When I was still single, whenever I read Proverbs 31 describing characteristics of a godly woman/wife/mother in front of God’s eyes, I felt very inspired, yet overwhelmed at the same time. How could I be so “perfect”? Fast forward years later, reading an article yesterday written by Jennifer Heeren “A Guide to True Beauty” from Crosswalk Devotional, I am even more overwhelmed…!
A virtuous wife is a treasure.
Her husband can trust her. He will have all he needs. She makes him look good all the days of her life.
She isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. She works. She seeks to have a home filled with a variety of foods. She often gets up when it is still dark to begin her day. Food abounds to her household.
She is business-minded and invests in things that profit her home.
She keeps herself healthy and strong for her everyday tasks. She perceives that her life and home are good.
She is content.
She speaks with kind and helpful words and seeks to help all the people around her, not just her family.
Her household can weather the vicissitudes of the journeys ahead.
She dresses with care and even flair. She makes herself attractive for her husband.
She helps him be the kind of man that others look up to and respect.
She keeps herself busy and clothes herself with dignity. She conducts herself as a child and disciple of God.
She rejoices for the future because she does the work of today. She speaks with wisdom and kindness. She guards her household and protects them with prayer.
Her children bless her and her husband praises her. They think she is the best of all women. She knows that charm can be deceitful. She is aware that outer beauty slips away along with the years but inner beauty grows with every wrinkle.
A lifetime of fruit will be evident when she stands in front of her great God.
Above is the free translation from the Proverbs 31, amazed? You might not expect the Bible would describe ‘women’s world’ with that kind of detail right. Reading the free translation ease me in understanding how my role as a wife and mother should be, if not also putting more pressure on me. Yes, I am working and business-minded (pretty much), do dress with care (or sometimes not :P), managing food abounds in my home especially for Aimee (as my hubby would be more flexible for late lunch or take aways).. but how about She often gets up when it is still dark to begin her day? (why waking up when Aimee’s crying in the middle of night already feel so difficult? or wake up earlier to read the Bible feel so heavy?) She perceives that her life and home are good? She is content? (hello, stop complaining and comparing myself with ‘the neighbors whose grass is greener’), She speaks with kind and helpful words and seeks to help all the people around her, not just her family? (instead of being rude, impolite, and only focusing on the greater wealthiness of my own family),
and personally with my husband, She makes him look good all the days of her life (instead of complaining about him to my best friend of how annoyed I am sometimes), He will have all he needs (sharing partner when I am not so stubborn?), They think she is the best of all women (will my husband and daughter say I am the one?)…
Lord, I am still far away from what You are willing me to be, but this article has inspired me a lot and I see that not as a burden, but more of God’s way in helping me to be more ‘perfect’ for my husband (and daughter). The article is also quite practical, it gives tips and more insights than I previously have known. I shall discuss it in the next entry 😉
For now, as Heeren also wrote, the qualities described in the Proverbs 31 are not a daily to-do list and don’t happen overnight. These qualities come to fruition gradually over a lifetime.
No one day will be perfect, nothing worthwhile will come easy, and not everything will go right all the time. With prayer and the Holy Spirit’s help, you can see more and more of these qualities in yourself. They grow as you seek to follow God, not when you follow a to-do list perfectly.
For single ladies, Heeren also gives this advice:
Even before marriage, you should act in ways that would bring respect to a future mate. Anything you do as a single can affect a marriage later on. When you are with your husband, you will discuss the past. Everyone, married or single, has a husband in Jesus and your life should respect Him, as well.
Hope the article and my sharing can bless you all today, as the Holy Spirit convicts your heart in the same way like He does to me 🙂