I Do Not Like That Proverbs Woman

I don’t much like her (I must confess). That virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. She did all things well and never did wrong. I’m sure she coined the term busy as a bee, and made coffee breaks and take-out pizza tabu. Considered it sinful to sleep once the sun was up. Never gossiped or was unkind. And certainly never yelled at her kids! 

She was always working, never idle. Whereas me? I love a coffee break, and adore take-out pizza! Or a couple idle hours reading or watching a film. Or swinging in the garden. And I wonder if my kids ever thought that yelling was the only volume I had.

Is it any wonder I don’t like her?

She leaves me feeling idle, frumpy, and feckless!

And I know a good many women share my feelings! But it’s best we come to terms with her. Because that Model Woman won’t be going away, thanks to the book of Proverbs.

If you’re like me you read and think: I’m going to become a better cook and housekeeper!

Why, I’ll even learn to crochet! I’ll guard my tongue more carefully. And find more ways to help the poor. I’ll become such a model wife and mother my family will scarcely recognize me! But I always fall short of my high and lofty goals! We still get take-out pizza. And as far as crocheting — don’t even bother searching for any hooks in my house!

So I finally came to the conclusion that God doesn’t want us to imitate others

Not even this female paragon! Because each of is unique. And while there is much we can learn from her example,  if God wanted us to become just like her, wouldn’t we succeed better at it?

I think her secret was that she knew her own strengths and weaknesses. She was great at household tasks. And also at business and managing money. But not me! While friends often wonder how I keep such a tidy home, I can easily add the same amounts 10 times and come up with 10 different sums! I would bankrupt a business!

And then I started seeing things the Proverbs 31 woman didn’t seem to do.

We don’t see her babysitting for friends.

The neighborhood children didn’t seem to gather around for stories or fun activities. I know women whose homes are so full of enthralled and enthusiastic kids that it’s hard to figure out which are theirs. And I admire their gift — but I’d go stark raving mad!

She didn’t seem to be like the hospitable Shunamite woman from 2 Kings either.

Who made a special guest room for the prophet Elisha. In fact, we don’t even know if the Model Woman had a guest room! Yet I know women who turn hospitality into an art form. And who go out of their way to make people feel at home, which is one thing I love doing and am good at.

So what can this difficult model woman teach us?

To discover our strong points and concentrate more on those. While also doing the best job we can at all that we must do. Even the less enjoyable tasks, like cooking and meal planning!

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.

Ecclesiastes 9:10

In fact, my daughter encouraged me on this one day, when she told me that she grew up thinking that I loved to cook. Me?? Love to cook? “But you were always cooking, and pouring over recipe books and meal plans!” she said. And it’s true.

With our low budget and ever-hungry family I had to! And I am a good cook, but I certainly don’t love cooking! I just tried to do the best I could. (In between coffee breaks and take-out pizza, that is!)

And isn’t doing our best really what makes a worthy woman? One who tries to do right, cares about others. One who works at improving and does the best she can in everything. And who, though mediocre in many things, truly excels at some. So get out there today, and show the world what you can do!

Because that virtuous woman? Well, she could be you or me.

All it takes is giving our all — in our own way!

“Who can find a worthy woman? For her price is far above rubies.”

Proverbs 31:10

IMAGES: Crochet hooks by xxolaxx. | All others are my own.

By Signora Sheila

I am a wife, mom, nonna, blogger, and missionary in Italy. But really, I'm just an ordinary woman on a journey, trying to slow down enough to hear the still small voice of God and live for all that is truly important in this world.

14 replies on “I Do Not Like That Proverbs Woman”

Thanks Jennifer, it helped me a lot to bring her down to a more human level. As great as all the biblical heroes were, they were only human. And based on the lives of Peter, David, and the others had many failings. Yet she is a glorious example for us to strive toward!

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I think she’s been problematic for a lot of women Vanessa. I admire her and will still work at becoming more like her. But I’m so grateful that the Lord showed me to aim for excellence in my own way. He certainly did not make me to be Business Woman Extraordinaire. I’d bankrupt the business and melt under the pressure. Neither do I excel at public speaking as it’s too much pressure for me. (Even though folks tell me I’m good at it.) But it would give me ulcers! I’m so glad that I finally came to peace with being more of a behind the scenes person. A mentor who encourages and exhorts. And a simple normal homebody who loves keeping a cozy tidy nest. And I work at excelling at that! And that’s what Mrs. Proverbs taught me! 🙂

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I’ve always held that woman in Proverbs in high esteem, the perfect example of what I want to be. I love the idea that she runs her household well, but that she also runs a successful business as well. She is wise, capable, and confident. My hero, although I have a long way to go. Love your post, Sheila

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