Over the years I have heard so many women bemoan the fact that they don’t even come close to being like the Proverbs 31 woman. I have to say she does set the bar pretty high. She takes excellent care of her household. Does well with her own business. She takes care of the poor and is honored and praised by her husband and children. What a woman. What an example. What a tough act to follow.
Let’s fast forward a number of centuries and see the example of womanhood that the world holds up to us as what they think should be today’s modern woman. If you were to believe certain celebrities and things we see glorified in the media, the music industry, and Hollywood we get a quite different opinion of what a woman should be.
According to our current culture the more profane and vulgar a woman is somehow that is supposed to make her more powerful. More influential. More popular. Young women and little girls are shown that there’s no need for modesty as they see their idols on stage wearing next to nothing, while sometimes making gestures that are crude to say the least. Yet, according to the world, that is what is supposed to be progress for womanhood.
Those women who do dress modestly, profess their love of God and country and refuse to participate in the profanity or refuse to perform in things that would dishonor the Lord are often mocked and criticized. Even our First Lady was called nasty names for saying the Lord’s Prayer before a meeting. Talk about an upside down world.
Thankfully, I don’t believe that is an accurate representation of the majority of women in this country. There are many women out there today young and old and everywhere in between who see through that nonsense. Who have a moral compass. Women who work hard to make sure their daughters and are not influenced to believe that this behavior is normal and something they should strive for. Women who daily seek to do the best they can without compromising what they believe in.
I am so grateful to the many women I have in my life today and those I had in my past, who were and are great examples. Women whose goal is not to glorify themselves, or to put themselves first but to be a servant. To help others and offer a hand in love and friendship. To offer encouragement when needed and to speak the truth in love when that is what was needed. To put the needs of their families and friends before their own needs.
My mom would be someone who probably didn’t even realize she was an influence. I don’t recall ever sitting down and talking about a lot of things. Yet, she taught me morals by being moral, by setting a good example. Honesty. Respect. Helping those who were in need. Hospitality- her door was always open. She taught me what it means to be a strong woman-even in the face of adversity. All of that was taught by example while she was just going about her everyday life.
I don’t think many of us realize, (especially if we profess to be a Christian) how often people are watching us. Our actions speak so much louder than our words. Are we walking the walk, or just talking the talk? We have the ability to help change peoples lives by being a godly example. By making it possible for them to see Jesus in us by the way we conduct ourselves, and live our lives. Sometimes without ever speaking a word to them.
And to those sisters who are still dismayed that you don’t live up to the example of the Proverbs 31 woman, give yourself a break. We are not supposed to compare ourselves to anyone, including that well known woman. I’m not sure if she was a real woman or just an example of a virtuous wife. But why do we think we are supposed to do the same things she did? We may not have maidservants or plant vineyards or get up while it is still night to provide food for our household. But I’ve seen some of your schedules and the things you do for your families and you could give her a run for her money!
Many of us if we compared ourselves to the Proverbs 31 woman, looked first at all the tasks she accomplished. Or at least I did. Honestly, if we were going to try and emulate her, shouldn’t it be more important to look at other aspects of her life besides her businesses and her household duties?
What about things like, “The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Verses 11-12. Or, “she extends her hand to the poor” Verse 20. Then there’s Verses’s 25-26 “Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.” That’s the kind of woman I would like to be.
We all have different lives and different things the Lord has called us to do. Not all are called to business. Not all have households to take care of. We can be good examples while diligently working as unto the Lord in whatever He has called us to do. I believe our character while we are about our business is more important to the Lord than adding more tasks just because we think we should or we think it looks good on our resume.
Be who the Lord made you to be. And don’t let anyone else tell you who you’re supposed to be. You are beautiful to the Lord just as you are. One of a kind.