I’ve really struggled to write over the past couple of months. It’s been a particularly difficult time and navigating this season has been a challenge, to say the least. Repeatedly trying to find the right words has led to frustration and on many occasions, I have closed my laptop and walked away unable to collect my thoughts. Even now, it’s tricky, but today is a day to keep writing.
all words taken from my first paragraph…
This morning I reread Proverbs 31:10-31 and searched for any hint of struggle or difficulty faced by this Biblical Wonder Woman.
How on earth does she do it all and keep it together like she does?
Then it dawned on me…this was written about her, not by her!
Yes, she sorts the kids, supports her husband, has a successful career, speaks wisdom, does charity work, makes a mean patchwork quilt and is trustworthy but all those things are viewed from an outsiders perspective. I’ll leave this thought for another time but I wonder how Proverbs 31 would read if it was written in the first person.
Maybe, just maybe, the Proverbs 31 woman manages to do all these things because there’s only one person she’s doing it for. She’s flattered when her husband notices her purple gown and relishes the open-armed hugs of her children, but they aren’t her driving force. How others see her, nice as it may be, is not what motivates her to be the woman she is.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”
The Proverbs 31 woman is concerned only with the love and approval of her Heavenly Father. She has a deep understanding that if she centres herself around that relationship, then all the other aspects of her life will be easier to navigate. These verses focus on the qualities and actions that can be seen by the outside world, but it is clear in verse 30 that the source of her wisdom and strength is God.
This perspective has changed how I read these verses. My focus has shifted from the Proverbs 31 woman to her source.
Who gives her the strength to be strong and a hard worker?
Who clothes her in strength and dignity?
Who gives her words of wisdom?
When she prays, what kind of qualities does she ask God for in order to succeed in all the areas of ministry she has been called to?
I encourage you to reread Proverbs 31:10-31 and ask God for what you need to be the woman (or man) He has called you to be.
“The Eternal is the source of my strength and the shield that guards me.
When I learn to rest and truly trust Him,
He sends His help. This is why my heart is singing!
I open my mouth to praise Him, and thankfulness rises as song.”