Hear and respond to the call to lift up other women in your life and notice the characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman in each of us.
Ever get intimidated by the long list of “to-do’s” for the Proverbs 31 woman?
- She works with willing hands (v13)
- She brings her food from far away (v14)
- She rises while it is still night (v15)
- She provides food for her household (v15)
- She buys a field and plants a vineyard (v16)
- She makes her arms strong (v17)
- She has profitable merchandise (v18, 24)
- Her lamp does not go out at night (v18)
- She helps the poor and needy (v20)
- She makes her own clothes from fine linen (v22)
- She has wisdom and kindness (v26)
- She is not idle (v27)
- Her children and her husband are happy with praise (v28)
- She fears the LORD (v30)
Who can live up to that long list!?!
This sounds like a woman who’s got her act together and never misses a beat! That’s certainly not me. I have plenty of moments of idleness, sometimes my children eat cereal for dinner, wisdom and kindness are far from my lips, and my family is trying to avoid me rather than sing my praise! Anyone else???
This is why I am grateful to read Rachel Held Evans’ interpretation of these well-known and often quoted verses of the Bible.
Rather than a list of achievements necessary to be considered a woman of God, the Proverbs 31 scripture is more like a heroic poem, describing the exploits of a warrior.
What?? There’s no way I’m a warrior.
Eshet chayil is a Hebrew blessing that is not to be earned, but instead is freely given. So, GOD placed the heart of a warrior inside each of us women and the actions we take every day toward our purpose are simply the EVIDENCE of our blessing. The Proverbs 31 poem is, in fact, NOT a list of items that you and I must accomplish to achieve true womanhood, but is “drawing our attention to the often overlooked glory of the everyday.”
You mean the things we do everyday show that we are Women of Valor? YES!!
I propose that each of us take on the challenge of using this blessing to encourage one another.
In what ways can we lift up the other women in our life?
How are the characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman showing up in each of us?
To the brand new mom who is nursing, rocking, bathing, and changing her new 2 week old baby. She doesn’t have the time or energy to wash clothes or dishes. Her home is a bit untidy. But, she is fighting to learn the ways of mothering and connecting with her child. Woman of Valor!
To the business owner who has been the brunt of criticism, but stands with integrity and tries to make everything right. She’s not perfect, but stands up for her beliefs. You are a Woman of Valor!
To the mom who wakes up in the early, early morning and sacrifices sleep to teach children in China via webcams in order to allow her husband the freedom to find a job that honors his dignity and skill set. You are a Woman of Valor!
To the aunt who loves on her nieces and nephews with a special kind of care and attention. Sleepovers, ice cream dates, trips to the playground. You are a Woman of Valor!
If you’re reading this, let me take this moment to tell you. I see you. I see the little actions you take every day to care for the ones you love.
YOU ARE A WOMAN OF VALOR!
So, go ahead, and do as Rachel encourages:
“Take risks. Work hard. Make mistakes. Get up the next morning.
And surround yourself with people who will cheer you on.”