Mentoring

Cookie Cutter Image Of The Proverbs 31 Woman

More and more women are rising to prominent leadership roles not only in the corporate world but also in churches and para-church organizations all over the planet. Many of these women are ministering to and leading only women. While some are leading groups of men. Whether you agree with a woman in a leadership or ministerial roles is not up for debate at this point. I am merely stating the facts. With what I have seen in numerous ministry circles over the last fifteen years of my life, I am convinced that there are many routes to choose. I am not so closed minded to think that all mothers should stay home.  I will not pass judgment on a family who chooses to take a route that I might not have taken or even considered when it comes to raising children. Why? Because I am not in their shoes. I don’t know their family. I don’t know their situation.  And quite frankly, I’m a poor judge.   Some believe that women are to be the caretakers of the children and forsake careers. There are those who believe that you should stay home with your children until they go to school and then pursue your interests. Still others believe that you can have it all…family, career, friends, ministry, you name it. Let’s discuss Proverbs 31, shall we? This Wife Of Noble Character from Proverbs 31 does many things: works with her hands, rises early, prepares food for her family, purchases land, gardens, works vigorously, trades items, and helps the poor and needy. She is also quite the seamstress and is finely dressed. She is an instructor, gives sage counsel, and rarely sits down. And with all of those tasks on her plate, she can just laugh and laugh and laugh at the days to come. How you ladies feelin’ right now? Me, too. So, if these are the noble qualities we are to strive for, what happens when those aren’t exhibited in our lives? Because I don’t purchase land or make clothes for my family or wear the finest linens. No, no. There are days, many of them, where I don’t even put on an ounce of make-up. In fact, if the clothes I wear the day before didn’t really get dirty because, say, I DIDN’T ACTUALLY LEAVE MY HOUSE, I might just put them on again. Just to be frugal and not run the dad gum washing machine so much, you understand. What about the woman who isn’t married? She’s not a wife. How can she clothe children she doesn’t have? And the woman who can’t have children, or better yet, doesn’t desire to be a mother, is she out of luck? How about the family where the husband LOVES to cook and the wife doesn’t? And honestly, not all women like to garden. Tis true. Why do we think that women should only serve in the church nursery or sit behind an organ? Those are mighty fine areas of service and extremely valuable, but there are plenty of other places for women to minister. Please don’t misunderstand my intent behind writing this post.  I am not mocking this passage in any way.  I love the Word of God.  I am confident that it is not in the Bible by accident. All of this to say. Be you. Be the remarkable, godly, amazing woman, or man, God has created you to be.  Whoever that is. The Creator of the universe made sure that the sun was a certain distance from the earth so that we would not burn up. I am quite certain that He did not make a mistake with you. Be you.

27 thoughts on “Cookie Cutter Image Of The Proverbs 31 Woman”

  1. it’s easy for me to get discouraged reading about the “wife of noble character” – because according to that description, i don’t match up very well. according to pretty much any description, i don’t match up very well, but particularly one that calls me to garden, and cook, and work the land.

    uhhh… nope. not me.

    but i sometimes make french toast for dinner after a long day of ministry… i’m sure that counts for something, even if it’s not in proverbs 31!

  2. I always feel better when I read the part in Proverbs 31 about how she gives portions to her servant girls. Servant girls?? Maybe I could get more done if I had some servant girls!! In the meantime, I’ll just be me and do what I can. 🙂

  3. I am so glad that I can just be me because I fail miserably at the standard set forth in Proverbs 31. All ways have and probably always will.

    Love ya’

  4. Well said, girl!

    The P31 woman is a culmination of all the things Solomon saw his mother do over her entire lifetime, not a single day (or even a week, month, or year), thank God. I try to remember this when I’m pulled in different directions.

    There are times when I write like crazy; dust accumulates like snowfall in my house, dog-hair tumbleweeds reign, and we eat simple meals.

    Then there are times my writing work takes a back seat and I pull it all together on the home front. Home-made beef stew, freshly baked yeast rolls from scratch, and sparkling floors and toilets. Ahhhhh! LOL

    I think it’s all about balance. And following the Holy Spirit. And doing the best we can with the time and gifts we have.

  5. You know, it’s funny because recently I read that passage and noted all of the things the Proverbs 31 women did and how there was no way I could ever do certain ones. Like making clothes for her household. Even if I did, there’s no way my family would ever want to be seen in them. I hate sewing, and quite frankly can’t sew…..lol.

    Thank you. I totally get it now. I feel better knowing I don’t have to be it all to be a godly woman. 🙂

  6. Haven’t never spent a lot of time studying this passage, a thought just flitted through my mind:

    Perhaps this is a picture of women, and not a woman.

    We can’t do all things, but we can and should do the things we are supposed to do. We have different gifts and talents, strengths and passions, and it is okay that we do not do what others do.

    So, perhaps the Proverbs 31 “woman” is a picture of many of the things women may do… not a list of things women should do.

    That makes sense to me, especially considering this is Proverbs–a collection of wise sayings to be considered, not a “how-to” manual for being a woman.

    My lengthy two cents.

    ~Luke

  7. I am blown away… simply blown away….

    I haven’t lost identity because of my life circumstances

    I am remarkable eventhough that means I am in full-time ministry leading men/women, even if that means I am the full time bread winner for my home, wife, mom, and mentor.

    I am remarkable what a good feelin

    just sayin 🙂

    Thank you Cindy… love ya girl!!

    .

  8. Thanks for the encouragement 🙂 For when I sew garments for my family, I’m usually in my p.j.’s (sometimes at 2 in the afternoon, sometimes 2 am), not “finely dressed”…and it’s really hard to “rise early” after that stint. But I DO fix food for my family and I laugh ALOT.
    So ‘s all good.

  9. Not to challenge Cindy’s post…as I have enjoyed many of them. I will try to elaborate this in the near future…I will put out a disclaimer that I am not saying that biblical women equal women who cook, clean, take care of her husband and the kids.

    I personally think that we mix too much political correctness, women’s lib, modern “American” culture into the bible just to fit it into our current lifestyle.

  10. Yonas, since you feel that too much “political correctness, women’s lib and modern American culture” are mixed in to the Bible, do share what you think a Godly woman is/does?

  11. i want to live in your brain. really. uh-huh.

    like was said above, these qualities spanned over a lifetime. the picture painted is of a superwoman that seems to imply to us, or we presume, we are to be all of that NOW. but im with you cindy girl, just be me. just…be.

  12. Thanks Cindy! As a pastor’s wife, there are times I felt that I had to be everything in Prov. 31. because others were watching me. I learned several years ago I could be me!

  13. Oh, how I’ve struggled with the “cookie cutter” image especially in the realm of my Christian womanhood…interesting that Christ came to set us free yet I can sooo struggle with that particular bondage. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom, insight and encouragement…off to just being me. 🙂 Praise His Name.

  14. oh wow how this was like a weight off my heart. Sometimes, well….frequently, I say “I have a love/hate relationship with that Proverbs 31 woman!” But to see the way you put it, and to think of women without families of their own, really makes me think about it a different way. And I don’t like to garden. Or make clothes. Or teach my kids. Even though I thought I wanted to homeschool, until recently.

    This was good stuff.

  15. Oh sister…
    You think like me…and I’m not sure if that is a good thing for you or not;)
    BUT THIS….it confirms it:)

    In fact, if the clothes I wear the day before didn’t really get dirty because, say, I DIDN’T ACTUALLY LEAVE MY HOUSE, I might just put them on again.

    Wonderfully said…Being ME…and I don’t sew:)
    loved it…
    lori

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