This week, we began reading The Proverbs 31 Woman: One Virtue at a Time by Courtney Joseph at Women Living Well. If you’re just joining us, during the month of April we’ll be reading 6 sections (only 1-2 pages each) every week.
Is the Proverbs 31 Woman For Real?
I like that Courtney begins this e-book with the answer to the question most of us have asked ourselves when reading this particular passage of the Bible – “Is she for real?!” I’m sure some of you were as relieved as I was when I read Courtney’s answer: “not exactly.” I think that part of the reason I find this book so relatable is that she is honest about the fact that the idea of the Proverbs 31 Woman can be overwhelming, but as Courtney points out, it doesn’t have to be that way. By going through this passage one verse at a time, she shows us that we – broken and sinners that we are – can reach what seems to be an impossible goal because with God’s help NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!!
How to be a Treasure to Your Husband
Do you feel like a treasure, Ladies? I certainly don’t. Yet that’s what we are called to be. So how do we go about making the change from our broken and imperfect selves to being worth far more than rubies? According to Courtney, when we humble ourselves and go to God with willingness to change, He can transform us into a wife of noble character. Does anyone else find that reassuring? We don’t have to this on our own! God will make the change in us as long as we let Him work on our flawed and sinful nature.
Does Your Husband Trust You?
The first time I read this book – over a year ago – my gut reaction to that question was “Well, Duh!” As I read a little deeper, my answer changed a bit though. In her description of a “trustworthy wife” Courtney gives us her interpretation of what she thinks gives our husbands full confidence in us – as the scripture says. Let’s look at those a little closer:
Money – I do pretty well here.
Children – We don’t have any yet, but I’m pretty sure Taylor will trust me with our kids.
Home – Most days I would consider our home “orderly.”
Reputation – Hmmm…we might have a problem with that one.
Faithfulness – OK, doing well again.
Emotions – Ouch…Does that one hit home with anyone else? I’ve been known to let my emotions explode when under pressure.
Choices – Urgent situations? See previous answer.
Let’s do the math: 4 out of 7 – doesn’t sound too bad right? If I had been graded on this last year, I would have received an F. Here’s some encouragement for those of you who are in the same boat now: if I were to reevaluate myself today, I’d have bumped my grade up to a B! (I’ll let you do the math if you wish.) This is something I really took to heart and worked to improve, and I know you can too!
A Woman of Action
Courtney says that the “good” that the Proverbs 31 Woman brings to her husband is a fruit of the spirit. This means that in order to work on this area of our marriage, we must first go to God. We are given an illustration of a woman who does not bring good to her husband in the story of Adam and Eve. (Yes, Adam messed up too, but Eve was far from innocent in the matter.) For an example of how we can bring good to our husbands, I think we can simply look to the next section of this book.
Working with Eager Hands
When you read this did you think “Eager hands – I’ve got those.”? I definitely didn’t! I found the advice that followed to be very helpful. For me it really was all about a change in perspective and realizing that by serving my hubby, I was also serving the Lord. Even though there are days that I don’t feel so eager to serve my imperfect husband, if I keep my focus on serving God, who is perfect and showers me with blessings daily, it makes those mundane chores a bit easier to get through with a better attitude. By no means does this mean that I’ve found the secret to enjoying all of my housework – I will always hate to vacuum – it does however mean that I don’t feel resentful when I’m vacuuming the dog’s hair off my rugs for the fifth time this month.
Shop to the Glory of God
Finally, something I can actually relate to! The Proverbs 31 Woman likes to shop? I like to shop! Check that box and move on, right? Unfortunately it goes a bit deeper than that. I like how she phrases this – “shop to the glory of God.” Just like everything in life, we can do this in many different ways. I think the important thing is that we strive to honor God in everything we do, including shopping. We can honor God by buying our families the best food, clothes, etc. that we can, and not breaking the bank while we’re doing it. Do I think that means we should all start eating nothing but organic food and become crazy coupon ladies? No. (But if that works for you, then by all means go for it!)
Wow, that was a lot to take in! Is anyone else feeling a little inadequate as a wife? I did too the first time I read this, but that’s not the intention. Just the fact that you are reading this means that you are looking for ways that you can do better. You deserve a pat on the back just for that! We will never be perfect wives, but if we seek to improve a little each day, I think we can become darn good wives. With that in mind, my challenge for you this week is two-fold.
First, review what we just read and find an area that you are doing well in – I know there is one! If you’re really feeling unsure, ask your hubby. I’m sure he’ll be willing to sing your praises in at least one of these areas. I want you to think about this as you strive to improve other things. I don’t want you to feel like you can’t measure up because you can and you do.
Second, find an area that you’re struggling with, and bring it to God in prayer. If you feel like you need some extra encouragement, please let me know. I’d love to pray for you too! Then get to work practicing this new behavior. I encourage you to write down the verse that you’re focusing on and put it in a place that you will see it often.
And don’t forget to start reading pages 12-23 for next week!
Until next week – God Bless!