I think the Proverbs 31 woman is the greatest heroine ever. To me, a great heroine doesn’t just make for good literature, though. She also inspires the reader to stretch herself to be more than she might think possible.
In light of Mother’s Day, I thought I might explain why the guidelines of this greatly loved woman inspire me, and maybe she might inspire you too. After all I think all of us mothers would consider our lives a success when our children arise and call us blessed.
So here I go:
First: “She is worth far more than rubies and her husband has full confidence in her… She brings him good not harm, all the days of her life.”
To me, having my husband’s trust and support in my decisions in running my home is better than any “Wine ‘n Dine” dinner out. Knowing I can rest in this brings us closer as a unit and demonstrates pure love to each other, but also to our children. The greatest teaching tool is modeling, and this kind of demonstrating can only show them what a marriage is supposed to look like…and not settle for anything less in their own lives.
Now I’m not saying this comes with rubies, although a little bling would be a nice surprise, but to be considered more worthy than something as precious as rubies would only increase my desire to bring good to the home, creating a wonderful, harmonious atmosphere…because we all know, when Momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy.
Next: “She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands…She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family…She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.”
I like these verses, and not because I’m a knitter and love to work with wool, although it sure does make me like her more. But this heroine of a woman is not afraid of hard work. In fact, it says she’s eager for it. She’s willing to lose some sleep for the benefit of her family, and even people who are in need of family. Even at the risk of dark circles and aging wrinkles.
In my childrens’ Art History class, we had to look at a picture of an old, ugly woman. We were given no information about her, but told to write down our first thoughts about her that came to mind.
My kids said, “Eewww.”
After I shook my head at them, I bit my tongue to hold back my disappointment and told them more about her.
Albrecht wanted to draw a picture of his beautiful mother. She was a woman he arose and called blessed and loved dearly. It is said that she continually prayed this blessing over her children, “Christ be with thee.” Albrecht grew to become the greatest artist in the history of Germany and one of the greatest in all of Europe. He had a mother who prayed for him. A mother who lived out Proverbs 31 for her family. However, when we take a look at the portrait he drew, we must honestly think…well, it may be a good drawing but it certainly is not pretty.
But that’s the thing with a Proverbs 31 woman, and why some of the most imperfect women can make the greatest heroines. We fall in love with their hearts. Samuel 16:7 says, “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
Now when we look at Albrecht’s drawing we see a mother who arose in the night and worked with eager hands because of her love for her family. She earned every single one of those wrinkles, and when Albrecht looked at her, he saw beauty.
Another Proverbs 31 passage states, “She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.”
Hello! Who wouldn’t want to own a vineyard? But seriously, this shows her intelligence. She’s a smart woman who knows what she wants. She makes wise choices and always for the benefit of her family.
“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”
She’s no weakling. She’s a woman of strength and vitality. You don’t want to mess with her.
“When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.”
Well of course they are. She has prepared well.
“Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.”
How does that saying go? Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. Oops! No, that’s not it. It’s behind every great man is a great woman.
A man who has his wife’s support has the ability to be a great man. She is his reinforcement.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”
These passages bring calmness to my soul. I can just picture her sitting by a fire telling a moral story. The children interrupt, because that’s what they do, but she doesn’t yell. Instead, she laughs with them, bursting out those laugh lines and wrinkles she’s earned so well.
And last but not least. In fact, it is the most important of all.
“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her and says, ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’”
So all you children out there today, young and old, call your moms and bless her.
Proverbs 31 tells us to “Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”