When God took that rib from Adam and formed woman, did He tuck in a little extra something like the belief that we have to be the perfect Proverbs 31 woman?
No, I don’t think He did.
In fact, I believe we women have created this idealistic image of how we are supposed to power through our days with superhuman abilities. We think we’re supposed to be amazing jugglers of faith, family, careers and friendships. And when we fail at something, we beat ourselves up.
Ever have one of those days where nothing goes right–the alarm didn’t go off, the kids missed the bus, hubby forgot his lunch, the car won’t start, you forgot to make the dessert for the ladies Bible study, and to top it off, your child has a concert at school on the same night you already promised the boss you’d stay late to work on a project that’s critical.
Then you fall into bed exhausted after doing dinner, a load of laundry from the weekend, homework. And your man gives you that eyebrow waggle to suggest more to come. Uh uh, back off, big boy.
Here’s the truth about the Proverbs 31 woman … no one expects you to be perfect. Like I said in the beginning, we tend to form idealistic images in our heads of what kind of women we need to be.
If your day starts off badly, it’s so easy to let that stress snowball until you’re begging for a do-over.
Jesus is the only Perfect One. No place in the Bible commands us to be super heroes. When we strive to be Wonder Women, then we’re telling Jesus we can handle this and He’s not needed. But that’s so not true. Jesus wants us to come to Him with everything–good days and bad, difficulties in juggling all of our responsibilities. He wants us to lean on Him for support.
The true Proverbs 31 humbles herself before the Lord and goes to Him in prayer and thanksgiving. She strives to be the women He created her to be. She learns from her mistakes. Her character grows through experience and maturity. Sure, she’s bound to stumble, but knows all she has to do is stretch her hand for God to help her back up. The true Proverbs 31 isn’t perfect and doesn’t try to be.
So cut yourself some slack and lower the bar on your expectations. And know you’re not alone.
Your Turn: What is your interpretation of the Proverbs 31 woman? Do you feel today’s woman needs to be Wonder Woman? What words of wisdom do you have to offer?
I laughed out loud at the eyebrow waggle. So true!
I think you're right. We should be good stewards, and gather up spiritual food for our family, try to be smart. But I don't think any of that passage has to do with perfection as much as it does a woman honoring God and her husband.
I love how you put it. And it's a great reminder because we do push ourselves well I do…can't speak for everyone.
Jess, I agree with you. I do believe many women read that passage and think they need to be the perfect woman. Honoring God, my husband, and my family are attributes I'm striving for.
And I'm glad you could LOL over the eyebrow waggle. You've experienced it, I'm sure! 😀
Great post, Lisa. I think every Christian woman strives to be like the Proverbs 31 woman…and only experiences disappointment in the wake of that.
When we are weak, God is strong, and that's when we have to rely on Him. He gives us the strength to do what we need to do to take care of our families in a way that will honor Him.
This is an awesome post, Lisa. Love, love, love it.
You know what drives me crazy? When I hear people talk about the Proverbs 31 woman as some kind of tame domestic kitten. Um, no. The Proverbs 31 woman is strong and a go-getter and even businessy.
Your post reminded me of something I read recently which basically asks, "Does God ever give you a task that's bigger than you can handle?" Answer: yes – if he didn't, we wouldn't need him. If we were Wonder Women, we wouldn't need to lean on him.
Love this post, Lisa. About the Proverbs woman…I believe she was probably a wealthy woman with lots of help…
Truly, God didn't put this verse in His word to make us feel inadequate or that we had to try and do everything. I think the keys to this verse are in verses 25 and 30–Strength and dignity are clothing and she smiles at the future; (30) …A woman who fears the Lord…
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Ah, LJ, that Proverbs 31 gal used to scare me to death. I felt so, so inferior.
And then I embraced my mantra: Life — Perfection Not Required.
And that downsized the whole Proverbs 31 mystique for me.
Thanks for the encouraging, realistic post.
I struggle with the Proverbs 31 woman. Maybe it's just the midwest town I live in, but it's typically used to define the perfect homemaker, traditional role, mother figure. As a working mom becuase that is where the Lord has led our family, I find little mercy or understanding given to those of us who have to homemake AND tack on 40-45 hrs in the workplace as well, plus be mom. I love how the Prov. 31 woman goes to the gates to do her business. It's a frequently passed over verse, but I believe it defines her as a working mom too – that neither is better or more righteous or more RIGHT. That a Prov 31 woman is simply a woman who seeks the heart of God for herself and her family. Circumstances aside. Now … to get other ladies in my town to understand I'm not on a trip to "free" myself from my husband and family… hmmm…