What if I were to tell you that you already are a Proverbs 31 Woman?
Let me explain. Around 10 years ago, I was frustrated and feeling a bit angry about the message surrounding the Proverbs 31 woman. It seemed to be a message of do, do do, and try, try, try. It bothered me so much that I looked into Proverbs 31 and how the Bible truly portrayed women. What I found surprised me. These women weren’t trying all day every day. They were just, who they were. True, they were faithful in the small things. The small things led to the big things, and I don’t even think a lot of these women knew they were big things! They just loved God and did what they needed to do to follow Him.
Recently, I started looking around again for Proverbs 31 blogs and articles. What did I find? 99% of them started with “As we strive to be a Proverbs 31 woman” or “As we try to be a Proverbs 31 woman”. These blog contain nothing more than a works mentality. “Try, do, work, strive, learn, grow” (wash, rinse, repeat) It’s exhausting. It sound like picking up after a toddler! Just reading those words make me tired and a bit angry…ok, a lot angry.
Let’s look at it this way: what happens to us when we are born again?
2 Corinthians 5:17English Standard Version (ESV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he IS a new creation.[a] The old HAS passed away; behold, the new HAS come.
Ephesians 1:3 (ESV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Colossians 2:9-10English Standard Version (ESV)
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
When we are born again, we ARE a new creation. We have the Holy Spirit IN us. We are IN Christ! We are not only holy, royal, justified, chosen, loved, pure, priests, and sons and daughters. That’s just the tip of the iceburg of what our heart could come to know about our identity in Christ. We could even boil this down and say that since we have Christ IN us, we are now Proverbs 31 women! Schwoo! What a relief! No more striving. No more trying to meet the mark. We now embody what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman, each a little bit differently, but all in the same fullness.
Let’s give ourselves a break here! No more pressure to live up to a certain idea or mold of what someone tells us we should be. Be a morning person or don’t be. Enjoy cooking or don’t. Have a job or work at home. Make your own clothes or buy them. Have a business or work for someone else. Whatever you choose is your choice!
Proverbs 31 looks different on each of us because we each have a unique identity, but the one thing that looks the same on each of us is the Holy Spirit living in us. The love of Jesus is our uniting factor.
So it’s time to relax. It’s time to simply be who you are. We need to look at who we are and our strengths and develop them. You may have strengths in areas that simply aren’t covered in mainstream teaching about Proverbs 31 women, and that’s okay! You don’t have to look like an idea that someone else had. Once you identify your strengths and being to use them, you start to feel the freedom of being you. You start to get comfortable in your own skin.
Proverbs 31 isn’t about doing or trying or striving, it’s simply about rest: resting in who God is, resting in your unique expression of Christ in you, and relaxing into who you are. It’s time to take a deep breath and just be.