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Unlike the other women I’ve highlighted – there isn’t much evidence that the woman talked about in Proverbs 31 is an actual person. She is an ideal. Which sounds super intimidating, and unattainable, but it’s not.
She’s not a doormat. She’s not just there for her husband’s pleasure. She’s not just there to raise kids. She’s a beast. That’s what she is.
Here’s the actual text:
10A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Okay, you are right – that is all pretty overwhelming.
But do you know what I realize after I read that? That our society has it all wrong about what women are “supposed” to be doing. I mean, currently thoughts on women’s issues are shifting – but I can’t be the only one who was raised to think that a woman’s place was in the home.
We all were, right? Because that’s the idea we are all fighting against. It’s so embedded in us that we have to convince ourselves it’s okay to want more than just being a mom.
I don’t know about you, but when my kids were little, I felt a great deal of guilt any time I was doing something other than just spending time with them.
But the ideal was never sitting at home and playing with your kids. Nowhere in those verses does it say she was idle. Or that she spent her days watching her kids be kids.
She was working, from before the sun came up til long after it had gone down.
She didn’t ignore the needs of her family – but she did her own thing too.
She’s buying wool, spinning it, making clothes and selling them. She buys land and plants a vineyard. She volunteers to help in her community.
She’s too busy getting her own stuff done to worry about what anyone else is doing, or what they think.
She gets up every morning and gets after it.
That is the goal. Get up, get your stuff done, take care of your family & your community and your home and do it all with all you’ve got.
Don’t let that ideal overwhelm you – let it drive you to doing more and being more, because that’s what God wants for you.