So part of me has always had some issue with the Proverbs 31 women that everyone is obsessed about. So I found this article and it pretty much sums up how I feel about it. Here it is:
Why I Hate the Proverbs 31 Women by Aubry Smith
I feel like Proverbs 31 is tainted.
My high school mentor (a man) once challenged me to memorize Proverbs 31 over the summer.
I did, but to be honest, I was 15 and didn’t know what a distaff was or exactly what it meant to choose flax. I didn’t have a husband and, at that point in my life, didn’t care to ever have one. I thought it was a weird passage to memorize and that it didn’t really apply all that well to me.
Then, every time a teenage girl made a painfully insecure remark on how fat or ugly she felt, a group of Christian girls would chant, “PROVERBS 31:30!! PROVERBS 31:30!!” in her face. (“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”)
It was less of an encouragement to fear to Lord, and more of a social chastisement for seeking compliments. It was thrown at me a few times when I had voiced genuine fears or concerns, in the place of sympathy or love.
And now, as a wife and mother, I feel that Proverbs 31 is wielded as a weapon against me more than ever.
A Proverbs 31 woman forgoes her career and life’s aspirations for childbearing and child rearing.
A Proverbs 31 woman uses weird words like “helpmeet” and uses “purpose” as a verb (“I purpose to get the dishes washed today”).
A Proverbs 31 woman keeps a perfectly pristine house – in high heels and pearls.
A Proverbs 31 woman stitches her children’s clothing by hand, hangs the laundry on the line, uses cloth diapers, and bakes phenomenal pies. Her sink? Empty.
A Proverbs 31 woman acquiesces to her husband’s every wish. She is quiet and meek, never opinionated, and yet – a tigress in the bedroom.
A Proverbs 31 woman knits, crochets, and cross-stitches. She decorates like Martha Stewart and actually succeeds in her Pinterest crafts.
A Proverbs 31 woman weighs 110 pounds and has perfect country-singer hair. (That’s in verse 52.)
I hate this Proverbs 31 woman.
She is a box I cannot fit into. She is a trophy wife that I cannot be.
And having her as your role model is the epitome of a graceless home. She has her list of rules, checking them off to make sure she measures up.
I can’t imagine how this woman seems to the single woman, the childless woman, the single mother working herself to the bone to make ends meet. If I – happily married, staying home, and shoot, even cloth diapering – feel that I cannot measure up to this woman, how do they feel?
We can’t all be the 1950s housewife that we seem to read intoProverbs 31.
The real Proverbs 31 woman is someone I like.
Some scholars believe that the original placement of the book of Ruth after Proverbs in the Tanakh (Jewish Old Testament) was an indication that Ruth was such a woman – you would finish hearing Proverbs 31, then go straight into the story of Ruth.
This helps me because I need a real person with a real story. One who gave up her heritage and idols to follow her mother-in-law and her God. A woman who was once an outsider and was grafted into the community of God by faith. One whose story revolves around a simple life of obedience to God.
When we read Proverbs 31, we need to remember to jump ahead to the New Testament.
Jesus – not a list of rules – makes a woman into a Proverbs 31 woman.
He takes a controlling woman and teaches her to put others before themselves. He indwells the lazy woman and provides her with purpose and perseverance. He gives her the mind of Christ and instills wisdom in her over time.
He breathes warmth into her cold heart and helps her become compassionate. He gives her strength in her weakness. He gives her dignity in her shame.
The real Proverbs 31 woman is simply a Jesus woman.
The fruit of the Spirit has always been, and will always be, the outcome of a life submitted to the Holy Spirit.
So put down your list