The "Perfect" Mom: Turning intimidation into inspiration.
Calling All Super Moms!
If you’re a wife and a mom, I think it’s hard to read about the woman in Proverbs 31:10-31 without feeling like you come up short. Not only does she sound like she does it all, but she sounds like she’s got it all together. How annoying. At least, that’s honestly how I feel, especially on a day where just getting the kids fed and out of the house on time feels like I’m trying to squeeze water out of a rock. “What’s that in your hair?”, you ask. “That would be the baby’s oatmeal, thank you very much.” We’ve all been there. If you haven’t, send me your address so I can drop off my kids for the afternoon. (wink, wink)
Let's stop calling ourselves a "Hot Mess" right now, mmmkay?
You're not a mess. You're a mom and that is the hardest job in the world.
I’ve seen some authors say that this Proverbs 31 woman is an impossible ideal. A standard that only brings godly women misery, so give up trying. Just be who you are and stop striving for impossible perfection. Sounds reasonable, right? This is exactly what we want to hear when we feel stretched to our breaking point, give up. Make no mistake, it is the enemy who tells us to give up. Give up on yourself. Your friendships. Your kids. Your marriage. On God.
God tells us to give it up, TO HIM!
Don’t miss this.
We aren’t supposed to give up. We are to ask God to meet us in our mess.
Give up your burdens to God and ask Him to help you carry the load. Heck, ask Him to carry it all. He will!
Back to the Proverbs 31 woman. Does God really set impossible standards? Yes. We are called to be blameless. (Philippians 2:14-16) Of course, none of us are, or ever can be. This is why Christ came to live perfectly and die blameless, in our place. Only He could do it and only He is sufficient to save us. But God does not compromise. While we can never earn His favor by being a super mom or wife, we are called to live in accordance with His perfect standard. The only way to do this is to put our faith in Christ and confess our sins when we inevitably fall short. Only Christ can cover the distance between our imperfect lives and His perfect standard.
I think the Proverbs 31 woman is an awesome guidepost for Christian wives and mothers. Forget all these books on parenting, all you need is the Bible. Do you want to know what God thinks a worthy woman is? Here you go. This woman is many things, and I made a list. Oh, how I love lists.
The Proverbs 31 Woman Is:
- an excellent wife
- more valuable than jewels
- trusted by her husband
- good, not evil to her husband
- a hard worker, with her hands
- a food gatherer
- a food preparer
- a food server
- a servant to others
- a businesswoman
- a property owner
- physically fit and strong
- a 3rd shift, night-time worker
- a clothes maker
- a servant of the poor
- ready for and accepting of all types of weather
- a source of honor for her husband
- an entrepreneur
- a small business owner
- defined by her character (strength and dignity), not her fashion
- optimistic about the future
- a wise speaker
- a teacher
- a homemaker
- not idle
- blessed by her children
- praised and adored by her husband
- revered in her community for living a godly life
Man, this woman is busy. And talented. And successful. And seems freakishly perfect. Seriously, does she even sleep? I don’t sleep much and I get my kids' clothing at Target. I’m not darning socks in the middle of the night, for crying out loud. How does she do it?
Let me ask you something, once you’re done reeling over this incredible list. Take a moment…I’ll wait.
Do you honestly believe this woman is perfect?
She’s not Jesus, so she can’t be. Period. This is a picture of a woman of God. Did she have a perfect marriage? No such thing. Is it possible she confessed her sin to God when she got frustrated with her husband or challenged him so that Christ’s righteousness was counted as hers? Yes. So she makes dinner, who says she never burned it or made a meal that the kids wouldn’t eat? Isn’t it possible that at times she was stressed out by money, her business, the kids, the housework? The Bible just shows us that she was faithful to her calling to do it. She did the work. She fought the good fight.
The Proverbs 31 woman is you. She is me. She is us.
We are sisters in Christ and we are this woman. We do these things. We feed our family. We are working in and out of the home. We sew buttons back onto shirts at night, perform stuffing surgery on beloved teddy bears and pack lunches after everyone else is asleep. We give to the poor. We advise our husbands in their businesses and some of us run our own. All of us are CEOs to our kids. We are 3rd shift nurses, some literally, and all of us at 2 am when our kids are sick or hurting. My guess is that this woman drew her strength from God. She is worthy because she is counted worthy because she depended on God to make up for her imperfections.
I know I do. Seriously...
We do not need to be intimidated by this woman, other women, or God. We are all members of the body of Christ. We are all called to different lives and forms of service. Where we fall short, God will pick up the slack, if we ask. Some days we will need more help than others, but one thing is sure, we will always need His help.
I’ve started dropping to my knees in front of my kids. Some days I don’t know how to talk to them about God, so I talk to God in front of them instead. I ask him to change my heart. I ask Him to change their hearts. I ask for forgiveness for myself and for them. I ask Him to meet me halfway. On bad days, I ask Him to meet me all the way.
Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t cut yourself down. Reach up to God and He will meet you wherever you are. If you don’t know God, call out to Him. Seek Him with all your heart and you will find Him, your salvation, and all the help you will ever need. (Jeremiah 29:13) If you are in Christ, you already are all you ever need to be. With Him, you are enough. Always.
All the feels,
©This Is Not What I Signed Up For, LLC
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