These words I find so true and helpful as a woman, wife and mother. My dear friend, Kristi, has many talents and gifts, being an encourager is one of them. I wanted to share with you some of her thoughts that she had written in our women’s church newsletter and hope to encourage you also.
The Perfect Woman?
We’ve all heard lessons about the Proverbs 31 woman. And we’ve probably felt very insecure and found ourselves lacking when comparing ourselves to that “perfect” woman. Here are a few new thoughts to ponder. First of all, there is one verse with which I’ve particularly had a problem. Verse 15 reads like this in the NIV: She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. Now, wait a minute! She gets up while it is still dark? Is that a requirement for living like the Proverbs 31 woman? I’m surely to fail. I’ve never been an early riser even after the sun has come up. But while it’s still dark? But on closer look at this passage, I’ve learned something new. The original Hebrew word used here for “dark” (or “night” in KJV), is figuratively used for calamity or misery in the books of Job, Isaiah, and Micah. So, this Proverbs 31 woman, in the midst of the darkness around her (trouble, pain, heartbreak, crisis, illness), still rises. It’s not about the time of day that she climbs out of bed, but rather that amidst the chaos of her life, she rises above the calamity and misery to continue to meet the needs of her family. Now, I bet you’ve done that, too. Of course, we don’t claim to do this in our own strength. The Holy Spirit enables us to rise above our circumstances. We only need to ask Him. Secondly, were you aware that in Scripture, the word “perfect” is not used in describing this woman? Most likely, she was a humble, hard-working individual, a lot like you and me. It was not who she was, but Who she trusted that got her a place in Scripture. She’s there for us as a blueprint for how to live our lives.
Just the other day, I was sharing these thoughts with a close friend and she suddenly blurts out, “Oh, you are a Proverbs 31 woman!” What? I stared at her blankly while trying to formulate a response. When I gathered my wits about me, my reply was… “Oh, my word, I am far from perfect!” And her response? “I thought you just told me “perfect” had nothing to do with it? Be encouraged, my sisters. Perfection is not what God has asked of us. Only our willing hearts for trust and obedience. Kristi Wile