Photo from http://harben-pictures.deviantart.com/art/Supergirl-311730139
I don’t know if anybody else out there has been intimidated by the Proverbs 31 woman but I try to avoid reading that chapter. I fall so far short. She is constantly busy, getting up before sunrise to cook- or maybe she just never goes to bed. because her lamp does not go out at night. She runs a fashion business, is rich enough to buy real estate from her profits but still has time to make home-made bed linen and clothes for her family. She also has time to do gardening, planting a vineyard with her own hands and she is probably planning to start a wine business on the side. She does charity work and has time to give wise advice and teach others. She is a mother and presumably still has time for her husband too.
I started thinking about this impossible woman again today when I read Evelyn’s post Everlasting Love. As a single woman, instead of looking for the one, she strives to make herself the one. Of course she can no more be perfect than any one of us but I admire where her heart and her passion are. It is a noble goal.
I remembered the opening verse of Proverbs 31. “The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him.” My aha! moment. His mother taught him all this.I am a mother of an unattached son in his twenties. If I were to make a list of characteristics of his future wife she would also not be real.
She would have to be a Christian, of course, preferably involved in some ministry that they can do together. I would like her to have a career of her own but be prepared to put it aside or do it from home when the children come. She would need to be intelligent with a good general knowledge to fit in with my son. She would have to think my son is wonderful and do everything to please him but still keep her own individuality and have some interests of her own. I would like her to be scientifically minded, like me, but also good at crafts and homemaking. Moreover she would have to be thrifty at running a home, good with people, able to do her own housework if necessary, be a wonderful mother. If she happened to be or have been a Girl Guide or Girl Scout, so much the better. Being a good cook is quite important but so is a being a good washer of dishes. She would need to be interested in sport as my son is a Sport Scientist, as well as interested in competitive Ball Room and Latin dancing so she could partner my son. If in addition to all these things she was beautiful and free from any potential life threatening illnesses, bonus! I agree with King Lemuel’s mother. “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not harm, all the days of her life.” In other words she is totally trustworthy and faithful and brings out the best in my son.
I am pretty sure that when my son does come home with the woman he wants to marry, she won’t fulfill all the criteria. The woman I had in mind is nothing more than a mother’s day dream. I believe my son has sense enough to choose a Christian girl who fears the Lord but for the rest, if she makes him happy and does him good, I am sure we will love her and thank God for her every day.
So I no longer feel I have to live up to the Proverbs 31 Impossible Woman. God will continue to work in my life growing me closer to His image.
May you, too, be free of this standard of perfection.