When I lived in California I had a mentor/ friend who gave advice that was simple to say, but hard to follow. Just recently this friend, Janet, went to be with her heavenly Father in heaven. I know that she is with God because she did not only give this advice but lived it. She was a proverbs 31 woman and wanted me to be one too. That was her advice, “Be a proverbs 31 woman.” It was a simple, after reading the scripture I knew what she meant. You see proverbs 31 describes a strong, energetic, hard working woman who gets up early and stays awake working late.
For a while I have been saying, one day I’ll be that way, one day I’ll change into that. I had been saying that for more then a year; thinking I had all the time in the world to grow into kind of woman. However, when I heard that she had passed away from this life, I realized I did not have all the time in the world. No where in the Bible does it say to wait until you are ready to follow God. It may say wait on God’s timing, but I was waiting for my own timing.
Realizing that time is short and knowing that I wanted to live for God fully. I started to read Proverbs 31 over and over. I have read it in at least 3 different translations. As I have studied it, almost every day, I have realized I am finally starting to realize what it means and am becoming that type of woman.
I have posted the entire passage below, but there are a few verses that stuck out at me (these are from the ESV translation).
The first is only the first half of verse 15 which states, “She rises while it is yet night.” She is an early riser. I have not been too fond of this, but have been trying to wake up earlier and to my surprise it makes all the difference. I am not just waking up when I get to work, but already awake and ready to work. This allows me to be in a good mood for most of the day. I also realized that I have more time in the day. I can even write this blog right now, because I woke up early.
The second is “17 She dresses herself[b] with strength and makes her arms strong.” She is strong. In the NLT the same verse says “She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.” I sometimes feel society wants women to be girly and not strong. It always seems to surprise people when I don’t mind doing the hard work that takes muscle. I’ve never been a girly girl and thought that Christian women were suppose to be ‘lady’ like. Although, I have meant non-lady like Christian woman, who I love, I had thought that they were suppose to seem weaker. This is not exactly true though. We are suppose to be strong, hard working women. We should have a strong drive to work and help out physically.
The next verse that stood out to me was the second half of 18. “Her lamp does not go out at night.” This was easy for me and I was really happy to see this. I am a night owl and love staying up late. Of course it is harder to do when you remember verse 15 which says you should also rise early. Still this means more time for everything you want/ should be doing.
My favorite chunk of verses, the one I think sums the whole passage up is 25-26. “25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” A proverbs 31 woman is smart, dignified, kind and laughs. This paints a picture of happiness and contentment for me.
Studying this has begun to change my life. I can see the changes and feel them. I am taking charge with my writing and art work. I am working harder to be the woman God wants me to be, which is all that can be asked. I hope that by sharing this it will strengthen you and teach you that being a Biblical person is being strong, smart and awesome.
Here is the scripture I am referring to:
The Woman Who Fears the Lord
10 [a] An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself[b] with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[c]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.