The past few days, I’ve been frustrated with this woman. You’ve probably read about her countless times. People turn to her example, frame her description on the wall. Maybe you’ve heard of her… the worthy woman praised in Proverbs 31.
And just maybe you’re a little fed up with her, too.
Sometimes I get this idea that God is towering above me, pointing to these verses saying “Look, I’ve set the standard. All these other women are getting it. But you, you are failing, miserably I might add.” I see so many ways I don’t meet the criteria.
And then internal bully me is all like “Yeah, remember how pretty Annie looked the other day, all the men in the room couldn’t take their eyes off of her” and “Kim is so sweet. I bet she never raises her voice at her kids” and “Jasmine serves every week and meal plans–bam!” and, well, the list goes on and on.
In my deepest of hearts some days I have thought that I would rather not even be involved in the lives of my family than have them be around me, that I should give up my life with them rather than transmit the painful aspects of myself onto them.
And then God shows me how selfish I am.
I heard a poignant message on submission this week. The speaker reminded wives that God has called on the husband to be as Christ is to the church–to give up his life for her. God has tasked the wife with submitting her will to the one who is willing to die for her. I want to take over and decide what is best. I want to fix it… but I can’t.
God’s not asking me to “die” to my family–He’s asking me to die to my will.
We tend to focus on what the worthy woman does, what others say about her. She seems large and in charge. However, Proverbs 31:30 shows us the worthy woman’s main defining quality:
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
The truth is when we try to be the worthy woman without submitting to God–without Jesus–we can’t do it. Oh sure, we may present the appearance but if our hearts are far from God then all of our struggle and strife is meaningless. We are a poor substitute for His love.
Let it be said of us that we are Proverbs 31 women not because of all that we do well, but because of our submission to God.
When we find ourselves plucked and left behind, when life has crushed our hope and we’ve messed up in more ways than we want to remember, God allows us the grace to be broken like the woman weeping at Jesus’ feet (see Luke). And He wants us to let that grace flow from us.
He’s the only one who can love you when you pour out your sins at His feet.
Jesus is the only one who accept your extravagant offering.
He’s the only one who can say, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”