How many times have you heard a woman express her fears of never being able to live up to the Proverbs 31 Woman standard? There are a plethora of articles about how Christian women today simply cannot walk in her footsteps, so we shouldn't strive to, let alone concern ourselves with the superwoman.
I admit, I have a bit more of the bold and confident lion side of Jesus in me than the gentle lamb (the Holy Spirit is working on that), but even so, when my then-fiancé told me his confirmation verses for me were Proverbs 31:10-31, I was quite weary. I knew I was not quite "on her level" just yet, but I thought maybe someday I would be—minus the sewing and vineyard planting.
This is my fourth year of marriage, and in September we will celebrate five. But now, as of three weeks ago, I am officially a mom. I have written blogs on becoming the Proverbs 31 Woman before, but I wondered how I would view the Proverbs 31 Woman now that I am in this entirely new season of motherhood.
I turned to that infamous passage and read with the peaceful confidence of the Holy Spirit, I thought: Women do not need to fear the Proverbs 31 Woman.
She is just a woman who fears God.
Take away the fact that she is wealthy and erase the flowery, poetic prose used to describe her traits, and you will find she is simply a Spirit-filled wife and mother.
Goodness, generosity, kindness, wisdom: all these characteristics used to describe her are fruits of the Holy Spirit, whom every born-again Christian has living inside of them; the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
The same Spirit who raised Him from the dead dwells in our hearts and yet we are afraid we cannot walk like Him, because ultimately, that's who the Proverbs 31 Woman is walking like. She is not some goddess that is mightier than Christ.
She doesn't draw from her own strength, she draws from His.
And I believe this is where many of us fail: we are focused on the doing, rather than the being.
Instead of focusing on being like Christ, we are obsessed with doing all the things we think will make us epic wives and mothers: keeping our homes spotless and beautiful, cooking five-star meals, looking our best at all times, the list goes on.
It is no wonder why so many of us fear the Proverbs 31 Woman; we're concentrating on all that she does rather than on who she is.
This woman, who King Lemuel's mother describes, is a Christian woman, a fellow sister in Christ, who walks with Him and uses her gifts for His glory. She cooks, cleans, and cares for her family like all Christian wives and mothers do, but as you read about her, you get this picture of her doing all this with ease; she has a peace not all Christian women have:
She is not afraid.
Remember Martha, the sister of Mary Magdalene? She was determined to do it all, which caused her to become overwhelmed, instead of determining to spend time with Christ first. This is not to say Mary was lazy; we know she got up early after Passover and brought spices that she and other women prepared for Jesus' burial, but she devoted herself to loving Christ and the outcome was she became more like Him in both heart and action.
When we focus on loving Jesus, rather than on performing for Him and others, the natural byproduct is a peaceful Proverbs 31 Woman.
From glory to glory, our character conforms more and more to Christ's character. By his Spirit and through His strength, we do not need to fear the Proverbs 31 Woman, or anyone for that matter.
If we just love Him, Jesus will likewise make us peaceful, good, generous, kind, and wise God-fearing women who shall be praised.
Photo Credit: Shannon Lee Miller