7.30.2012

Emily's Passion Post: The REAL Proverbs 31 Wife

Hi, This Rookie Wife readers! I'm Em, and I blog over at
I've known Bri for almost five years. We met at university and I had
the privilege of seeing her life change before my own eyes. I love
this girl and am inspired by her often!
When she asked me to blog on something I'm passionate about, many
things came to mind -
DIY,
But they were all things I've blogged about at
length already on my own blog, and all pale in comparison to the topic
I believe God placed on my heart. Don't get me wrong - I love those
topics and reading about them, but today I want to blog about the REAL
Proverbs 31 woman. She may not be who you think she is...

If you've been a Christian for any length of time, you're probably
familiar with the Proverbs 31 concept. For those who aren't, I'll fill
you in. Essentially Proverbs
31
is a chapter in the Bible that talks about "a woman who fears
the LORD", and has (for good reason) become an inspiration to
Christian women.

What I want to talk about today is the REAL Proverbs 31 woman. Who she
is and frankly, who she isn't. Who our culture has made her to be, and
who she initially was. My hope is to impart grace to those of you
(read: us, I struggle with this too!) who are trying to be her, by
doing things the Bible has never commanded, and to encourage you along
the way.

First of all, I'm not from a Christian family and didn't go to a
Bible-believing church until I was in my late teens. Christian jargon
never made sense to me and it always felt like an inside joke that,
though I was a Christian, I didn't get. Because so much of today's
mainline Christianity is cultural, not Biblical.

Oddly, I *almost* see it as a grace that I wasn't brought up in the
faith because it gives me a tremendous empathy for people who feel
like outsiders in church or among Christians. Hey, I still feel like
that sometimes! I didn't watch Veggie Tales as a kid, I don't know
where Odyssey is and I thought Billy Graham and Bill bright were
politicians when I first heard people talking about them. And if you
are like me, you may feel that way when you hear about the Proverbs
31 Woman.

Here's who I believe many woman THINK she is,
based on culture and poor Biblical understanding:
  • a stay-at-home mom
  • a cook and baker, extraordinaire
  • a home-schooler
  • a woman who never sleeps or takes time to herself
  • good at everything, does everything herself
  • always prepared (think girl scout!)
  • from the perfect family/ has the perfect family
  • never tired, down, hurt, discouraged
  • always joyful, patient, gentle, happy, charming, beautiful, put
    together
  • the perfect mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, aunt, niece,
    grandmother, granddaughter
basically, a Christian
Stepford Wife.


While a quick reading of the
passage
will assure you that the Bible isn't asking that list of
us, we see other "sermons" preached in the women we value in our
Christian culture.
Who is most respected at church? Who do others speak well of?
Is it simply, the women who fear the LORD? Or is it the stay-at-home
mom who home-schools her 12 kids and has never had a discouraging day
in her life (if she even exists)?

 I believe Christians may accidentally over-value women who
are as described on this list, and falsely give them the utmost
compliment of being a Proverbs 31 Woman because of those
attributes
. She may indeed be a Proverbs 31 woman, but it should
be because of her identity in Christ and how she lives that out in a
Godly way, not because she's always prepared, never sleeps or puts
herself before her family, and bakes the best cookies anyone's ever
tasted.

Here's who the Bible says she is, and how it plays out in my life
based on our Biblical convictions: 

  • her husband trusts her - meaning she is entrusted with important
    things (maybe banking or finances, making decisions for the family,
    etc., v.11)
  • she's hardworking (could be in the home or in the workforce, v.13,
    19, 27)
  • she provides for her family, as her husband does (v.14-15)
  • she is creative + resourceful (v.16, 19, 24)
  • she is wise with finances and is even business savvy! (v. 16, 18, 24)
  • she is strong, not dainty nor weak (v.17, 25)
  • she is generous (v.20)
  • she doesn't give in to stress or worry  (v.25)
  • she takes opportunities to teach and lead others with wisdom
    (within Biblical guidelines, v.26)
  • her family sees her character (v.28)
  • she has true beauty -  she fears the LORD (v.30)
verse 25 is my favourite: strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.

WHY is she strong?
WHERE does her dignity come from?
HOW can she laugh at the days to come?
(the laundry + housework to come, the toddler tantrums to come, the
night feedings to come, the heartache of losing a loved one to come,
the job loss to come, the burnt lasagna to come)

Because she knows and follows Jesus.
It boils down to that.

Proverbs 31 Women don't need spotless homes, perfectly obedient
children, or outstanding domestic skills. Proverbs 31 Women
need Jesus, and they know it. They follow him all their
days. 
And when they mess up (which is probably often), they return right
back to him, 
because the road is paved with grace.

1 comment:

  1. Love this:) and so true to the fact that God does not want all woman to be the same- he made us individual for a reason but he wants us to glorify him in all we do

    ReplyDelete

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