Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Women: Friend or Foe?

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I recently began a bible study with four other women on Proverbs 31. We are using the Good Morning Girls study guide along with Courtney from Women Living Well's e-book The Proverbs 31 Women: One Virtue at a Time.

I have to admit that before this study I did not know very much about Proverbs 31 other than it was supposed to be some sort of model for Godly women. I quickly discovered that there is actually a lot of mixed feelings about Proverbs 31. Some people can't stand it because the woman that is portrayed is impossible to compete with while others love her example and do whatever they can to model themselves after her. I think I am somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. I don't despise her but I do think some people take it a bit too far and place her on a pedestal. That being said, I do believe that there are a lot of good things we can learn from this passage and I am glad to say that I have been doing just that! Here is a bit of what I have been learning so far...

We are on week four of the study which has brought us up to verse 16. The P31 women as I like to call her, is introduced in verse 10.

Proverbs 31:10-16
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and she works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earning she plants a vineyard.  

Now, I don't intend to take this passage literally in the sense that I don't go out to buy wool, I don't go very far to get my food, I certainly don't have servants and I don't think I'll be buying a field to plant a vineyard anytime soon nor do I think someone who does is somehow better than everyone else. However, if you read between the lines a bit there are plenty of applicable points in this passage. Even if you are unmarried you can gain some insight into how to be a Godly women especially if you hope to be married one day. So let's look at what this means for women today...
  • First we see that she is of noble character and because of this she is rare and precious.
  • Her husband has confidence in her. He trusts her and knows she is capable. 
  • She always seeks to bring good to her husband. 
  • She is a diligent worker, not a slacker. 
  • She takes care in bringing good food for her family. 
  • She gets up early to begin caring for her family. 
  • She is not prone to rash decisions, but takes time to consider her options first. I imagine she would spend time in prayer about it.
  • She has money saved to purchase that which will bring good to her family.
How would your life be different if you started trying to be more like that? What if you decided you didn't want to be like every other woman you see on TV, but one who has true value? How much more precious would you be to your family if you took the time to prepare good meals and worked hard with a thankful heart and eager hands instead of putting things together at the last minute with a bitter spirit? How much more could you accomplish if you got up a little earlier in the morning? How much more confidence would your husband have in you if he knew that you could depend on you not to make quick decisions especially in regard to how you spend money? How much more fruitful would your life be if you actually spent time alone with God in prayer? Sure these are some tough questions, all of which I have had to ask myself. What we have to realize is that we cannot change ourselves instantly. It is a daily process of surrendering to the Lord and it is not easy but it is worth it.

So why do I want to be like the Proverbs 31 woman? Because she is beautiful inside and out. She is precious and valuable especially to her family. She is well respected and does her work with a joyful attitude. She is not selfish but does what she can to bless others. The following adjectives describe her well, all things I hope to be...
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So yes, I want to strive to be like the P31 woman, how about you!?

         Ashley :-)

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  1. It is a great study! I am loving it! Visiting from the GMG's Wednesday link up!