Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Virtuous Woman

 "Who can find a virtuous wife?  For her worth is far above rubies."  Proverbs 31:10

The Proverbs 31 woman is like the Martha Stewart of the Bible.  Here is this woman who has all the giftings I don't and I'm supposed to be like her?!  You have probably already figured all of this out, but I am a slow learner.  I have spent years listening to teachings about this mystery woman who was presented to me, and other women, as the person we are to strive to emulate.  Proverbs 31:10-31 discusses an amazing wife, mother, seamstress, cook, entrepreneur, fit, frugal, humble, high achieving, perfect woman.   How could I ever do or be all those things?!  The image of this woman has been burned into my brain as what a true godly woman behaves like.  If I can somehow turn into Ma from Little House on the Prairie, perhaps I'll have a chance of reaching this level of virtue.  Perhaps if I become this woman my husband and children will be so pleased with the life I've created for them there will be little or no conflict and I might even be able to coax small animals to help with the house cleaning.  Perhaps this wasn't the intent of those who taught on this section of scripture, but it is a burden many mothers have allowed to be placed on their shoulders because of their sincere desire to follow Christ. 
Years ago I stopped buying parenting books.  Why?  Because I had a sort of "a ha" moment.  I had spent years as a young wife and mother pouring through books and trying to apply all sorts of new methods and ideas only to fail a few weeks or months later.  Then I moved on to the next "new" concept.  I finally realized these things weren't working for me because they weren't written for MY family.  Yes, I'd gleaned some good information from the numerous resources, but the reason each author was so excited about the program or chore schedule or organization plan they had created was because THEY had taken the time to investigate THEIR family and discovered would work for THEIR particular children. I had, mostly, figured this out in regards to my children, but I was still trying to be that Proverbs 31 woman.

Guess what?  I'm not her.  I am Annalisa Boyd, wife, mother, bread baker, author.  Does this mean I throw up my hands and stop trying to be a virtuous woman?  NO!  What I think is often missed with regards to the Proverbs 31 woman are the last two verses.

But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:30b-31

We are supposed to fear the Lord and reap the fruit we have planted in the life of the home.  I can't be a Proverbs 31 woman but I can be a 6701 woman (my house number).  I can humble myself and learn from my Lord what is needed in my home, with my husband, our children at this time in life.  I can be the expert on my family whether I'm ever a good cook, seamstress, entrepreneur, body builder or not.  

Let us lay down the preconceived ideas that burden us as caretakers of our homes.  Let us instead endeavor to be who Christ has called us to be as wives to the husband we have and mother to the children we've been blessed with.  If I'm an expert on someone else's child I accomplish nothing in my own home.  Let us fill our homes with joy as we take care of the work right in front of us. 

May the Lord be glorified.



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