“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:29
When my girls were little, I loved sewing matching outfits, accessorized by the perfect hats, gloves and shoes to compliment with the beautiful family God had blessed us with. I “perceived” the merchandise to coordinate my son with his sisters to make worthwhile purchases. When company is coming to dinner, I plan the theme, choose my menu and travel to far grocery stores that so my meal lacks nothing. I work with my strong hands to create the perfect accessories for a hospitable table scape. At Christmas, holiday slipcovers and new quilts adorn each room. 100 homemade ornaments and handmade gifts are a must! It’s not uncommon for my lamp to burn throughout the night, during idle-free busy seasons. In leaner times I willingly worked with my hands, crafting away items to sell, using my God-given talents in a way to bless my husband and family. I also want to use these abilities to bless the needy and poor. Yes, as any good Christian wife and mom, I want God to be glorified by the Proverbs 31 women I so desired (and still desire) to be.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read the books and know she’s not just one woman, rather a metaphor of wisdom. I realize that she sounds intimidating and I wouldn’t be able to do all she did all the time, but I truly desired to emulate this picture of womanhood. BUT God, being rich in mercy, blessed me with big picture teaching. It uncovered sin and wrong motive and misguided pressures, idols of my heart and where my imitation of her has gone wrong. Hebrew 6:11-12 encourages our imitation “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” And so does 3 john 11“Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good, whoever does good is from God”
Sometimes the very things that I try so hard to emulate in this woman, causes me to miss the very reason God included this in His Holy Scripture. When I see her willing, hard work, her humility, her fear of the Lord and her generosity, I should notice that she is not doing these things out of duty! Duty fails, duty falls short, and duty puts false expectations on my family and myself. Duty compares and we become overwhelmed by our inadequacy. When she opens her mouth, kindness is on her tongue: not the snap of orders or the sobs from exhaustion.
If Proverbs 31:10-31 is about wisdom, we should take a closer look at 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 Wisdom should cause me to worship Jesus! Nothing else! I don’t need to “do” anything! Make, buy, sell or grow anything.
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Jesus is my wisdom; I want to look more like Jesus!
As I accept God’s invitation to serve Him, my family and others are the recipient of my serving. By rising early to sit at His feet, I begin my day growing more in love with Him, which causes my heart to love others more. When I am motivated by grace, humbled by my sin and my inadequacy, my joy-filled service continues. All this should cause draw me to Jesus. Every craft I create, every seam I sew, every gift I give, each table I set, every card I designs brings Him glory. I no longer use crafting as self-gratification, or a way to look like “her”, but an overflow of Jesus transforming work on my heart that serves and gives and creates for His glorious fame.
I could just go on and on, but company’s coming and I have seashells that need to be glued on some doorknobs!