Recently I saw a blog entitled "Seeking to be a Proverbs 31 Woman." My initial thought was "Bless her little heart." Then I remembered those early Mother's Days when this Proverb always seemed to be the topic of the sermon. I can't recall one single message, but I do remember how I struggled with a feeling of inadequacy, knowing I could never live up to this high standard. Shucks, I was doing well if I just got the laundry done and folded and put up and maybe one meal on the table every day. How could I ever possibly be as industrious, as productive, as godly, as perfect as Mrs. Proverbs? With two toddlers it just wasn't happening!
Okay, I haven't bought a field or planted a vineyard, or dressed my family in scarlet. But, I did keep my children clean and healthy and loved abundantly. I made my daughter's clothes out of the best fabric I could afford until she finally informed me she was ready for something with a label in the neck. At one period, I planted a garden and reaped what little harvest there was. I made fresh bread for my adoring family on a weekly basis. I played ball with my son, baby dolls with my daughter, and mowed the yard with my husband. I taught Sunday School and sang in the choir. Through the years the Lord put me into positions of authority and greater responsibilities outside the home so that I was able to help support our family.
But, do you think Mrs. Proverbs would pat me on the back and say, "Well done my child, you have lived up to my example and perhaps even excelled?" I don't think so. I think she would say, "Libby, did you do all these things 'in delight'? Did you do them for the Glory of God?"
I'm afraid I would have to shamefully answer, "No" to those questions. My striving for significance and meaning by performing the acts I thought were expected of me were not always done in delight or for God's Glory.
Donna Morley, in her book "A Woman of Significance" writes this as a statement from Mrs. Proverbs that I like:
"I suggest that they (the contemporary lady) live life at the bottom. The bottom is the place of humility...It's a place that saints of the past have occupied, where great rewards are found. Those who live at the bottom come to discover that it's really living life at the top.
"It is important that each woman realize that God has given her a specific personality, talents, and giftedness...a unique beauty...that can be used to fit into His plan and accomplish His will. Real change...and real significance comes from the inside out."The beautiful, significant, special lady seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these (other) things will be added to her.
I admire the young mother and wife who challenges herself to be the Proverbs woman before her family and community. Oh that more women would have this desire. As for me at this "Senior" time of my life, this should still be a desire of my heart; to strive to be the woman God would have me be, willing to live at the bottom in order that I might live life at the top.