Friday, March 15, 2013

Thirty-one: One a Day

(This is the 1st post in a 10-post series)

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
Proverbs 31:10 NLT

I have long been a fan of including a Proverb-a-day with my devotional reading.  After all, Proverbs is the Wisdom book, right? I don't know about you, but I need wisdom every day, not just some days, so I'm pretty sure it's not an accident that there are thirty-one chapters in this amazing book.  I usually read the Proverb that corresponds with the date: chapter 15 on the 15th, etc.  But one Proverb gets more of my attention than all of the others combined: it's Proverbs 31.

 If you've been a Christ-follower for a while, chances are pretty good you've heard about the Virtuous Wife described in the thirty-one verses of the thirty-first chapter of Proverbs. (See the complete description in vv 10-31) I confess I've been more than a little annoyed and resentful toward this Woman over the years.  Did I just say that out loud??  I mean, I want to be a virtuous wife, I really do.  But it seems to me that all of her flax-spinning, food-fetching, vineyard-planting, midnight-oil burning virtuosity is just a little out of reach for someone like me, with a regular amount of no domestic skills.  I mean, she's kind and wise, she's prepared for a rainy day, she dresses beautifully and makes her own clothes, she runs her household in the world could someone like me ever hope to be like her?? I can get discouraged in a big hurry reading about this woman!

But wait... What if we're not supposed to read Proverbs 31 like a to-do list? What if we're not supposed to try to place all the things she is like a template over our own life to see where we fall short? What if instead, the words of this ancient proverb are meant to encourage us by showing us what qualities we do possess that God calls "virtuous"?  What if these words are meant to inspire us, to give us new ideas of how we can honor our husbands and families? What if these words were meant to keep us growing in a lifetime pursuit of God? When seen in that light, Proverbs 31 becomes a ladder to lead us, not a hammer to beat us down. I can read it with hope and joy, not guilt and regret.

In my first series of blog posts in more than a year, I want to take a deep look into Proverbs 31.  Let's take our time, and see what encouragement, inspiration, and wisdom is there...for us not-so-perfect girls.

To read all ten posts in the Proverbs 31 series, visit and type "thirty-one" in the "search this blog" box.

Prayer for Today: Father, as I read about the Virtuous Wife described in Proverbs 31, would you encourage me, teach me, and inspire me to be the woman You have called me to be? Would You reassure me that because Jesus is perfect, You don't require that of me?  In His Name I pray, Amen.

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