She is held up as the perfect standard for women everywhere – this incredible female who keeps her family together, works outside the home, keeps her husband happy and is respected by the entire community.
Many of us stressed-out ladies tend to avoid studying Proverbs 31. We know we can’t measure up to this biblical powerhouse and we don’t want to.
But maybe we’ve believed a lie.
Maybe King Lemuel, the writer of this proverb, didn’t intend for us to think we have to be this kind of woman every day for the rest of our lives.
And if good old Lem wrote this proverb as a quote from his mother – which is the indication in scripture – then maybe she’s making an important point.
She’s actually telling Lemuel to be careful about the relationships he builds with women and to look for a woman of noble character.
Then she lists some of the qualities of that woman – not telling us we all have to be this type of woman all the time. In fact, during different seasons of life, our focus may be on the family and the husband – but in another season – we’ll focus on the workplace or a type of ministry.
Surely Lemuel’s mother understood how we women need to set boundaries around our hearts and our lives so that no one takes us for granted and we don’t find ourselves stressed out emotionally, physically or spiritually.
What if Lemuel’s mother told him the following:
“Listen, son – pay attention to the women you’re dating. A woman of noble character is worth more than any amount of money.
“Look for a woman who knows what she’s good at and uses her talents and gifts well.
“Find a woman who either likes to cook or knows how to buy healthy pre-packaged stuff.
“A woman who can budget money well is valuable. She’ll help with the household monies and she might even buy herself some land.
“Hopefully, she’ll be a woman in good health, but if not – then be sure you help her out and you treat her with compassion.
“Support her gifts. If she likes to sew, buy her the best sewing machine. If she likes to knit or crochet, make sure she has the best yarns. If she likes clothes, give her a gift card to Saffee’s.
“A noble woman will research ways to be a better parent and wife, but she’ll also take care of herself. She’ll make sure she has friendships outside the home. Coffee with girlfriends is important.
“Listen when she talks, because women of character speak with wisdom.
“If she wants to work outside the home and even if she is gifted to be a leader – then let her do that. God has created her to use her gifts, so support her in them.
“Treat her with honor, cherish her all your life and be faithful to her. She’s obviously a fabulous woman.”
Maybe Lemuel’s mother was trying to make the point that women can do a variety of things, but WHO they are is most important.
So let’s not draw a box around ourselves and think we have to be superwomen or that we need to follow this Proverbs 31 woman to the land of stress.
Use the gifts you have and the time you have for whatever season you’re in right now.
For a humorous take on the Proverbs 32 man, check out this Facebook post by James Watkins:
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