Do you ever get that sinking feeling of not measuring up to other women?
Have you read Proverbs 31 and felt hopeless because there is no way you could ever be her? Have you ever felt frustrated or angry with God for giving us such incredibly high standards to live up to?
Me too, girl.
I remember when I first read this chapter years ago. I was bewildered at how much that woman had on her plate, and yet maintained an air of grace and humility. I went straight to thinking, “There is no way I could ever be her.”
On my busiest days, it’s a struggle to hold my tongue towards my husband, much less give thought to those less fortunate.
Thinking back on the rough patches Jesse and I have gone through, especially in our early years of marriage, I feel a special place in my heart for those women who would much rather skip that chapter than compare themselves to that woman.
As women, we are constantly battling the standards that society has placed upon our shoulders. But what does God’s word actually say about what it means to be a godly, virtuous woman with honorable character?
When you dive into studying the Proverbs 31 woman and how she lived her life, you find that it’s actually a chapter of celebration not comparison.
The call on our lives is a specific call given to us from God. We are not intended to be just like the Proverbs 31 woman, we are intended to be just like Jesus.
So becoming like the Proverbs 31 woman is not a matter of checking off a list of accomplishments to obtain perfection or what we deem as this incredible woman.
It is to see in her the life and the love of God. It is studying the virtues described and living a life where those virtues are evident. Not only to ourselves and our families, but to those outside of our worlds as well.
The REAL Proverbs 31 woman is a woman of virtue and character. It’s not about doing and going and checking off to do lists. It is about becoming like the Lord. And that is only done by and through God’s grace, not by exhausting ourselves through endless striving.
Worldly pursuits will wear you out, girl. Worldly pursuits to have the perfect appearance, perfect marriage, and to have it all together will only exhaust you. But a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.
Let us chase after His heart.
“Who can find a virtuous wife for her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her, so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not harm all the days of her life.”
The Proverbs 31 woman lives in such a way that her husband trusts in her. Trust plays into a variety of areas within any relationship. Faithfulness, finances, speaking well of one another, intentionality, listening, supporting, and letting your yes be yes.
Matthew 5:37 says “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’, ‘no’. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
When someone declares a promise or an oath, they are undermining their own word by giving that promise or oath. They are implying that what you have said in the past may not have been as accurate. Oaths vocalize that you may be giving half truths or little white lies.
As women who live in the love of God, but ALSO the fear of God, we should be mindful about being honest in what we say and in what we do, even in the little things.
I had a boyfriend when I was younger and he was a worship leader. I was a baby Christian and he was very good at manipulation. He made me feel like it was all a game I had to win and that I had to measure up. If I measured up then we would get married. (Which I’m thankful never happened.)
I had been fighting for this guy to give me the type of attention I felt I needed. He had said a lot of things like, “I don’t know if God has called you to be my wife, but I’m so drawn to you”.
One night he invited me over to his place very late. My first thought was “he’s a worship leader, he’s not going to do anything, but he’s going to give me the attention I’ve been craving.”
I truly wanted to justify my sinful desire by saying “well, it’s okay because he’s in a position of power in the church.” It is SO easy to go there. It’s so easy to be drawn in by temptation.
Nothing happened, but I’m thankful for that experience because now I see situations that have risen in my life since then where a church pastor has reached out to me and my first thought is, “oh he’s a pastor and he just wants to talk”.
It could easily turn into confusion, but instead I can say, “no, I’ve been here. This is not a time to be naïve. This is not a time to play pretend. This is a time to be a faithful woman and follow what God has called me to.”
I want to call you up to that. In our workplaces and social media DM’s, in our own friendships we must treat every interaction cautiously. This is not to say, be legalistic and don’t have any friends.
I have male friends, but they are also my husband’s friends. I never text them without Jesse in the chat as well. This is just a precautionary thing that I think is wise. Jesse and I also have full access to one another’s phones, it’s just helpful. It’s trust.
And so bringing it back to the Proverbs 31 woman, it says she was trustworthy. So as we walk, we should be intentional and aware of what situations we are getting ourselves into.
We should be trustworthy, not only in our lives, but in our hearts and minds because God knows our true desires. Our motives in life matter. So if we live without secrets, we give our spouse reason to trust in us.
The Proverbs 31 woman also served her husband selflessly, not reserving any love or affection. She was warm to him. It says he honored and praised her out loud. How rare is that (unfortunately)? She honored him well and was worthy of praise.
I know that many of you are single and so preparing our hearts for the future is absolutely crucial. It helps us to keep our eyes on eternity, rather than on ourselves or a relationship that we’ve begun to idolize.
Whether you are single or married, you can begin preparing your heart for the future, so that we can grow up to mentor those in a season below us.
Ladies, I want you to focus on that verse, no matter what season you are in, and how it says “all the days of her life”.
Your life does not start when you get that career, your life does not start when you get married or have children. Though the world may tell us that, that is not biblical truth. Your life is NOW. You are in the moment. Stop wishing for something greater. Stop wishing for the next day.
Are you content? Are you seeking God’s heart right now in order to allow Him to prune and sanctify you to be the woman He’s called you to be, whether we ever have a husband or children or that dream job.
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