Just thought I’d share an article that I wrote in April 2011, for someone starting a magazine. Hope you enjoy.
She is worth far more than rubies. She works with eager hands. She gets up while it is still dark. She opens her arms to the poor. She speaks with wisdom. Her children rise up and call her blessed. I could go on and on with the accolades. Of course, I am speaking of none other than the virtuous woman so highly regarded in Proverb s 31.
If she were alive today, I imagine she would look at me with glasses perched on the end of her nose, head tilted down, one eyebrow raised and shaking her head sadly as she looks at me with disdain because I drag out of bed in the mornings, and would love nothing more than to sleep until the sun comes up. My eager hands desire nothing more than to click the remote as I complete my work week and slump on the couch. As I attempt to write this article, my eight year old son comes in and demands that I take him to Toys R Us to buy him a new Woody and Buzz, and is only giving me five minutes to finish it. I don’t speak to him with wisdom, but tell him to get out of the office and leave me alone. I guess he won’t be calling me blessed any time soon.
Ah, the perils of the twenty-first century wife and mother. What is one to do, and how could I ever measure up to the virtuous woman. Here in lies the dilemma. How do we bridge the gap between the saint of a woman described in Proverbs with the demands of life in the twenty-first century? To be honest, no one can match up to the virtuous woman. I get a headache and want to crawl under the covers just thinking about her. But let’s put this into perspective.
The Proverbs 31 wife is a poem that the Hebrews memorized. Each verse starts with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet from beginning to end, it is thought to help them memorize it. Personally, I lean toward a favorite statement of New Yorkers…”ah forget about it!”
This poem has caused fear and heartache in Christian wives for years in that it was held out in front of them like a carrot to be grasped, but something you would never attain or get hold of. It was always out of reach. When you think you had one attribute down, you would realize there was something else you needed to do. In the end, you felt like a failure of a wife and mother, as the church mothers looked down on you and beat you over the head with the scripture.
I would like for you to do me a favor…take a deep breath…now let it out. Relax. If you need to do it again, that is fine too. I need to let you in on a secret, one that isn’t told to us. I finally read the entire poem. Trust me, it’s a hard read, because as I read it, I felt more and more like a failure, until I got to the end. Verse thirty reads “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Wow, it hit me like a ton of bricks. A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
I can do all of these righteous acts, and righteous acts they are, but when I fear the Lord, that is where my true accolades come from. When I follow Gods commandments for my life, my ultimate praise comes from Him. I don’t and you don’t have to attain to something that is not possible to reach. When I follow God’s commands, I am a good wife, because I will love my husband the way God has commanded. I will be the mother that God says I should be. I will be the good wife as stated in Proverbs 18:22, which says; “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” And that is where the true praise comes from. So, relax, that’s what I’m going to do.
Just one more note, my son has a dry erase board and he wrote me a letter on it that says and I quote, just as he spelled it: “Dear Mommy, you’re the gratest, you’re osom, you are intelligent, you are a mite woman of God, I love you Mom.”
I guess I’m not so bad after all, as I stick out my tongue to the Proverbs 31 woman.