I don’t know about you but I am very intimidated by the Proverbs 31 woman! I’m tempted to skip that whole chapter and jump ahead to the “everything is vanity” theme of Ecclesiastes which is closer to where I actually live.
The other day I was asking the Lord why He would put such an unattainable example in the Bible that only makes women feel like failures in comparison. I felt like He said, “Because that is how I see her and that is how I see you. I see all of the good things you’ve ever done or will do and all of your sins are covered by my Son’s blood so I don’t see them.”
I suddenly understood that I should read that chapter from a proud and loving Parent’s perspective. For example, if my mother were to write a chapter describing me she would probably write, “My daughter, Lisa, is an amazing woman. She graduated high school as valedictorian, she’s a Grammy-nominated singer, a creative mother, an actress on a hit television series, a loving wife, she’s made millions of dollars, a ballet, tap and jazz dancer, a glider pilot, a talented musician, great cook, teaches multiple grades, keeps a beautiful home, her nails always look gorgeous, she sews her children’s clothes, keeps a record of their lives in scrapbooks, she’s up before dawn having her devotions, she wears designer clothes, and she is a record-setting race car driver.”
Now all of that is true but my mother would have left out quite a few pieces of significant information. For starters, I’ve done all of those things over the course of forty years; I don’t do them all now. She would have also left out many of my secrets that she alone knows that I would be terribly ashamed if anyone else knew. And there is even more to each story she has listed. Here’s a perspective from someone other than my own mother:
“Lisa is an amazing woman. (Some of the time.) She graduated high school as valedictorian, (there were three students in her graduating class,) she’s a Grammy-nominated singer, (who recorded each line of the song multiple times and the engineer pieced together a whole song that was on pitch,) a creative mother, (if you don’t count the yelling,) an actress on a hit television series, (who almost got fired for getting too fat,) a loving wife, (except for years 2-7,) she’s made millions of dollars, (and lost it all,) a ballet, tap and jazz dancer, (she was the worst one in her class,) a glider pilot, (who hasn’t flown since she got her license,) a talented musician, (she can play two songs on the guitar,) great cook, (she cooks two standard “company” meals well, ) teaches multiple grades at the same time, (with only one child in each class,) keeps a beautiful home, (with the help of a once-a-week housekeeper,) her nails always look gorgeous, (they are fake,) she sews her children’s clothes, (the sewing machine hasn’t been touched in years,) keeps a record of their lives in scrapbooks, (she’s three years behind,) she’s up before dawn having her devotions, (there was that week back in 1999 when she was up before dawn for a week straight,) she wears designer clothes, (that a wardrobe person picks out and she only wears while filming, )and she is a record-setting race car driver, (at a Malibu Grand Prix go kart track.)”
Now, both of these perspectives are true, it’s just one of them is being written through the loving eyes of a parent. I believe that is how God looks at us. He sees all the good we’ve ever done and can do in the future. He forgets our mistakes and focuses on our successes. From that perspective maybe we actually can be Proverbs 31 women.