Proverbs 31: Preparation or Perfection?

If you are a woman, a wife and especially a mother I am sure you have heard this verse in the Bible numberous times; Proverbs 31:10-31. It is a verse that I have heard many people debate over. I have heard some woman joke about how impossible this is to attain and I have heard others who make it their life mission to be a Proverbs 31 woman.

So what does it mean? Is it literal? Am I supposed to spin by own wool, purchase land and sell it for a profit? How does one learn from this verse and apply it to her life?

Here is my understanding…

I believe that the Word of God is written on purpose and is intentional. I know that God allows everything in the Bible to be put there for a reason and I believe that there is much that we can glean as woman from this passage. In my opinion is was not put there to make woman feel badly about themselves nor do I think that it should cause us to strive for perfection in our lives, or make our outward apperance look perfect in the eyes of men but rather it should inspire us to trust God in everything. I believe that we NEED to focus on the many character traits of this “Proverbs 31 woman” and apply those traists to our lives.

The first trait I recognize is that she is a woman who is intentional. Everything she does is done on purpose. She plans ahead and organizes her life so that her family is taken care of and have what they need. That may look different for different woman depending on your personality, ability and life skills. But whatever you do make sure that you do it on purpose! (usually this involves planning and forethought, but not always:)

Secondly, she is a woman of wisdom. She knows the times and seasons in which she lives and chooses to plan her life accordingly. Because of this wisdom she profits from her various tasks, she isnt’t prideful about it, she is providing for her family.

Thirdly she is family-focused. Everything that she does centers around her husband and her children. They are her priority and the reason behind all of her labour. Obviously our relationship with the Lord needs to be our first priority but after that our family comes first. Are the decisions you make and the time you spend being invested in your family?

Forthyl, she is a strong woman. I believe this is emotional, spiritual and physical. Because of her faith in the Lord and her willingness to serve her family she can bear the weight of her work. She can handle their complaints, she can physically meet their demands and she can guide them spiritually to their Savior. Remember joy = strength. To be a woman who is strong you must be joyful. The enemy is always trying to steal my joy as a mother. The meanial things that happen or small accidents that take my joy off of mothering my little ones to the clean up agenda. I need to continually remember that if the enemy steals my joy he also steals my strength and I am left weak and powerless. I sometimes wonder if this is why so many mothers are so weak and defenseless in battle, we have lost our joy in the Lord. GOOD NEWS: choose to get the joy back and it’s yours!!! Joy is not an emotion it is a choice. Simply remembering who you were before you made God the leader of your life compared to who you are now should send joy shivers down your spine:)

Finally, a Proverbs 31 woman is led by vision! She has a vision for her family and it guides her life. Having vision gives us a road map to navigate our lives. It enables us to get from point A to point B easily and effectively.

Reading this passage of Scripture is not about; kniting our children’s clothing,  stayed up all night, purchasing a vineyard, made our kids bedding, and feeding the poor? NO!! It is so much more, however if you want to do the above go for it!! We need to glean what we can from her character and apply that to our lives. I believe that this woman is a picture of what is mean to completely rely on God in every area of her life and as a result profit greatly. (not just monetarly. We need to realize that we are called to be women, wives and mothers who are strong and intentional, who are wise and family-focused, who are vision-led followes of Christ whose mission is to raise our families to follow Him. It is not a standard of perfection it is a call for preparation! I believe it helps us to plan and prepared to be all God has called us to be.

Ask God what His vision is for your family and be intentional about seeing it through till the end.

I bless you to possess all the character traits of a Proverbs 31 woman. I bless you to listen to the Lord and obeys His leading, as a result, natually, your children WILL arise and call you BLESSED and your husband also and your life and theirs will be a testimony of God’s greatness on the earth!!!

Proverbs 31:10-31

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

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