The big question of the day: Which is not like the others? Unicorns, Fairies, or the Proverbs 31 Woman?
While fairy godmothers and the rescue of the last surviving unicorn are oft repeated stories that make for captivating entertainment, fairies and unicorns are not real.
However, the Proverbs 31 woman is very real. Many Christian women believe that the Proverbs 31 woman is unattainable and merely an amalgamation of all the individual qualities a Christian woman should strive to be.
For decades now, women have beaten themselves up by comparing themselves to other women. They see their next-door neighbor through rose-colored glasses, they watch the mom at the grocery store with controlled children and immediately feel like failures, they rejoice over creating a yummy meal only to let it be squashed by a friend’s photo of a near-perfect Pinterest dessert posted on Facebook… (I might be a Pinterest-fail expert).
Where are women getting their standards from?
Years ago, I was consumed with comparing myself to other women. There are many reasons why, but ultimately, it was because I bought the lie!
The lie is that this woman is a fictional character created by the writer. My standard was not the godly example given in Proverbs 31:10-31. It was the women around me.
I pray that you are not lost in that lie! If you are, friend, let me share with you that you CAN be a Proverbs 31 woman, and you don’t have to be perfect!
King Lemuel, the writer of Proverbs 31, beautifully describes for us a woman worthy of praise. It’s virtually a guide for us. And, yet, we crave more. Give me a real woman I can look up to.
God gives us an example in the form of a Moabitess named Ruth.
The Hebrew word that we read as “excellent wife” or “woman” is found in only three places in the Old Testament: twice in Proverbs and once in Ruth.
“An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels” (Proverbs 31:10).
“Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence” (Ruth 3:11).
The Book of Ruth shows us how to practically do many of the hard things in life. Here are three points from Ruth and Proverbs that we can actively work on while on our journey to glorification:
1. It is not easy to be a submissive wife (or if you are single, a submissive employee).
Our husbands or bosses, like us, have days where negativity and complaining flow too easily. Ruth went willingly and humbly with a mother-in-law who has become the picture of a “negative nelly.” How will you respond next time someone treats you harshly? Will the words from your mouth be wise and kind? (Proverbs 31:26). Memorize Galatians 5:22-23 and Philippians 4:8. Mediate on these words and model them in your life!
2. Working and serving is a gift, and we should treat it like that.
Is it tiring? YES! But don’t let that tiredness be what defines your life. I bet Ruth was exhausted gleaning from sunup to sundown. Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord (Colossians 1:10). Ruth shows us how to not only provide food for herself and her widowed mother-in-law, but also how to do it with strength and dignity (Proverbs 31:25). We may not be out in the field all day, but we are working. Ladies, we will be held accountable for all our time. Be deliberate with your schedule; don’t let “down time” always become mind-numbing screen time.
3. Does your husband trust you?
This can be a hard question for many women perhaps because of past sins. But, once you have repented of those sins and are forgiven, you are to move forward in a godly way. A wife earns her husband’s trust by her devotion to the Lord through prayer and Bible study, by how well she manages the home, and by her selfless service to him. As wives, we can seek out our husbands’ desires in respect to the home, children, meals, etc., and joyfully commit to exceeding those desires. This attitude will allow the men in our lives to focus on their work so “he will have no lack of gain” (v.11).
The Proverbs 31 woman is the woman who delightfully seeks to serve the Lord and others everyday. She provides a warm home and food and clothing for her family. She is beautiful, not because she is adorned with extravagant makeup, jewels and clothes, but because she has the Spirit of Christ in her and a peace that comes from knowing Him. The Proverbs 31 woman takes captive every thought and contemplates her words before saying them. Women seek her advice, not because she is “Super Woman,” but because she is real and honest and her desire to be like Christ is obvious.
Will you be deliberate in your day? Will you check your heart every moment and ask the Lord to help you glorify Him in everything you do?