Sitting at my desk, I was reflecting on Proverbs 31:10-31. Here's an honest confession. I never like this passage in the early years of my life as a young wife and mother.
Most messages I heard preached on this passage left me feeling inadequate as a wife and mother and as a woman generally.
|Acnowledgement: YouVersion 2018 Proverbs 31:30|
The woman in Proverbs 31 is extra-ordinary. She appeared to be everything - the epitome of all a woman should be.
As a young mum I struggled with this view of an ideal woman, especially when sitting long nights beside a hospital bed with a young child struggling to breathe, sleepless nights of sick children, constantly trying to juggle being able to help at church, in the community, clean the house, attend KYB study and get a meal on the table.
Now as an older woman with children who are working or in high school, and having returned to work myself, I revisited this passage. Perhaps a few years of Bible study, maturing and life experience has helped me to note this passage differently.
"Her husband can trust her" and "she will greatly enrich his life". This is essential for us as women to encourage and help flourish. It's not one sided - men need to trust their wives and enrich the lives of their wives as well. But when your husband trusts you - it can bring contentment and joy.
Do we bring our husbands good, not harm all days we live? Can we be trusted with finances, the household matters, relationships and interactions in both our private, social and work life?
Proverbs 31:13-24 shows us that this woman is a hard-working, wise and discerning woman. I'm sure she had days when nothing seemed to go right. Her choice to be busy, care for her household and improve the lives of those under her care does not go unnoticed. Her husband is well known in the "city gates" the place where business is undertaken and where the big decisions (government) are made. Simply put - she is not lazy, not self-seeking nor thinking only of what she wants. She genuinely cares for those around her and wants her husband to be well respected. She care for the poor and wears beautiful clothes. She is a person of influence
Because she is prepared to work hard and be proactive; not reactive, she does not fear the future. Her children and husband praise and bless her. She appears to know that she too, must take care of herself.
Her beauty is not just physical, it's also shining out of her through her character, hard work and love for those under her care.
So, dear friends who struggle to be wife, mother and provide for our families, take care of yourself as you care for your families. Build relationships. Spend time with the Lord and build this relationship. In the crazy journey we call life, take the time to laugh with your husband, pray together and talk.
Enjoy the years of the children at home, all too soon it's over and they move on to fulfill their own dreams. Don't be afraid to wear make-up, try a new hairstyle, buy a new dress to flatter your figure.
The woman in Proverbs 31 was an extra-ordinary woman, but I suspect that we all have a little, or a lot of her, in each of our lives as woman. Be a person who is compassionate, wise and discerning. Be a person of influence that brings hope and positive direction to those within our influence.
Life your life to make a difference - in the best possible way!