What does it mean to have it all, do it all and be everything to everyone? I don’t know, but it makes me tired just thinking about it. Most of us Christian women have Proverbs 31 on a pedestal, but many of us are asking, “How do I apply this to my life?” You may be single, but already thinking about how to prepare yourself to be a wife, mother and daughter of the Most High while juggling the insecurities and flaws that come with being…well, imperfectly human.
I’m not an early riser and I don’t have female servants. I don’t own property or wish to have a vineyard. You would think that this wife of noble character described in the Bible is a busybody, but we’ve learned in Luke 10:38–42 that sitting at the Lord’s feet is far more important than having your hands full for the sake of checking off an ever-growing to-do list.
As they went on their way, they came to a town where a woman named Martha lived. She cared for Jesus in her home. Martha had a sister named Mary. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to all He said. Martha was working hard getting the supper ready. She came to Jesus and said, “Do You see that my sister is not helping me? Tell her to help me.” Jesus said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. Only a few things are important, even just one. Mary has chosen the good thing. It will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38–42)
It has taken me a while to fully picture myself as a Proverbs 31 wife, but when I recently read this passage over again, I realized that the Lord is highlighting the qualities that the verses describe:
- She brings peace and goodness to her husband.
- She is eager to get things done and makes sure that her family is healthy and fed.
- She is discerning about how to invest in her future.
- She is a strong and hard worker.
- She has compassion for those who are in need.
- She uses her creativity to make her home beautiful.
- She has faith in God for His provisions.
- She has joy for the days ahead.
- She doesn’t lack wisdom and is discerning of the Lord’s word.
- She oversees that her household is in order.
- She abounds in a love that is a blessing to her family and her community.
The gist of this is that she’s a woman of peace, eagerness, discernment, strength, hard work, compassion, creativity, faith, joy, wisdom, order and love. What a list! How can we possibly keep up with this perfect example of womanhood? The key to that is to love God enough to obey Him, and love others enough to care for them.
At the beginning of each day, I pray that the Lord allows me to be used to glorify Him through sowing into someone or having opportunities to minister to others. I trust my husband to provide for our family, but I also look for ways I can use my skills to bring in supplemental income or to be resourceful with budgeting without neglecting the time it takes to keep a household running. We are blessed to be parents, so meeting my daughter’s needs is another way of serving God. If you pay more attention to the character traits of a Proverbs 31 woman, you’ll see that it’s easier than trying to fill her shoes through works.
These days, so many things vie for our attention, and it’s easy to get caught up in the shifts and changes that the world is going through. Family values and what it really means to be a woman have been questioned, and you may find yourself confused and wondering “Is it still okay that I want to be a stay-at-home mom when I get older?” or “Is it bad that I want to have a full-time career when the time comes to have children?” When your focus is on the Lord and following His best plan for you, you’re able to dial down the noise of the world and get to a point of hearing His instruction for your specific life’s purpose.
It’s possible to harvest these character traits even before you’re married, and today is a great day to start! Tune in to the Holy Spirit and stay rooted in the Bible to ensure that you’re keeping yourself in line with God’s will. Use the time you have as a single woman to serve your family and others, and figure out how God wants to use your gifts and talents to lead people to Him. Build upon your strengths and bring order and responsibility into your lifestyle so that your transition from Miss to Mrs. goes a little more smoothly.
The next time you think to yourself that being a Proverbs 31 woman is impossible and overrated, I hope you remember how simple it truly is: love God and love others. I pray you fulfill your true purpose and maintain a pure joy while doing it.