trustworthy (Proverbs 31:11)
- If my husband’s heart trusts me, then I am conscientious of how I behave in public. I seek to bring glory to the name of Christ first, and, second, I don’t do things that would shame the Lord or my husband. He knows when I am on my own I won’t be a maniac who entices people to gossip about me.
2. Be Willing (Proverbs 31:13)
- How many times do I take on a task only to think about how much I hate doing it or wish I was doing something else? My heart needs to be engaged with my head, and they need to be saying the same things with my mouth. If I say yes with my mouth, I need to be sure my heart is also saying yes (Matthew 21:28-32).
3. Be Charitable (Proverbs 31:20)
- As we get closer to that glorious time of Christ’s return, the number of needy around us grows. The needy and poor can be other believers or not. When Christ fed the five thousand (John 6:1-15), He didn’t ask whom He was feeding. He knew the people were hungry and provided for them. All that we have comes from God. It all belongs to Him. How can we say we won’t share with others what God so richly provides for us?
4. Be Kind (Proverbs 31:26)
- Here is another struggle for me. Though I strive to teach what God’s Word has wisely taught me and help others in their walks with Christ, I sometimes find that the words coming out of my mouth are harsh and blunt. When I attempt to open my mouth in wisdom, I need to be sure I am adding the second half of this verse and being kind in the process. My walk is damaged when I do not purpose to be kind, and I hurt my sister or brother in Christ in the process. In addition, my witness in front of unbelievers could be irreparably damaged.
Now, do I accomplish any of these perfectly?
Does that mean I should stop striving for perfection and obedience?
Definitely not! None of us can be perfected this side of heaven, but the Christian walk is a striving for the excellence that Christ’s example gives us (Hebrews 12:1).