So I started writing a post about the Proverbs 31 woman. You all know the lady- she’s that unseen, quiet guest at each Mother’s Day banquet in the church. She’s the non-topic for the main speaker at any Ladies Day event at the church. She’s the shadow among us when a group of us Christian women get together. But mostly, she the ideal that we all feel as though we fall slightly short of attaining. Some of us, cough…me…cough, fall shorter than most.
And I’m okay with that. You know why? There is a little God nugget tucked into that passage. Proverbs 31:30 says it all. “…but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” According to bibletruth.org, “The Hebrew word is “yir’ a” and means an “emotional reaction, terror, or to be afraid, and to have reverence for God, a deep respect.” Praise God! I can live with that. I can hang my hat on that. A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised! Yes!
I started wondering why that gem of a verse might be linked with such a picture of perfection. And it dawned on me: God cares about the heart. He cares about the heart-issue. He cares more about our relationship with Him. I know that because of the word “but” in that verse. Meaning “yes, a woman can have all of these qualities and be a woman of noble character, BUT a woman who fears the LORD is the be praised.” I love the “buts” of the Bible.
I might not be the best housekeeper. I might struggle with certain motherhood issues, wife issues, woman issues, me issues. I might not ever get it all together. I might not be the best sewer. <– I’m totally not the best sewer. <– and that word keeps looking like sewer- like the nasty place below the roads where rats and waste live.
I might not be the best anything. But I am so totally in love with Jesus and have such a reverential awe for my LORD that nothing else matters. I want to shout it from the rooftops that HE is my Redeemer. He is my Salvation. In HIM, I have hope. Joy. Peace. Love. In HIM. And my awe of Him supersedes anything else here on this earth.
I might let a stray negative word fly off my tongue. I might let a day go by when I don’t fix my kids a nutritious lunch. Honestly, I let quite a few days go by when lunch is “catch as catch can.” I might find myself eating from the bread of idleness. Because I’m human. I’m flawed. And I’m real. But I love my God. And I am in awe of my LORD. He picks me up, dusts me off, gently pats me on the back, and whispers, “Try again, my daughter.”
Due to His love, mercy, and grace, I don’t feel condemned. I am loved.
So, the ideal, perfect Proverbs 31 woman can release her hold on me. I’ve given myself to the Lord and whatever HE has for me in this life is what I’ll do. I may never buy a field and plant grape vines in it- verse 16. I highly doubt I’ll ever select wool and flax and work with it- verse 13. But I will hold fast to the truth in Proverbs 31:30 that reminds me, encourages me, and makes me look at life through the lens of God. Not through the lens of man. Not through the lens of myself. But through HIS lens. And His lens brings into focus that having a reverential awe of Him is a quality to be praised for.
Thank you Lord.