The Proverbs 31 Woman. Wow, what a woman! In fact, she sounds like some sort of superwoman, a woman from an entirely different planet. She sure stands out among her peers. Growing up, I was in awe of this woman. She manages her household and is also a businesswoman. It looks to me like she can knit or do some sort of craft; she is so hands on, a hard worker & a great cook. She wakes up before dawn, makes sure her family is provided for and she succeeds at everything she sets her mind to. She is kind. She gives to the poor. She is fearless. This woman is clothed with honor and dignity and she sure is wise. Her children called her blessed. Her husband praises her. He is revered and his heart can safely trust in her. Ultimately, she is a woman who fears the Lord and the fruit of her hands are blessed.
This woman sure puts me to shame. I mean, Is there anything she doesn't do? I was talking with a friend about this and we agreed the woman in Proverbs 31 probably doesn't leave her house a mess when she's tired. She probably never leaves laundry lying around and never leaves dishes in her sink. Her husband probably never has reason to complain about her cooking. She probably doesn't give her husband a reason to fight with her and she probably never complains about anything. Now, I have had people tell me in my lifetime "You're a Proverbs 31 woman" and I can't help but think "Really? in what sense?" because I know I feel far from this picture of the ideal Christian woman. In fact, there are times I feel I fall so short and I can't help but feel the immense and, often, unrealistic pressure of what is expected from us as godly women.
If you're a woman after God's own heart, I want to take the time to encourage you. There will be days when you and I feel far from a godly woman, let alone the perfect wife, mother, or homemaker. And at times, all this is AFTER you feel you have given it your all. You give and you give, yet it isn't enough. You feel tired, exhausted really. You wonder if anybody cares about how YOU feel or what you think? Day after day, you are trying to faithfully carry out your responsibilities that come with each of these roles that you're trying very hard to perfectly fit into.
Be encouraged, dear sister and friend. Know that first & foremost, you are loved beyond comprehension. You are a daughter of the King, the God who created this universe and your worth is great in His eyes. God sees your heart, even if no one else does. He knows the sacrifices you make in the ways you give to those you love & cherish. He knows your desires. He sees your efforts. He knows you want to love and respect your husband, even in the times you fail to do so. He knows you love your children and want best for them, even in the times you slipped up in anger towards them. He notices when you put your family above yourself. He hears the songs you sing to him in praise while you're driving to work. He hears the prayers you pray for your family while doing those dishes. He notices you reading those books about how to hear His voice better or how to be a wife who prays for family. He knows you desire to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit. He knows you desire to spend more time in the Word and feel like a failure when lacking in discipline and consistency to do so. He is aware when you are awake at night lying in bed thinking of all the things you could've done better and how you failed again in a certain area. He is forgiving and kind and grants us grace yet again. He gives us grace & strength for a new morning and a new beginning on yet another day.
We may not be the Proverbs 31 woman but she is someone we can look up to and desire to grow into. We can ask our sisters to stand with us in prayer so we have the strength to be women after God's heart. Since we live in the flesh, being the perfect woman isn't possible but it is practical to aspire to be better and ask God to help us grow so we can be the beautiful women, wives, mothers, sisters and friends God created us to be to those in our lives.
To all my sisters, I love you! May you grow to possess the incorruptible beauty of a gentle & quiet spirit that is precious in the eyes of God! (1 Peter 3:4) Hope you're encouraged :)