Culture, Faith, Family

Proverbs 31 versus American 2010

Over the past few weeks, I have been mulling around a variety of thoughts in my head regarding who I am now and who I am becoming.  And who I want to become in Christ.  There are days where I feel like I am kind of confused about the “who I am now” part; ever since I have become a mother and began easing out of working as child and family therapist, I have hit up against that proverbial brick wall of how to balance being a wife and mother and how to just be.  I hate to even write that, as it sounds so typical, and one thing I do know is that I don’t want to be typical.

Anyway, despite the predictability in this struggle, it is certainly a very real one and has led me to seriously consider what God has for me now that I am at home with Eila and Asher rather than in my old office.  This is what I have so far:  1) obviously, God has me being a wife to my husband and a mother to my children, 2) this looks different than it did when I was working, 3) IT IS HARD, 4) I need help, and 5) He has a lot to say about it in His Word.  So that is where I have turned.

And honestly, I am still confused (although it is getting clearer).  First you have the Proverbs 31 woman (  Honestly, I feel like I could NEVER be this woman…at least, not fully.  She seems to be able to do everything- she “rises while it is still night” to prepare food for her household, her “lamp does not go out at night”, she “does not eat the bread of idleness”, and so forth.   It is here I remind myself that I cannot be perfect, I cannot be perfect, I cannot be perfect…but I can be perfected through Christ, and only Christ.  This allows me to continue reading about this woman who the fleshly part of me resents until that reminder.

How on earth am I to rise while it is still night when I am nursing a newborn around the clock, or keep my lamp on?  How do I balance my need to sit down and read a good book when there are dishes to be done (idleness?)  Am I given a pass because I have two children under the age of 2?  I wouldn’t think so.  But perhaps I am looking at this the wrong way.  This commentary (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible) has helped…

This is the description of a virtuous woman of those days, but the general outlines equally suit every age and nation. She is very careful to recommend herself to her husband’s esteem and affection, to know his mind, and is willing that he rule over her. 1. She can be trusted, and he will leave such a wife to manage for him. He is happy in her. And she makes it her constant business to do him good. 2. She is one that takes pains in her duties, and takes pleasure in them. She is careful to fill up time, that none be lost. She rises early. She applies herself to the business proper for her, to women’s business. She does what she does, with all her power, and trifles not.

3. She makes what she does turn to good account by prudent management. Many undo themselves by buying, without considering whether they can afford it. She provides well for her house. She lays up for hereafter. 4. She looks well to the ways of her household, that she may oblige all to do their duty to God and one another, as well as to her.

5. She is intent upon giving as upon getting, and does it freely and cheerfully. 6. She is discreet and obliging; every word she says, shows she governs herself by the rules of wisdom. She not only takes prudent measures herself, but gives prudent advice to others. The law of love and kindness is written in the heart, and shows itself in the tongue. Her heart is full of another world, even when her hands are most busy about this world.

7. Above all, she fears the Lord. Beauty recommends none to God, nor is it any proof of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man who made his choice of a wife by it. But the fear of God reigning in the heart, is the beauty of the soul; it lasts for ever. 8. She has firmness to bear up under crosses and disappointments. She shall reflect with comfort when she comes to be old, that she was not idle or useless when young. She shall rejoice in a world to come. She is a great blessing to her relations.

If the fruit be good, the tree must have our good word. But she leaves it to her own works to praise her. Every one ought to desire this honour that cometh from God; and according to this standard we all ought to regulate our judgments. This description let all women daily study, who desire to be truly beloved and respected, useful and honourable. This passage is to be applied to individuals, but may it not also be applied to the church of God, which is described as a virtuous spouse? God by his grace has formed from among sinful men a church of true believers, to possess all the excellences here described.

Can I just say that I LOVE the statement “Her heart is full of another world, even when her hands are most busy about this world.”?  That plus, “Above all, she fears the Lord” gives me a sense of direction in the midst of all the things this woman is able to do.  Granted, both are lofty goals.  But for some reason, I am comforted, as both of these statements remind me that in order to be like this woman, I am to focus on God and His kingdom and do my best to fulfill my calling here on earth.

I intend to write more on this subject, but ironically, must go fulfill my calling in the way of preparing lunch for my family.  Please feel free to share your thoughts on this subject (men and women!) as I process mine.


3 thoughts on “Proverbs 31 versus American 2010”

  1. oh Olivia .. like mother like daughter both of us posting on this today and how rich was your and gave even richer insights. You are quite the wife like rubies ( auburn hair and all ) as I know Will completely adores you. How wonderful to have you as a daughter.. I am so blessed by your heart towards Him while living in the now ” for them’. The them being the most incredible legacy .. your family.

    Love you,

  2. Simply awesome Liv. Will is blessed to have you as a wife, Eila and Asher are very blessed to have you as a mommy…There are few higher callings in life than that of a wife and mother. Glad to see you walking in obedience to the calling God has placed on your life…Bless you.

  3. Olivia,

    I’ve heard Will talk about you on Twitter. I’m a WAHM with a 5-month-old (and a 6-year-old in school). It’s hard realizing that sometimes God calls us from one calling, albeit temporarily, to serve in another capacity. I can’t wait to serve as a chaplain again, but in the meantime, I’m savoring every precious moment of being a good and gracious, loving and encouraging steward of the precious lives – all three, including my husband – that God has entrusted to my care and nurturing. Despite the frustrations, we can do this because God has called us to do this and will give us all we need. May his blessings be on you!

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