proverbs 31 woman

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so, there’s obviously a lot written on this topic. lots of hashtags and organizations and cutesy sayings about being a ~~**prOverBs 31 wOmAn**~~. but i’ve been thinking a lot about these verses. about what god calls me to as a woman and what i’m capable of as a woman that a man isn’t wired to do. i’ve been thinking about how much time i waste pitying myself + filling my time with meaningless things. i’ve become someone i don’t recognize; a victim begging god to move when i won’t get off my @$$ and do what he calls. a full life is available to me.

as i was reading through these verses, it struck me how active this woman is. she does, serves, works. she doesn’t sit idly by, she is not a victim of her circumstance. she isn’t concerned about her hair or contouring or #instagramangles. there is barely mention of her appearance but to say that if beauty existed there, it would surely fade.

she gets up early. she considers a field and buys it. she earns, trades, makes. she cares for the needy and poor. wisdom falls from her lips and faithful instruction is on her tongue. she is not helpless. she is not waiting for someone to rescue her. she is seeking out work to be done and doing it. she is not busy worrying or overthinking. she does not eat the bread of idleness, it says. her life is focused on giving to others — her husband, children, the poor, needy — those below and around her.

too often, i’ve found myself wishing for beauty or charm or for life to just happen for me. i’ve wanted a life of idleness to produce blessings for others. however, god’s instruction to women seems to be diametrically opposed to this. women are not weak or incapable. we have worth and dignity. we can be both shrewd in business matters and compassionate to those who are hurting. we have the ability to be strong and soft in equal measure. we have purpose and we should fulfill it. from sunup to sundown, we can serve others and find true joy. in this, we are clothed with STRENGTH and DIGNITY, we can laugh at the days to come. we set forth with the work in front of us and trust god with the outcomes.

god’s stories of women in the bible are not airhead beauties who passively sat by while simultaneously changing history. no, the women he names are brave in the face of fear. she sets out to distant lands because she is confident in the lord’s calling. she behests a king at the risk of death to secure freedom for others. she says yes to birthing baby jesus when it’d mean sure judgment and being misunderstood. she serves that same king water at the well though her sins were great. she washes his feet with her hair. they risk their pride, reputation, lives to do what is noble and right. they are women of action, of significance. rare (nonexistent) is the woman in the bible who changed history while making herself central to the story.

in a culture that celebrates #womensrights (which i’m all about, btw) + women’s bodies + women being able to be the heroine, it’s hard not to get caught up. to not think that perhaps your worth is in your body shape, in the number of likes you have, in how much attention you receive. maybe your worth is found in a love story (or the lack of one). perhaps you aren’t really that great if you don’t have unnaturally tan skin, your hair isn’t perfection, you don’t have guys drooling over you. but god’s word says that those things fade. women who do the work, that serve the lord are often unnoticed and undervalued in our culture. let it be so. be a woman undervalued in things that fade. be a woman confident in your callings (care for the widow / orphan / hungry / poor, obey the lord, love him with all your heart / soul / mind, etc. — not horrendously fancy stuff here). be busy with the lord’s work so that the seeming importance of the other things disappear into the background. as long as i am busy scrolling on instagram judging myself against all the obscenely attractive ladies on there (#ilose #youwin) or spending time gossiping about others or even doing perfectly normal, fun things that are self-serving, it’s easy to forget what my real purpose is and lose my identity in things that aren’t lasting.

i can find confidence in making the world around me better, knowing that eternity and history will be changed by my faithfulness. i don’t need to be the best looking or most popular or loudest, i can quietly (lol at me being quiet) and faithfully carry out the lord’s work without recognition. there is true joy to be found here. let us be women who work hard, show up and love those around us without expectation. we are worthy and capable of the task.

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