Confession of a Mom: Who Moved the Proverbs 31 Off Her Pedestal

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I was scrolling on Facebook the other day and I stumbled upon yet another business touting the “31” that most women recognize as the reference to Proverbs 31 and the idyllic woman that is beautifully painted there with words that serve as markers for how to be a godly women, wife, mother, etc. Don’t get me wrong, she is a great goal to shoot for. I just think that maybe we are starting to lose focus.

We’ve taken the words of Proverbs 31, we’ve ripped the pages out and made a papier-mâché statue of this woman who is in all ways perfect. She goes and does with flawless grace and meets each day with laughter and no fear of the future. We read these verses like a mantra of what we are all striving for. Her task list is one we long to emulate. Her selflessness is second to none.

But is she really second to none?

Is she who we should be striving to be?

No.

Before you quit reading because I’ve just dissed your favorite bible character (that doesn’t even get a name, by the way), hear me out.

I want to be all those things too. I want to drift through my days with joy, ambition, and confidence. I want to never fall prey to idleness. I would love to be praised by my husband and children. But more than any of those things I want to be passionately pursuing the day to day laid before me by the Holy Spirit. I want HIS leading in my life. I want to be so headstrong for Jesus and my intimate and individual relationship with the Holy Spirit that I achieve most―if not all―the highly-coveted attributes of P31 (that’s what I’ll call her, poor gal should have gotten a proper shout out) simply as a side effect.

These desires to be P31 are good for the most part, but she isn’t who we should be emulating. Jesus is the one we should be going after with all our heart, mind, and soul. Honestly, if we just focused on the greatest 2 commandments, it would take us more than our lifetime to accomplish to the level of excellence displayed by Jesus.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’“ Matthew 22:37-39

See, most of the time when we want to stop doing this or start doing that, those things in and of themselves are not the problem or the solution…they are the symptom to a deeper heart issue. A human-love defect if you will. Pursuing a life worthy of praise and honor is not bad on the surface, but the intent of the heart is highly important to God. This is why I urge you to put Jesus on the “Role Model Board” above P31. If she lived in this day and age, I would venture to guess that she would be head-over-heels in love with Jesus. She would be urging all of you to turn from the pages of Proverbs and go soak yourself in the New Testament accounts of Jesus and learn all you can. She would spend more time talking about the Holy Spirit than her tips on how to perfectly fold a fitted sheet.

Just like in the story of Mary and Martha, Jesus valued the one that sacrificed the appearance of being June Cleaver in order to seize the moment she was getting to be at the Savior’s feet. I think one of the main points in this story is: to tell us busy women striving for housewife of the year to not get so wrapped up in achieving that goal that we are blind to the rare opportunities we get to have supernatural encounters with Jesus. Seize the moment and risk not being THE BEST. In the end the title of “Daughter of the One True King” will always beat out “Most Like P31.”

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