“Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.”
Proverbs 31:10 NKJV
Reading Proverbs 31 as a new mom to three very small children, I was convinced that for the first time, I had just discovered propaganda within the Bible. I was sure that there was no woman on earth who could accomplish all that the Virtuous Woman in Proverbs did, all while keeping a positive attitude. At the time, I could barely take a shower daily, keep my house clean or my kids in clean clothes. Small tasks seemed insurmountable and the work never seemed to end. I was perpetually exhausted and did not appreciate reading about a woman who did it all, and had it all, and didn’t seem to need much sleep. I let God know exactly how I felt, and then dutifully skipped over Proverbs 31 whenever it came up, in order to not stoke my own insecurities and anger, on how overwhelmed I felt.
One of the wonderful things about God is that he doesn’t forget. He also doesn’t push us, respecting our free will, he gently guides us to the path and resources that are best for us. As time passed I could feel a small voice guiding me to revisit Proverbs 31, with new eyes. I was, and still am, humbled by motherhood. Humbled by how little my strength actually accomplishes, and how much I need God’s strength to accomplish day to day tasks.
With a fresh perspective I reread Proverbs 31:10-31, and the words lept off the page and into my heart. I discovered that the answer to accomplishing what the Virtuous Woman accomplishes, what she does and represents for her family, and the ability to continuously work and give selflessly to her family, stem directly from her relationship with God and her ability to ask God for His strength.
“She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.”
Proverbs 31:17 NKJV
The Virtuous Woman, helps her family and others.
“She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet.”
Proverbs 31:20-21 NKJV”
Though she does so much for others, she still takes time to care for herself.
“She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.”
Proverbs 31:22 NKJV
The Virtuous Woman does not work for a reward. She is committed to doing the Lord’s work and making decisions for the highest good of her family and herself, that will benefit them all. Her commitment to bringing glory to God’s kingdom through devotion and caretaking of her family, leads to her being praised and uplifted by her family, and rewarded by God.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:”
Proverbs 31:28 NKJV
“The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.”
Proverbs 31:11 NKJV
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”
Proverbs 31:30 NKJV
“Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.”
Proverbs 31:31 NKJV
I realized that I misconstrued a truly beautiful passage based off of how overwhelmed I was in my day to day life. I read Proverbs 31:10-31 through the lens of a haggard, exhausted woman, who had a very small plate that was piled high with things to do, and very little joy when getting it done. Motherhood is by nature, exhausting, there’s so much to do when growing little lives. But, there is nothing too big for God. A Virtuous Woman aligns her free will with God’s will, asks God for the ways to give and provide for her family and herself, that will be the most beneficial and allows God to fill her cup, providing her with all of the joy, love, hope and happiness that she needs.