I was in quite the predicament. As a young wife and new mom, having just surrendered my life to Jesus after reading Genesis, I had no idea how to begin to walk out what the Lord had called me to.
What did a woman of God even look like? What did it even mean to live a godly and holy life in this fallen world, heck, in this fallen mind!?
Having been the first in my family to surrender to the Lord, I lacked examples of this lived out in my marriage and my parenting. And in that season I desperately needed those examples since I was new at both!
In my predicament, I turned to the pages of His Word for a tangible example of a woman who had walked before me. When I found her squarely in the middle of my Bible, at the end of the book of wisdom, I embraced her like the mentor she is and have sought to stay near to her since.
Mrs. P, as I came to affectionately call her, has been a personified example of a women who actually tends her life by the Word of God and lives that out. Many consider her unattainable or unrealistic or any version of that to let themselves off the hook of mimicking her example. But the fact remains that ALL of Scripture is God breathed and profitable for teaching, for reroof, for correction and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). So we can not discount Proverbs 31 any more than we can discount John 3:16.
We create our own predicaments in focusing on what this woman does. I have heard people say she didn’t do it all in one day, or in one season. When really there is no reason he wouldn’t have done “it all” in one day. The actual things she does are very fitting and appropriate and not outlandish for her time in history. We miss the focus when we zoom in on her doings and say “I can’t do that”.
The real focus and sparkling gem in this gloriously written last passage of Proverbs is the character with which she did it all. It’s not what she did, but how she did it that we are called to mimic. If you ask me, that is FAR more difficult to mimic than a daily trip to the market or rising before dawn!
How does this woman tend her life by God’s Word and thus give us the example of fruit bearing?
The key is braided right into those last verses of Proverbs 31. A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30b).
- She is a woman who fears the LORD. She does not then fear man, what others think of her or trying to be a people pleaser. She has a keen focus on her God and lives in such a way as to know Him well enough to live out what pleases Him, from her thoughts to her actions.
- She knows the covenant keeping God, Yahweh. By referring to Him as LORD in this passage we can see a glimpse into her relationship with Him. LORD in most English conservative translations denotes the Hebrew name of God, Yahweh. This is the name of covenant. God’s covenant promise to a man in intimacy and relationship. It is the name of God highlighted in Genesis 2 when man is mad. It is the the memorial name of God given to Moses for His people to bring them out of slavery. And it is the name of God that is emphasized in the meaning of the name of Jesus, Yahweh Saves.
Mrs. P knows her God, Yahweh, through a covenant relationship as His own. She lives this out as she bears much fruit in her live for His glory.
- She is praised for her relationship to Him. Those who seek praise often seek it for their own accomplishments and abilities. Posts of how picture perfect their life is or highlighting every joy-filled, godly moment in a public way only puts the spotlight on us and is praise-seeking.
A woman of God gets praise, rather than seeks it. Other praise not her, but God in her. Her need of God and her clinging to Him and how others see her lean on Him is what is praised by others.
Thus she, even in the daily predicament of a busy life inside and outside her home, bears much fruit in her own heart and mind and it is evident to others. Her secret is a life well tended by his Word.
So how can you and I, today, lay aside the people pleasing, know our covenant God, Yahweh, and thus let others offer praise to God’s work through us? How about we start right there in His life giving word?
I challenge you to read Proverbs 31:10-31 and take note of every description of her character and ask the Lord to begin to weave that into your own heart and mind, while I do the same.
Get to know God through His Word, like Mrs. P did. Drop your email below to get the PDF, Tools for Tending your Soul.
6 thoughts on “Praiseworthy in the Predicament”
I like this passage. We have to see His idea of perfection of perfection to have the grace to become like her.
yes, and honestly the only way for us to walk like Jesus is to be daily pressed into jesus through time in the Word, prayer and renewing our minds with it 🙂
what an important distinction – not what she did but how. Attitude really is everything!!
yes, attitude and character. The call is to have the character of Christ, not busy hands and an empty soul.
It’s been far too long since I’ve read Proverbs! Your words are encouraging as I have felt so inferior as a Christian woman, wife, and mom…that I have fallen so short in all three. Thank you for this post! 🙂
Mrs P was indeed a very inspirational woman! Thank you for this reminder.