Many of us try to live up to the Proverbs 31 woman and find ourselves quite lacking. She seems to be the model career woman, super mom, and the perfect wife. She cooks, cleans, sews, and shops with one-hand and changes diapers, wipes noses, dispenses advice and runs a thriving business with the other. She has the strength of Superman, the dignity of a queen, and the wisdom of Solomon. All the while she laughs in the face of endless laundry piles, sinks full of dishes, burnt dinners, miles of errand running and herds of squabbling children. In other words, she is perfect. Try as we might, it seems that we often fall short of our aspirations to be such a woman, yet we battle on thinking we must do it all and be it all.
As I read over Proverbs 31, I wondered if the author might have been thinking something a little different. Maybe he was speaking of the church as a whole. The church has been described as the “bride”, so perhaps he was giving inspiration to her.
When I re-read the passage keeping the church in mind, it seems an obtainable goal. Our husband, God, can have confidence that we will be good to His name. We will provide the food of His word for His family and those that serve Him. We can keep His lamp filled with encouragement and prayer. We will invest in wise ventures that promote His kingdom and work diligently to spread the Gospel of His love to those that need to hear it. We don’t have to live in fear of shame or disgrace because we are clothed in the scarlet from the blood of Jesus. Our Father is held in the deepest respect and our leaders spiritually teach us to grow closer to Him. Non-believers see His hand in our work and are drawn into the fold. And when the day comes, our reward is in Him.
We will probably always work towards being the Proverbs 31 woman, but how much more could be accomplished if Christians strived to be a Proverbs 31 church.