a proverbs 31 wannabe

I read Proverbs 31.10-31 as much as any chapter in the Bible.  Maybe it’s because that’s my lot in life right now — a homemaker, a home organizer, the female force of our family (nice alliteration, eh?).  And it motivates me to see the beauty that this woman makes of her family’s home.  The people around her are more whole because of her.

Tonight I read The Message version for the first time:

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.

Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.

She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.

She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.

She’s up before dawn,
preparing breakfast for her family
and organizing her day.

She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside,
plants a garden.

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.

She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.

She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.

She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.

She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.

Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.

She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.

She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.

Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

Be silent, you feminists.  This is as high of a calling as they come.  Would I could be to my family what this woman is to hers.

The only problem is, I look at this portrait and think: Is she real?  Is this even possible? Shouldn’t I, as a daughter of the Almighty, a temple of the Spirit, be able to pull off a decent fraction of these qualities?  But instead, I get about one thing done a day.  I “make about a dollar” (to quote Donald Miller in Blue Like Jazz).

The time is swallowed up by some faceless behemoth, and I am left at 12.09a.m. in the darkness, typing, hoping that by some drizzle of grace, I can do better tomorrow.

  1. He gives strength to the weak…. and how weak we all are.
    I love Proverbs 31 for guidance as a wife and mother.

  2. As you hope that “by some drizzle of grace” you can do better tomorrow, God is pouring out his grace by the bucketful through the thoughts you share. Too often we’re so focused on the little spot of ground we’re staring at, wishing it would get wet, to notice the river rushing by a few feet away.

    I speak to my own heart.

    • clbeyer
    • August 8th, 2008

    Luke, you’re so right about God’s grace being much more than a drizzle. Usually it takes a good night’s sleep or some other change in perspective for me to realize that it’s a downpour!


  3. What an encouraging reminder Carrie. I am always convicted and taught when I read the 1 Corinthians 13 from The Message but I hadn’t read Proverbs 31 in this translation! Thanks for sharing this.

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