proverbs 31 woman


A Proverbs Woman?
by Sherri Bailey
Mom & Her Money

Can I Ever Really Be a Proverbs Woman? 

Most Christian women are familiar with the last book of Proverbs, often referred to as, "The Proverbs Woman". If you haven't read chapter 31: 10-31, grab your Bible and read what King Lemuel had to say about what defines a virtuous woman. She's a pretty impressive lady, huh? 

Like many of you I have wondered more than once in my life about whether I would ever live up to this description. Could I ever really be a Proverbs Woman? Most of the time I feel so much less than what I read in my Bible. Stop by my house on any given day and you're likely to find dishes in the sink waiting to be washed, beds waiting to be made or kids waiting to be taken somewhere. I'm sure I'm not alone. Unless you have a giant red "S" on your chest, you're probably within eyeshot right now of something that you have chosen to leave undone. What would King Lemuel have to say about us? 

The first time I ever heard about the Proverbs woman was at the funeral of my beloved Grandma Rosie. I was barely 18 and had lived with her for the last year of her cancer battle. As I sat on the front pew of that church holding the hand of my grand-daddy, I listened to what our pastor had to say about these scriptures and how they applied to my Maw-Maw. It wasn't until much later, after I had children of my own that I began to remember his message that cold December day in 1982 and it brought me comfort. 

He taught me the Proverbs woman wasn't someone that only lived in the mind of a king thousands of years ago. She was flesh and blood and lived in the here and now. She was the kind of woman that did everything she could for her family. Maybe she baked them their favorite cakes, or shopped for sales so she could stretch the family's money, or did without so that her kids would have shoes. She was real and I had been blessed to have known her for 18 years. 

I began to realize that each time I read these verses, really read them, I could find something of myself there. For example, have a look at Proverbs 31: 15, "She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family..." (NIV) Every morning when my other half is on day shift, our alarm goes off at 4:20 a.m. and every morning I get up and prepare his breakfast and pack his lunch. We only have about 10 or 15 minutes together while I watch him eat and then we hug while we say a quick prayer and he is off. It makes me feel useful and it makes him feel honored. 

What about verse 17? "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks". After the love of my life is out the door and off to work, my work day begins as well. Usually I have some time to study my Bible or read in an inspirational book (Max Lucado is always a favorite), get some computer work done, a load or two of laundry and if I'm really lucky, the dishes from breakfast, all before my nine-year-old son wakes up. I get as much done as I can, as quickly as I can. I don't know how strong my arms are, but I feel like I work pretty vigorously! 

Look for yourself in King Lemuel's words. I am about as far from a saintly woman as a woman can get, but even I can find myself in Proverbs 31. Every Christian woman is there because the Proverbs woman is a composite of the very best in all of us. I believe there is nothing in the Word of God that is put there to make us feel bad about ourselves, but rather to build us up, encourage us and direct us. Proverbs 31 is no different. Pray that God will show you your own face in the face of the Proverbs woman, and just like I do, pray that each day He will make you more like her. 

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proverbs 31 woman

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proverbs 31 woman