Proverbs 31 and the Working Mother – Part 2

proverbs 31 working mom

This is the second in a three-part series looking at The Wife of Noble Character from Proverbs 31 in the context of the contemporary working mom.  Check out Monday’s post, and return Friday for the conclusion!

On Monday we established the origins and intent of the Proverbs 31 passage and learned that it’s not necessarily a laundry list of activities for Godly women.  But that doesn’t mean that we can’t still have a little fun with it.  Here are the reasons I’ve come across that it isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all guideline for how women should conduct themselves.

  • She had servants. Getting everything done would be much easier if this were the case for the rest of us.
  • It is a list of the woman’s lifelong accomplishments, not necessarily a single day’s work.
  • It was passed from a mother to her son, a king. Written at the level of royalty, it’s tough to make a direct connection between all of her actions and our own.
  • If we’re going to follow the example to the letter, do we all need to be making clothes, buying fields, and managing servants?
  • If Proverbs 31 is a picture of a woman with the “whole package,” does that mean that single women or women without children are somehow less virtuous?
  • She was not actually a real person.  This fact alone should give us pause.

Now, to be fair, I’m not saying we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  I do love the qualities she possesses and I think we can learn a lot from them.  Hard-working, fair, resourceful, trustworthy, respected…yes.  I don’t think there’s a single woman out there who wouldn’t want to be one of those things.  However, we don’t need to beat ourselves up over the details.  We all have different gifts that play out in different ways.

The context of this passage is simply wisdom and good judgment (see the verses 1-9).  And you’d be hard-pressed to argue that acting like a fool {the term used to describe the opposite of “wise” in the Bible} is any woman’s goal.

So while we’ve already established that the poem was never intended as a model of righteousness anyway, we’ve also established why it is equally ridiculous to try and do so.

But hold on, ladies…the best is yet to come.  I can’t wait to share my final thoughts with you and am dying to spill the beans right now, but you’ll have to wait.  Come back Friday to wrap this up and experience the FREEDOM that comes from delving deep into this passage.

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4 thoughts on “Proverbs 31 and the Working Mother – Part 2

  1. Thanks for your blog Kristina. Helps to know I’m not the only mom struggling to keep up with everything and most of the time falling short.

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