This is the final of 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 and Wednesday’s posts to learn more!
Quick review from the first post in this series – the “Wife of Noble Character” passage from Proverbs 31 was initially written from a mother to her son advising him to choose a wise woman as a wife. Subsequently it has been used in Jewish culture simply as a blessing that a husband would recite over his wife in appreciation for her. Not necessarily for doing all those things in the passage, but simply as an expression of love and gratitude for her and the blessing that she represents.
I loved, loved, loved learning this because it switched the perspective of the passage from a place of deficiency and attempts to earn worthiness in the eyes of our husbands to celebrating our inherent goodness and value. God created man and it was very good. The idea of men singing these words over their wives unconditionally to acknowledge that they are a good and valuable blessing is a beautiful picture.
It occurs to me that this journey of womanhood is not one of which the goal is perfection, but rather redemption. It is about knowing and understanding that I am loved abundantly and unconditionally (by both God and my husband), and that my value is not dictated by my actions.
And it’s a mysterious irony that the freedom from the heaviness and the safety of unconditional acceptance spurs us on to do the very best we can.
And the very best we can is absolutely what we can give those that love us most. But I doubt that they would want to see us discouraged, worn out, and beating ourselves up over failed and exhausting attempts to achieve an idealized model of womanhood.
Especially one that was never intended to be one, anyway.
Thanks for joining me on this journey through Proverbs 31! Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!