All of my life, I've heard about "the Proverbs 31 woman" and how she's this amazing person that's been held up to women for generations. She has caused many tears, moments of angst, fear, trepidation, anger. She instills feelings of guilt, remorse, regret, and anger. She causes many of us to have self-esteem issues.
I've avoided thinking about her for many years, as she makes me feel frustrated, angry, less than worthwhile...until this last week...
I re-read the chapter last Friday. I'm not sure why. Then, I picked up a book I bought about 18 months ago and never got the chance to read, titled "The Power of a Woman's Words", that is talking about how, we, as women, have the power to create greatness. She's also talking about how we, as women, have the power to wreak havoc greater than that caused by Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti combined. It got me thinking, as she's referenced several verses from Proverbs about quarrelsome wives...
At any rate, I opened up my Bible and flipped to Chapter 31 of the book of Proverbs. I read the entire chapter. I re-read the entire chapter. I wrote down each of the qualities that were mentioned.
I really thought and prayed about what I was reading. And it struck me...this woman was not listed to make us feel inferior. She was not described to make all men think "ah...no one's as good as Mom"...however - each of the virtues listed in that chapter are things that we should indeed be striving for.
Now, I'm not saying that I have all the answers on this, and I know that there are studies that are published by real authors and scholars on this chapter of Scripture.
I'm also not saying that women should do all things everywhere in all aspects of life with no assistance from anyone.
HOWEVER...I am saying that it bears a lot of scrutiny, and it was really laid on my heart to study this chapter verse by verse, and see just what I can glean from studying it - what does it really mean that she "is clothed in fine linen and purple", why was it important enough at the time to mention her wardrobe, and how can that be applied in today's world?
I plan to share my findings and opinions here, and hope that you'll be interested enough to join along. I'm not looking for anyone to sing my praises on this - it's just something I need to do, and I really hope that you'll feel like reading and sticking with me.
I will continue to welcome comments on this, and will do my best to answer questions that may come up. I also welcome answers from anyone else out there that cares to read along.
SO - tomorrow I'll see what I've had time to come up with during my study/quiet time...I hope to hear from you on this one.