My DVR needs some cleaning out. Between The Great British Baking Show, Call the Midwife, and the latest cartoon episode of Miles From Tomorrowland, we have built up a store of past episodes that we need to clear out for football season.
We are not big fans of reality TV so I’m sometimes at a loss when shows like Real Housewives of … develop a new storyline in a new city with new housewives. If they followed me around with a camera they would see a lot of coffee, soccer, and comfy pajamas.
Not much to see here folks, just doing my 145,585 load of laundry this week.
Recently, an article was published about a famous housewife found in the Bible: the Proverbs 31 woman. In it, the author gives reasons why the woman, who is fictional, achieves a level of excellence that is unattainable for the rest of us. Stories of real women in the Bible include their flaws and redemption, making them more relatable.
At the beginning of the chapter, the son explains that it is his mother who shares with him the attributes that make this girl “practically perfect in every way.” This gal with strong arms is a shining example of true womanhood. The ultimate plumb line by which women must measure their success as wife and mother. She is never sick, tired, or worn-down. The words “having a bad day” are not even part of her vocabulary
In other words, she’s about attainable as a hot dog at Olive Garden.
Attainable or not, she has a lot of great qualities that make her a really terrific chic. Years ago, I was reading a proverb every day of the month and since December 31st falls on Proverbs 31, that just happened to be the proverb that I read on the day that I was trying to decide if I wanted to do any New Year’s Resolutions. My first reaction reading that proverb was the same as many: “no way can that be me”. At the time, not only was I not married, I was in a self-imposed dating sabbatical. But a thought came to me: instead of reading the entire passage and being completely overwhelmed with her goddess-like existence, what if I asked God to show me which two attributes I could work on for that year?
Here’s a link to the passage in case you would like to read it on your own.
And, here’s how I broke it down:
- As a single girl, the choices I make even now bring immeasurable value. (v. 10)
- Can my husband trust me with his whole heart? If his reputation depended on my words, what would it be? (v. 11, 12, 23).
- Knowing that my best looks different in every season of life, am I doing my best right now to meet the needs of my family and community? (v. 13, 14, 19, 27).
- How can I be more organized? What do I need to do each night before I go to bed to make sure my family has a great morning? (v. 15).
- How are my skills, talents, and choices helping my family financially? Is there something outside of the box that I can do, such as start a garden or make a meal plan that fits our budget and stick to it? (v. 16, 18, 24).
- I may not have much, but can I afford one gift for a child in need this Christmas? Can I contribute some canned goods to my local food pantry? (v. 20).
- How am I preparing my kids for adulthood? Have I equipped them to make choices that will benefit their future? (v. 21, 27, 28).
- Am I kind to all with no partiality? (v. 26).
- Am I studying God’s word so that I can speak wisely? (v. 26).
- Am I dressing myself each day with God’s strength and dignity, knowing that my choices and actions will bear good fruit in my life and my family? (v. 17, 25, 31).
What are the possible outcomes of these actions? Your children will create masterpieces out of construction paper and crayons calling you The World’s Greatest Mom. Your husband will have a twinkle in his eye when he says “baby, you are the best.” Maybe not the stuff of reality television, but unexpected hugs from grateful 5-year-old arms and a husband who makes your favorite breakfast on the weekend is better than anything I find on TV.
Excuse me while I air out some smelly soccer cleats and set the timer on the coffee pot for a 6am cup of coffee … all while wearing my favorite purple pajamas.
Dear Jesus, I pray for every girl reading this. May you speak to us individually on how we can draw from the Bible how we can live our very best. Some of us have moms who modeled this for us and it is second nature. For others, these are really hard choices. Help us all to not look at each other in comparison, but to clasp the hands of our sisters, fix our eyes on you, and keep going.
In what areas can you apply God’s word to your everyday life?