Written by: Nikki Laureano
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” Proverbs 31:10 NIV
When I first read Proverbs 31, I was intimidated by the woman being described. The idea of becoming more like her seemed unattainable in my mind. She is perfect; I am not. Therefore, she annoyed me to no end.
But, as a Christian woman, I secretly want to be her. I want to be the ultimate housewife, the perfect Pinterest mom, and the hard-working boss babe, always burning the midnight oil. But striving towards this ideal, I find myself completely devoid of energy, peace, and fulfillment because I continue to fail in comparison to her.
The Proverbs 31 woman is flawless. I most certainly am not. She is calm. I am a hot mess most days. She is well-dressed. I normally have yesterday’s sweatpants on.
Her children call her blessed. Mine are feisty and unpredictable. She works hard, morning to night. I am easily burnt out and overwhelmed. She is unshakeable. I am broken.
Fail. Fail. Fail.
So, a couple months back, I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal how I could apply this scripture to my life without feeling like such a failure, and He did. I realized that God doesn’t want me to be the Proverbs 31 woman. He wants me to be me, and you to be you, in our own unique ways, while being inspired and motivated by her character.
This truly eased my mind because I do want to be like her, while staying true to who I am. And with God’s help, the qualities she carries are things we can all become better at. Praise God for that!
So, what are the characteristics of the elusive, Proverbial woman? Here are ten qualities I have gleaned from these verses (Proverbs 31:10-30):
- She has integrity (vs. 10)
- She has something of value to offer the world (vs. 10)
- She is faithful and optimistic (vs. 11-12)
- She has strength and energy (vs. 17-18)
- She is balanced (vs. 19)
- She has a servant-heart (vs. 20-21)
- She values cleanliness (vs. 22)
- She is honorable, wise, and kind (vs. 25-26)
- She is a good mother (vs.. 27)
- She is an authentic, God-fearing woman (vs. 20)
Maybe you’re like me and look at this list and think, “none of these characteristics describe me.” I totally get that. I have been there so many times, and I can say with absolute certainty that I will never master any of these things in my lifetime.
The path to becoming the woman God wants us to be is different for each one of us. But one commonality is that we do not have to fit the mold for every single one of these characteristics.
Often times, we strive for absolute perfection. But God doesn’t need us to be perfect. Instead, He asks for us to focus on Him. We don’t need to force ourselves to be the Proverbs 31 woman; we simply need to trust Him and take the steps that He asks us to take because He is the author of breakthrough.
When we trust Him, we not only grow in each of the characteristics listed above, but we also get to know the heart of God. And sisters, that is the most incredible part!
God, we thank you for being more than enough. Help us to live in grateful service to you! Lord, we ask that you would move in the areas of our lives where we feel stuck, and that when we fall into the comparison trap or we feel like we are not enough, God, that you would continue to make known to us your perfect grace and unending, unconditional love. Amen!
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 NIV