The iconic Proverbs 31 woman. You know, the one that has a doting husband and children who do everything they are told because they simply adore her. This must be what inspires her to get up at the crack of dawn, fashionably dressed while tending to her humble abode and joyfully serving a hearty breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls to her little darlings before heading out to work her multiple jobs. Of course, she still makes plenty of time to lend a helping hand at her favorite local charity and cheerfully drops off donations, supplies, and toys at the animal shelter, then chooses to adopt that lonesome beagle with the sad puppy eyes. She is known by all for her tenacity, diligence, loyal heart, kindness, graciousness, etc. Of course, her faith is an interweaving force that drives her, and her precious family gives her complete, uninterrupted time to peacefully dig wholeheartedly into His Word.
Phew! This is our depiction of a biblical "virtuous" woman and the one we all attain to be. Her selfless acts, hard-working spirit, and humble heart are often lovingly discussed in the women's ministry. Her attributes are often slathered across coffee mugs and t-shirts, and countless devotionals have been written about her. She is well-known in practically every Christian circle and admired by many.
I'll admit, this praiseworthy and faithful woman is quite impressive and has a pretty nice track record, but the truth of the matter is - she doesn't exist. In short, the Proverbs 31 woman merely depicts a faithfully devoted woman who enjoys serving the Lord by loving those around her with a fierce passion. And, while she may be a shining example to live by, what we don't see in this Proverbs is much room for space and lots (and lots) of grace – a.k.a. human error, brought on by sin.
Let me just clarify and say that if the Proverbs 31 woman was an actual real woman, you can bet she would struggle with the same issues we all face. She'd more than likely grow frustrated (and have a few choice words) when her husband stepped in the house with muddy boots on her freshly mopped floor. She would probably battle with bouts of anger when her precious children didn't act so precious, and she'd feel discouraged when her clothes didn't fit, making sweatpants her ultimate go-to "modest" outfit. Yet, God would have still met with her in each and every one of those moments, extending His mercy and grace because that's what He does!
Sweet sis, being a Proverbs 31 woman isn't about being faithfully perfect; it's about placing our trust in the only One that gives us our identity as women and tucks within our hearts a precious purpose. So, take heart, and together, let's discover some ways to become a little like the Proverbs 31 woman while also embracing the gift of God's grace.
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