Early mornings have become my new way of life. I have always kind of dreaded the day when I would actually look forward to my quiet early morning times, because that always has signified being “old”. Only “old” people actually like getting up early.
As a good little Christian girl growing up, I have been pointed to the Proverbs 31 Woman as the person we girls should try to emulate. And, I will be honest. As a young girl in middle school and high school, the Proverbs 31 Woman always seemed kind of straight cut and fluffy and nice and something to aim for overall. As I have gotten older, and I have learned a little bit more about life, as I have reread that passage of scripture, I have noticed that she just really gets my goat. Ticks me off. She would be an irritating girl if I knew her in real life,…I just know it. I mean listen to this…I have put in parenthesis the bottom line.
“10 A wife of noble character who can find? (There are few like her)
She is worth far more than rubies. (She is priceless)
11 Her husband has full confidence in her (He trusts her)
and lacks nothing of value. (She has all she needs, secure)
12 She brings him good, not harm, (duh)
all the days of her life. (Honors him before they meet, while they are together, and after he’s gone)
13 She selects wool and flax (wise choices, good stewardship)
and works with eager hands. (not afraid of work)
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar. (She will go far to get food)
15 She gets up while it is still night; (grr…early riser?)
she provides food for her family (provider)
and portions for her female servants. (giving to others not just her immediate family)
16 She considers a field and buys it; (investor)
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. (out of her financial overflow alone she can invest)
17 She sets about her work vigorously; (works hard and tirelessly)
her arms are strong for her tasks. (she’s equipped for her work)
18 She sees that her trading is profitable, (blessing)
and her lamp does not go out at night. (her light is on in the darkness)
19 In her hand she holds the distaff (still learning about this one…)
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor (generous)
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet. (wise decisions again)
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple. (she is honored and royal?)
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, (husband is equally respected)
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. (her husband is a leader)
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; (duh)
she can laugh at the days to come. (no fear of the future)
26 She speaks with wisdom, (whew, that’s a big one)
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household (eyes open)
and does not eat the bread of idleness. (always working toward something)
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; (children respect her and praise her)
her husband also, and he praises her: (yep, hubby does too)
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (she fears and respects the Lord)
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
Recently, these verses have been coming up a lot. It could be because we have been doing a relationship series with the youth. However, it’s been brought up to me outside of that several times. It has really had me thinking,…when I was in high school this was one of the pieces of scripture I read every single day. A go-to piece. I guess in college I had a shift and quit doing that with these verses. I think in high school it must of comforted me that you could be a person like this wife of noble character. I think in college, all her attributes started to soak in and truly become discouraging. Could I ever be enough?? That is a tall order that I may never have one single day where I could check all those things off the list for myself for the day. Can I get an amen?? I really am not perfect. And my guess is you aren’t either.
However, over the weekend something new about this piece of scripture was revealed to me, so I thought I would share. It centralizes around the verse that has annoyed me the most. Verse 15. “She gets up when it is still night.” I mean, I am sure to do all she does, she would have to get up early! However, I think this may be used in 2 ways. She rises in darkness. Spiritual, physical, emotional, financial, etc. I mean, it sounds to me that her wisdom rises up in dark times. Her children and husband praise her…she rises among the darkness among women. She isn’t eating bon bons and watching soap operas, her hands are not idle…she rises in darkness. She buys good quality linens for her household, makes good quality blankets etc…she rises in darkness of cold weather…she doesn’t need to worry because she was “above” making the easy dark choices the first time around…rises in darkness. I could use this example for each verse, but you get the picture.
While she overall seems so overwhelming and annoying. I get it. Rising in darkness is something I can do. I don’t generally have a problem standing up for what is right. I am working on the wise choices. I will do anything for my family in dark times. In some ways, this new view has really helped me. I mean, I Know I have said this before, but being a leader is saying and doing what everyone else is thinking. This woman is a leader. She doesn’t just sit and think on things, but when there is a problem, she rises in the darkness to fix it. If it means going a long way away to get the food she needs, she does…she fixes it. Even her choice in a spouse reflects her rising in the darkness. She is with someone who leads and is respected in the city. Her husband trusts her…she rises in the darkness,…I hear so often how peoples husbands are peeking over their shoulder checking on everything they do or spend.
So, if you are like me and have read this piece over and over again discouraged that you could never be her,…don’t be discouraged. You can rise in the darkness too. Chances are you do it all the time. Just she gives you permission to do it!