Last night as I was spending time with God, I decided to study one of the women of the Bible. In my study, God led me to Proverbs 31. If you are a female, just bringing up this figure most likely elicits one of two responses.
Response #1: You are squirming with discomfort. The woman of Proverbs 31 is too much to look up to. When does she sleep? Can someone possibly do that much? She must be Superwoman. If I just ignore she exists, my life will be much happier.
Response #2: The Proverbs 31 woman – now she is someone to look up to, someone I strive to be like. And then you make a list of all of the tasks she has accomplished and plan to be just like her.
Those may not be 100% accurate, but I have to admit that I frequently jump between the two responses. Yet, as I studied last night, God taught me a few things.
Point #1: Jesus is our ultimate example. While the Proverbs 31 woman is pretty cool, and we can learn a lot from her, we must never place her example above God’s example.
Point #2: It’s in the principles. Just as with most Biblical characters and stories, God often chooses to teach us principles. There are many in the Bible whom God specifically called to follow Him. Yet when the healed demoniac asked to follow Jesus, he was told to stay where he was and tell others about how he was healed. Yet in cases of both followers and the demoniac, the principle is the same – we must be willing to give up everything, including our own desires, to be obedient to God’s callings.
Here are some of the principles we can learn from the Proverbs 31 woman:
- Diligence/Hard work
- Care for family
- Fear of the Lord
Point #3: We can’t do it ourselves. This is so crucial, and is something I’m learning in so many areas of my life. Just as I posted before, we can do nothing without God. We must allow Him to work in us. Then life becomes less of an issue of a list to check off, and more a life of surrender and dependence on God’s strength to follow through with His plans for our lives.
I guess the main thing that is sticking with me from this study is my need to depend on God. So often I become stressed and overwhelmed. What do others think about my house, my work, my life, etc? How do they perceive me? Am I doing things the right way? Am I making the right choices? I often feel that my life has to look perfect and pristine – just like the Proverbs 31 woman. So I try . . . really hard.
Yet it is in trying that I go wrong. I cannot let social constraints determine what is important or how I should live my life. I cannot base my choices on perceived expectations of others. I must allow God to have all of my heart and my life. He can then work in me to make me more diligent, caring, compassionate, wise and a better steward. He can also help me to learn to grow in Him and give Him higher priority.