Much ink has been spilled on the so-called “Proverbs 31 woman” and, while I do enjoy reading, it probably comes as no surprise to you that, as a man, I have read very little of it. Yet, as I read these verses again–-through a very male lens, mind you–I can’t help but think that being a “Proverbs 31 woman” might feel unattainable to most women.
She is excellent. She does her husband good all the days of her life. She works with her hands. She gets up early and goes to bed late. She provides food, clothing, and sustenance for her household. She is strong and dignified. She is generous. She is a wise teacher. She is hard-working, industrious, and never idle.
Sure, we all have our good moments, maybe even our good days. But to live up to that day after day after day? Does God really expect women to measure up to this standard? I’m not a woman, but that feels impossible to me.
But then again, God’s standard has always felt impossible to us.
That’s because it is impossible to us.
If our hope lies merely in our ability to live up to God’s standard, then we are indeed hopeless. But the good news of the gospel is that, rather than leaving us to live up to an unattainable standard, God came down in the person of Jesus Christ. He lived up to the perfect standard we could not and now graciously offers to extend his perfect record to all who trust in him.
Wife, mother, sister, grandmother, women young and
old advanced in years, rest in this: God’s acceptance and approval of you is based not on your ability to be a Proverbs 31 woman, but on your identity as a blood-bought daughter of the King. Your identity precedes your activity. Who you are comes before what you do.
To the rest of us–husbands, children, friends, and so on–let us rise up and call these women blessed, praising them for the gifts that they are in our lives and praising God for giving them to us.