Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Woman: Divine Guidance or Unachievable Goal?

This is from an idea I had for a 1950s maternity photo session  (its a selfie).

The Proverbs 31 woman has created a lot of discussions in today’s society among Christians and non-Christians alike.  Many see her as the unattainable vision of a perfect wife or the ultimate set up for failure.  Women that work publicly feel sometimes it is a condemning view because they aren’t in the home trying to accomplish all of the things listed.  Many stay-at-home mothers feel lost trying to do this while taking care of the children and house and for many, run a business from the home.

Personally, I feel encouraged by the Proverbs 31 scriptures.  This has not always been the case.  In the past, I would get all fired up by doing a study on the scriptures and then try to get a plan put together  to do it all in my home.  After a few weeks or even days, I would throw my hands up in frustration because I had messed it all up, again.

I have recently been doing a few studies that focus around these topics and still working in them.  It’s hard for me to stay focused so I find that if I use more than one and go between them, it works better.  I know, it’s not normal, but neither am I!  J  Here they are:

The Proverbs 31 Woman, One Virtue at a Time (book and online component)

So far, these have been really good in helping me get my brain straight as well as my heart.  Most of my time is spent in with the other two filling in when I have some extra time.  I will finish these once I am through with I Used to Be So Organized.

So where am I going with all of this?

Well, mostly I want to say that the Proverbs 31 scriptures can be an encouragement to all women!  Moms working publicly, stay-at-home moms, unmarried women, and women of all ages from teenagers to the aging. 

I do not believe anyone should feel condemned or judged by where or what they have chosen in their lives; as long as they choose it by God’s word and not by the world.

If you read the Proverbs 31 verses, you can see that she does a lot of commerce or business driven activities as well as homemaking tasks (and not necessarily all in the same day!).  I believe that God calls each of us to do things that aren’t necessarily right for others.    Our focus should be our hearts and whether they hold God’s intent and desires or our own.  When we allow the world and its standards to dictate what we are doing, then we will have problems. 

This is why I believe so many people get upset when faced with these scriptures and get defensive (and yes, I am looking in the mirror with this).  We have to evaluate our reasons for doing what we are doing and make sure the Lord has led us there and no one else.  If you are a nurse at a hospital, a teacher in the 5th grade or a CFO in a business; God may have called you there and that is wonderful.  If you are a stay-at-home mom with a business and it is not God’s intent; then you should re-evaluate.

It is my hope and desire that women stop pointing fingers at each other and encourage one another no matter their circumstance.  I have seen too many working mothers put down stay-at-home moms and stay-at-home moms act superior as well. I pray that we can all be encouraging to one another.

God created each of us in His image for His glory!  Please help lift one another, not tear each other down.
I am about to be a mother for the first time but I have worked in one of the largest accounting firms and now I stay-at-home with a small business so I have seen each side as a wife.  I know being a mother is going to change my life, and I praise God that this is happening.  

So as we continue down the path we feel God has given us, I desire to keep Him first (and throughout everything) in my life.  This time, I am hoping not to get frustrated and quit when things don't go just right in my studies, but to say instead,  today is a blessing and tomorrow is a new day.

PS If you would think you would like to do the book, I Used to Be So Organized, let me know.  I have created a file with all of the blog post links in date order to make it easier.  J