“Her children rise up and bless her. Her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:28 (NASB)
How many times have you read those words, and the other 20 verses surrounding it, and longed to see these beautiful attributes flow effortlessly from your life? I know I have personally spent many hours reading this passage over and over, trying to determine what exact steps I should take to be the perfect Proverbs 31 woman. And, believe me, my list was daunting.
Then one day, God used someone in my life to speak the most freeing truth to my heart – and I knew it was time to stop trying to be the Proverbs 31 woman. It was time to finally become her once and for all. And today, that time has come for you too.
Accept Who You Are
This may seem like a contradictory thought to the one above, but you have to first accept who you are. As I made lists based on Proverbs 31:10-31, and tried to adapt it to the context of the 21st century, I was always falling short. And rather than be encouraged about my abilities as a wife and mom, I felt like I was lacking.
But, as you continue to better understand God’s grace, and realize more of who you are in Christ Jesus, you will see this lovely list in Proverbs from a different viewpoint. What has already begun to become clear in your mind about how God views you now, in light of grace, will clearly point to the fact that you already are the Proverbs 31 woman! Will you let yourself follow into this thought with me?
It’s Time to Take Up Your Rightful Identity
How can this be true? How can you already be this virtuous woman? A woman who does all of these bold things to care for her family, while at the same time supporting her husband appropriately so that he actually praises her? Let’s look at a verse 25.
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.” Prov. 31:25 (NASB)
Strength and dignity – two stunning and excellent qualities that God tells you are yours, through Jesus Christ. (Remember that we have “put on” Christ, this new life- another reference to being clothed with His qualities, in Colossians 3:10.) What would happen if you lived with your rightful strength? How would that transform your marriage? Your parenting? Your job? Your outreach? Your neighborhood? The possibilities are truly endless, wouldn’t you say? Let me say it again – you already have this beautifully magnificent strength because of the Life of Christ that lives in you! And dignity? Yes, you are perfectly dignified because of Christ… no matter what your past holds! Can you say “Amen!” to that?
“She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Prov. 31:26 (NASB)
In the same way, the wisdom that this verse describes is that of God. And kindness originates from the Father, does it not? If we are seated with Christ, at the right hand of God, then the outpouring of wisdom and kindness will most certainly flow out of us. That is the indwelling life of Christ evidenced in your speech. Imagine how believing that your words are already filled with kindness and wisdom would affect your daily communication toward your family and neighbors. Imagine the impact, the testimony, and the encouragement that would leave!
Walking Forward as the Proverbs 31 Woman – Once and For All
No need for more lists to check off. No need to try to find wool and flax, and figure out how to produce something handmade from them… unless of course you want to! No need to stress out if you don’t rise before the sun every day this week… or ever.
Instead, reread this section of Scripture with fresh eyes. Read these verses through the eyes of a woman who has grace. Read them with your true identity (Jesus Christ) firmly in place in your mind. Read these beautiful words that God has given us, and find joy, excitement, wonder, beauty, fulfillment, acceptance, and love in who God says you are, Dear Sister. You are the Proverbs 31 woman. You are an excellent wife/mom/daughter – because God has declared you so!