Here is what making Proverbs 31 the prototype of the Ideal Christian Woman does:
Q: What is the #1 challenge you face as a woman?
A: Feeling like I have failed the biblical example by not being a wife and mother of a quiver full.
As a wife and a mother… with a quiver full, that answer pierced my heart. What a heavy weight to bear! Like you have disappointed God. The thought of carrying that makes me wince.
But what if that feeling of failure doesn’t come from God at all? What if the things we wrestle with as women come from the expectations we have of ourselves? Or expectations imposed by other people?
I felt pressure to finish college because I was supposed to. I didn’t think I deserved a good man because of my past. I struggled to keep a meticulously clean house because my mother did. I was insecure about being a stay-at-home mom because some feminist decided that was a waste of a good woman. I was torn between obedience in submission and not being a door mat. The problem was I didn’t know who I was.
Here’s where it’s at.
Let God define you.
Proverbs 31 is the holy word. It is valuable indeed. But what if it’s not a checklist? What if it’s not a page out a day planner and more of poetic licence? A literary model and not a list of commands written in stone? What if God’s ideal woman looks more like this:
- Rahab- a prostitute
- Naomi- widow and grieving mother
- Bathsheba- a woman coerced into adultery
- Shiphrah- a working midwife
- Debrorah- a judge
- Esther- a queen
- Anna- a prophetess
What if we were just as valuable to the kingdom of God if we were married or single? Kids or no kids?
- Priscilla- ministered with her husband
- Phoebe- served the church with no mention of a husband
- Mary- the mother of Jesus
- Susanna- financier of Jesus’ ministry
What if God can use you just the way you are?
He can use your past. He can use your grief. He can use your marriage. He can use your single-hood. He can use your womb. He can use your barrenness. He can use you in the work place. He can use you at home. He can use you with PhD or a GED.
He can do that if you let him define you. Instead of self-help books or a how-to guide on achieving the life of your dreams. Make an appointment with the Mighty Counselor. Seek his wisdom. Let him inspire you. Let him define you.
O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me…
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away…
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head…
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God…
Lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139