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The Perfect Woman: My Not-So-Perfect Picture of the Proverbs 31 Woman

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The day was getting closer. I couldn’t ignore it even though I pretended to every single morning. I said to myself, “Why oh why did I choose to do this?” I must be crazy to put myself through this every other month. Did I really believe things would change? No. And yet… there I sat every morning getting closer and closer to the end. When the morning came on the last day I knew the only thing to do was be strong and face it. I sat down, opened up my Bible and read it… Proverbs 31.

The Perfect Woman

So maybe I am being a little dramatic but I just can’t be the only woman out there who is more than reluctant to read about “the perfect woman” in Proverbs 31… right? Every morning I read a chapter from the book of Proverbs so on months with 31 days I inevitably must face everything I am not as a woman, wife, and mother.

I know there are wonderful women out there that L-O-V-E reading about this all-encompassing woman of wisdom, grace, and amazing work ethic. I must confess… I am definitely not one of those women! It’s not that I think the Proverbs 31 woman is outdated or sets us, women, back. On the contrary; I want to be like her desperately yet every other month I find myself falling extremely short of who I want to be.

Let’s see… I do not like getting up while it is dark. I wouldn’t know how to buy a field or a vineyard. I like to go to sleep very early when possible. I can be quite lazy at times. I definitely couldn’t even begin to patch a hole in my husband’s pants let alone actually sew some new creation. I wish every word out of my mouth was wise, but my husband can attest to my lack of common sense, and I am not always sure if my husband has full confidence in me. (Although if asked I am sure he would say, “Of course I do!”)

I couldn’t continue on this road. There had to be some way to not feel like a failure every time I got to that passage of Scripture. I thought about skipping it but… yeah, that wouldn’t really work. So I set out on a quest to find out how to become the kind of woman that seemed to be so elusive to me. I have read article after article, posted questions on message boards and studied Scripture to get new insights. In doing so I have found six principals that I think have and will continue to help me slowly become more like the Proverbs 31 woman.

Perhaps, some of these may help you… (I am writing from a stay-at-home mom’s perspective and I in no way claim to be any kind of biblical scholar on the issue of Proverbs 31. These are just my own personal reflections.)

6 Ways I Became More Like “The Perfect Woman”

1. I Gained Confidence. (Proverbs 31:10-12)
In order for my husband to do his best working outside the home, he needs to have full confidence that I am running everything smoothly at home. Can I handle the kids? Is there going to be dinner? Will we have clean socks and underwear? He handles problems all day at work. I am sure the last thing he wants is to come home and handle problems all night too. I realized that I needed to gain confidence in myself before others could put their confidence in me.

2. I Became a little Wiser. (Proverbs 31:16,22,24)
This woman has a brain and she uses it. She is able to weigh in on big financial decisions and she is able to handle money responsibly. Not only that, but she uses her talents to help out her family. I may not sew but I did do things before becoming a wife and mom. God has given us all talents. I know how to teach children. I can play an instrument. I worked at a bank.

Maybe you don’t want or need to supplement your family’s income, but is there some talent God has given you that you can use to serve your family, church or other people with? Perhaps it is writing, decorating, cooking, or I don’t know…heart surgery? Whatever your talent or skill is, how can you use it to serve others? 

3. I Worked on My Work Ethic. (Proverbs 31:15,17,18,27)
She is not lazy. She knows what needs to get done and she gets it done. But it never says that she gets everything done all in one day. That is an encouragement. It only says that she works most of the day. I stress over my house not looking like a picture from Southern Living Magazine, but according to this passage what counts is that I work at it daily, not that I always keep everything perfect. 

4. I Gained Compassion. (Proverbs 31:20)
She has compassion for those in need. I wouldn’t suggest giving money to a person on the side of the road, but there are things we can do to help others. Giving food to a food bank, bringing items from your house to a rescue mission or a homeless shelter or even financially supporting other agencies that help those in need are simple ways we can show compassion for those who may be struggling. 

5. I Changed the Way I Mother
Her children and husband think she is a great woman. Our children grow up watching our example. Do we gripe and complain about our role and workload? Do they see Christ in us? Do we teach our children how to become competent adults and a viable part of society? I know that we may not hear from our children how much they adore us after age 3 (and probably not at all when they are teens) but when they are grown and gone will your daughter want to be just like you? Will your son want to find a wife like you? I don’t know about you, but to have my kids feel this way as adults would be one awesome Mommy award!

6. I Grew my Faith. (Proverbs 31:29-31)
This one is the most important: I must “fear the Lord”. I must walk in His ways if I ever hope to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. If I do not acknowledge Him and my need for His help then all of my attempts at becoming like this woman will remain just that… attempts. The closer I get to Jesus and the more I let Him guide me, the more I will be able to become the woman I desire to be. I can’t do it on my own. I need Christ to change me from the inside. 

I have a very long way to go, believe me. But, this month when I get to that last chapter of Proverbs maybe I won’t feel like such a failure; like I am striving for something impossible. I have seen this passage from a different, more attainable light. Hopefully this month, I will have hope when I read about “the perfect woman,” and I will hope for what I really can become someday. It won’t happen overnight (even though I wish it could). It is a process. Maybe you struggle with the idea of being or not being the Proverbs 31 woman. I would encourage you to take small steps and remember it is not you that can make this possible, it is Christ in you.

mandi millerMy family and I are missionaries with Child Evangelism Fellowship. After 7 months of furlough in the States we moved back to the Caribbean, to the Turks and Caicos Islands. My husband and I have been married for 7 years, we have two daughters, I love to cook, am trying to shed my baby weight (and extra before baby too), I love the beach, snorkeling, reading and I miss Chick-Fil-A like crazy! Find out more on my blog: www.myperfectmess.net.

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  1. Thank you so much for allowing me to guest post on your blog! I just love your blog and the way you write! Thanks a bunch!!!

  2. Great post. I too am a recovering perfectionist and soon to be wife! Thank you for this great, godly wisdom! Love it! Glad I stopped by! Take care! 🙂

  3. Beautiful post. I always find it funny when people think I work too hard — I take Sundays off and I spent 430-730 completely focused on family (homeschooling, working, blogging, housework, studying the rest of the time). I work so that we can enjoy that time, and I enjoy that time so much more because I worked. It’s easy to get discouraged at the ideal, especially when surrounded by a world where no one wants to work! LOL

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