In last week’s post, we concluded that the quest for becoming noble women is well within our reach.
This week we examine some of the lessons from Proverbs 31: 10 – 31 and discover how you can use them to live as a noble woman in the 21st Century.
Different interpretations have been given about the woman being referred to in these verses. One interpretation says the name of the woman is not given so that each of us can insert our names therein. Another concluded thus “she is not one woman. She is all of us and none of us”. Whatever interpretation you choose to go with one thing is certain, the description of the woman in Proverbs 31 is bound to leave many of us feeling we can never measure up. This is of course until you remember our definition of a noble woman in part 1 of this series and the fact that we are each gifted differently.
Each time I read this proverb, instead of allowing myself to feel deflated because there is so much that am not doing, I instead focus on the lessons we can draw from this woman. Here are my top five.
Each of Us has Different Roles to Play In Life
We have different roles to play in life, it takes grace and wisdom to balance them all. We all know that as wives we are helpmates to our husbands. This entails supporting them as they lead the families and enable them to fulfill their purposes here on earth. When you think about it this is a very big responsibility for husbands!
Performing the role of a helpmate does not come easy as sometimes it calls for making sacrifices to look at what will benefit the entire family and not just you alone. In the same vain because husband and wives have a life time alliance we have to do whatever is possible to ensure that this alliance is fruitful in all ways.
As mothers, we also play the role of stewards to our children. The pressures and challenges we have to contend with in the 21st century make this a daunting task. This requires that you look at your children as individuals and not as a group. You have to learn the interests, strengths and weaknesses of each child; then guide them so they grow into responsible adults who can make meaningful contributions to the world and fulfill their life purposes.
The woman in Proverbs 31 is industrious and it appears her business abilities place her at par with her husband. We see her as a woman who is capable of making excellent business decisions.This is encouraging for us women today; whether you work outside the home or from home what is important is that you view yourself as being professionally equal with your husband.
Sometimes in order to achieve this equality you need to take interest in what your husband does professionally so you can advise him when the need to do so arises. In addition to this, you should not look at women who work outside the home as more professional and neither should you consider women who work at home as less professional. The world has changed and so should we. I once read a story where a woman started a business as an entrepreneur working from home and two years later her husband quit his 9 – 5 job to join her because the business had become so profitable and could sustain the family. We as women also need to be confident in the fact that it is perfectly okay to dress in a suit and stilettos in the morning and then an apron after 5:00 pm.
Nature Your Gifts and Abilities
I must confess that like many others I have tried to live up to the standard set by this woman and of course failed. I took out time and learnt how to quilt because in my mind I wanted my children to have bedding’s made by yours truly. And whereas it brings me immense joy to walk into my children’s room and see the work of my hands it was a tedious exercise that I may not embark on again in the near future.
As stated above, this woman is all of us and none of us. When you recall this, you can be comfortable with the fact that it is okay to solicit the services of those who are blessed in areas where you struggle. The key is to learn to focus on your strengths and magnify them so that they dwarf your weaknesses.
Preparation is key in order to live a fulfilled life.
One thing that our Proverbs 31 woman does is prepare herself. From waking up to organize what her family and workers will eat to ensuring that her household has appropriate clothing for the seasons. “She considers a field and buys it”. Considering here means she prepares before making an investment. This could mean she ensures they have the means to purchase something instead of making hasty purchases which may result in living a life of debt.
It could also mean ensuring you are not too focused on amassing wealth. When you remember that “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”, then you can place emphasis on your self worth and not your net worth.
I have since learnt that because there is always so much to be done it is best to have a plan and then work that plan. It appears the woman in Proverbs 31 was mature and some of the skills she exhibits were acquired over a period of time. She is definitely not a novice in any of her roles. We are told that she works with her hands making crafts and clothes. These are skills that have to be learnt and practiced. This encourages us to work on skills we would want to have and perfect them. Because she plans, she is also able to be generous. She knows “she is blessed to be a blessing” and that by putting a smile on another’s face, her own joy will increase.
Work on Earning The Praise Of Your Circle of Influence
Earning the praise of our immediate circle of influence is paramount. I have since learnt that it is important that I always give my best to my husband and children. Maya Angelou was right when she said ” if you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Do not be surly at home then go out in the street and start grinning ‘good morning’ at total strangers”. Many times we wait to do good things when our circle of influence has been enlarged but you have to remember to be faithful to the small circle before you can be given a larger one.
The Fear of The Lord Is Paramount
What matters the most is that we fear the LORD! We are told that “favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised”. This points to the fact that the fear of the Lord secures abiding favor and moral beauty. No wonder this woman speaks with wisdom she has drunk from the fountain of wisdom and this is evident in the way she carries herself (confidently) and manages her affairs.
Fearing the LORD is so vital because it does not matter whether you are so successful and industrious as a woman. If you fail to bring yourself to the knowledge that you need to draw your strength and courage from God then you would have missed the greatest goal of all time which is to hear the words “well done my good and faithful servant”.
I am curious to know what lessons you draw from this woman. Please continue the discussion in the comments section.
In part three of our Noble Women Series we shall consider the question who is mentoring you on your journey of living life as a noble woman?
Noble Women Series
Be a Proverbs 31 Woman in the 21st Century (You are here)