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.

Shepherding our flocks

Photo Credit: Expressions Photography

I have been thinking alot about shepherds these days. I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s because we have been watching the Nativity Story and the shepherds are highlighted several times in the movie. Or, it could be that I was blessed with incredible insight from a good friend of mine, Jenilee, about a week ago on shepherding our children. Either way the concept of shepherding has been on my heart!

As I sit here this afternoon all I can think about is how tired I am. All three of my children have been sick for the past 24hrs and I am exhausted. Moments like these really take a toll on me emotionally. I often begin to doubt my mothering abilities and start to become frustrated with my children and our present “sickly” situation. Thankfully the Lord has been gracious to me and has given me the strength that I asked for. Much like a shepherd I am taking care of my flock, through the good the bad and the ugly.

Since becoming a mommy it has been a real challenge to find time to be with the Lord in the midst of my daily happenings. Especially when the kids are sick, I feel like I am constantly running from child to child, wipping noses, changing diapers and washing my hands in between. I am humbled and lowly. I feel like I am serving their bodily functions all day long! What purpose is there?

My dear friend Jenilee inquired of the Lord about this and this is what He told her, I believe that this word is for all mothers out there. “David was a shepherd, as you are.  He shepherded sheep, you shepherd your children.  He may have wanted to close his eyes and get lost in hours of blissful worship, as you do, but he couldn’t afford that.  He had many little sheep that needed constant attention.  He had to bring them to water, bring them to food, keep them corralled, chase them down when they wandered, keep a constant eye out for wolves, bears, lions, and then kill the beasts when they challenged the safety of his lambs…. much like you do.  You have to feed and nurture your children, keep them in safe places, watch constantly that the enemy is not attempting to prey on them, and then you must stand up against the enemy when he dares to touch your child.  You must constantly be alert, as a shepherd.  There are moments of quiet, but even in those moments of quiet, you are watching, listening, caring.  Just like my servant David.  Yet, he took the moments of love.  He sang while he watched.  He listened to my voice, while he scanned the herd for wandering sheep.  He drew on my strength and wisdom when he fought beasts.  He grew to know me, though his times with me did not look much like what you used to experience, yet he knew me and sought my heart, even amidst the distractions, the constant watching and tending.  And, though shepherding was a very simple job to the outside eye, I saw what it created inside him, and I saw him worthy to be established as a king.  You will shepherd children for many years, and it may feel somewhat aimless at times, and even like you’re giving up much of your greatest potential in order to just wipe noses or scrub behind ears, and it may feel that there is greatness within you just lying there, waiting, untapped.  Yet, at the right moment, those years of faithfulness and commitment and care are laying a foundation for you to step into the “kingship” seasons that you sense reside quietly inside.  When you feel your parenthood is an obstacle, the menial tasks of raising children “pointless”, remember my servant David, and continue on in your faithfulness, encouraged that it is not a waste, it is not fruitless, it is not wasting an ounce of what I’ve placed in you.   The greatest king of Israel spent the majority of his life raising sheep… and yet he made a great king of Israel because he seized the moments of love when they were available and allowed me to build him into a King.”

Photo Credit: Liz Lott, Snapdragon Photography

The great King David, written about in the Bible, was a shepherd before he became king of Israel. He would sit in the fields and take care of his sheep ALL DAY LONG FOR YEARS! He would fight off bears, bring back lost sheep, carry sheep that were sick, get them food, water and lead them all day long. Although he looked like a young boy, God was working in his life and training him to fulfill this destinee! After years of his service to sheep God saw fit to promote him to become a King! The King over Israel, a people whom God loved and cared for. Not only was he a king but he was also called “a man after God’s own heart”. How did this happen? From a pasture to a palace?

Photo Credit: Sara Crowe, Sara Naomi Photography

I am convinced that something happens to a person when they are put in a position of “shepherding” a flock.  When we are shepherds we become lowly and humble. We realize there there is nothing in ourelves that is worthy to serve, it is a priveledge and an honour. When we give ourselves completely to the life of another individual and expect nothing in return our heart and character is exercised! Embracing shepherdhood allows us to become all that God intended us to be! Humble, kind, generous, sacrificial, loving, forgiving, patient and the list goes on. Essentially we become more like Christ, the good Shepherd. He is the one who shepherds us on our journey and teaches us how to love others. What an amazing man He was and what an incredible example He left for us through his life.

My children are my flock in this stage of my life. God knows what I can handle. He knows when I am weary and tired. When I feel like I want to give up. Shepherding my kids is the most difficult job on the planet because it constantly tests my heart motives and character. Mommas are dealing with sickness and heart issues, with selfish toddlers and crying babies, these little people who do not know how to give back at this point in their young lives. I hope and pray that through the example I live as I shepherd them that they too will desire to be people to give of themselves daily to meet the needs of others. No matter what happens everything I do is unto the Lord, as I follow him, my children will follow me.

Photo Credit: Liz Lott, Snapdragon Photography

Who is your flock? How are you doing at shepherding them? I believe that all shepherds will be rewarded in this life or in the life to come. Think of the lowly shepherds living outside of Bethlehem, God sent an angel to them to announce that their savior was born, that is a pretty big deal considering that they were considered social outcasts in those days. God does not overlook anyone! King David was a shepherd who was overlooked by his own father and brothers. He became the great king of Israel and a man after God’s own heart. I am encouraged that one day I will see the fruit of my labour. That these tiny children who are coughing and sneezing all over me today will grow to be mighty servant of the Lord.

May you experience peace and rest as you shepherd your flock today!


Have you ever been amazed at how one drop of dish soap can disperse an entire sink full of oil? How just one tiny spark can ignite a raging and unforgiving forest fire? Or how one small stone thrown into a still body of water can cause a vast ripple effect?

Even the smallest most subtle interruptions can have enormous effects on their surroundings. Just like these natural cause and effects we too can experience this in our spiritual lives. As belivers can have a profound influence on those around us by simply being that small drop or spark. We can affect our entire surroundings by simply living the difference that God has made in our lives. We are called to be those who share God’s love EVERYDAY to EVERYONE we come in contact with. I have heard that it takes 7 positive words to dispell one negative word spoken into the life of another individual. Maybe today is your day to speak LIFE into someone else.

May you spread the love of God in your sphere of influence today. May you not overlook the amazing power that comes from speaking simple and beautiful words of encouragement. Let’s make a difference that counts for eternity today, one life at a time!