Have you ever tried so hard to make things great for your family that you ended up frustrated, bitter, and snapping at every one of them? You know, something like, “Go away and be quiet, can’t you see that I’m trying to be a good mother?” Did you feel guilty because you could not be the person you were trying to be? Great news! The world of being a wife and mother is no different from the world of everything else we do. The guilt that we feel is legit because we’re guilty of trying to be a one woman show. We all, including the chick from Proverbs 31, need God’s grace to get the job done.
The first few times reading Proverbs 31… okay, well, truthfully, every time we read it from the start of our maturation up to the other day, we had very strong feelings about “her” (Proverbs 31). Feelings of anger, disgust, defeat and straight wonder… like who does this chick think she is?
Somewhere along the way we stopped seeing her as just one woman who isn’t us, but then started reading this chapter like an instruction manual or blueprint for how we were supposed to be. Once finally quiet enough and rid of predisposed judgment of this chick — Proverbs 31 (that we could never be or want to hang out with), revelation came, followed by understanding and peace. If we read these verses as a “how-to” manual, we will always fail. Always.
Let us introduce/or re-acquaint you with this chick – Proverbs 31 – so you will actually realize you know her way better than you think. Pay attention to the beginning verse where she is titled a “wife of noble character.” This passage describes a woman who “fears the Lord,” who “speaks with wisdom” and has “faithful instruction” on her tongue. She is a generous woman with a strong work ethic who does not get anxious about the future.
A woman cannot possess all of these characteristics together, apart from a daily walk with God. A great listing of the works that flow out of this character are also listed in this passage. It is a beautiful picture of what a husband will see in his wife when she fears the Lord and how beautiful she will look to him. (“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”)
Unfortunately, we tend to get this backwards most of the time. We say, “If you can do all of the things on this list, you will have become a wife of noble character.” If that wasn’t enough, we add a whole list of other requirements that we assume are included. After all, she is superwoman; if she works so hard, her house must be spotless and her family must be angelic, so we think. But let’s not try to add to God’s word and make it better.
God already did His good work with it. Following is a list of the 10 verses not found in Proverbs 31:
1. Her coffee table or ceiling fan never has dust on it.
2. Many have eaten off her kitchen floor.
3. Better Homes and Gardens just did a photo shoot in her living room.
4. She does all of the housework herself while the kids play Wii.
5. All of the words that flow from her children’s mouths are blessed.
6. All of her children are straight-A students, musical geniuses, and all-star athletes.
7. Her hair is always fixed perfectly and her make-up is artfully applied. Or…
8. She does not touch makeup or hairspray because it is vain and the art of Satan.
9. She never makes a bad decision.
10. She is classroom mom, PTO President, the bearer of orange slices at sporting games, and the church/community committee queen.
It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?
But you know that you have added at least a few of these things or very similar ones on your list. Here’s our advice. Drop the scrub brush and grab a Bible. Throughout it, there is one resounding message. And that is, outside and aside from your Creator, you can’t accomplish anything. All that you aspire to be in this life as a woman, wife, sister, friend and mommy is contingent upon your connection with God and your willingness to lose yourself in Him and His ways in order for you to become your best you.
Let Him give you His character, and you will have the one thing needed to carry out everything else. God’s ONLY repair instructions have always been to come into the fullness of His grace daily and let him perfect us.