What it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman in 2014.
I never would have thought of myself as the Proverbs 31 woman if I had not woke up in on the morning after Peg had asked me to join this group and
remembered that 2014 is 31 years since I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. Thirty one years ago, I could mess up anything and anyone who loved me enough
to stay with me. I was convinced I was not lovable and would defend my heart and ego with all that I had bc it was all I knew. At 28 I was a committed atheist who
was desperately hurting and unwilling to let anyone know. Too practical to believe in a god and too cynical to believe any of those Christians who I only saw as
hypocrites. They were saying one thing and doing another. I heard them say, feed the poor while I saw the church buying stained glass windows. Evolution had
bewitched me and had been impressed on to me
Looking outside one autumn day and seeing the flowers I’d planted, I thought, “there must be a god”. Its all so beautiful and orderly this world couldn’t have
happened by accident. I said, you know god if your real I do want to know you, but don’t send any of those fools to my door and don’t come stand in my kitchen. I’ll
think I had a hallucination. Don’t do some kind of miracle bc a week later I’ll just rationalize it away. What ever you do with me God it will have to be on the inside
out. I just can’t believe in you. BUT if your real, I’D THINK YOU’D WANT MY MOUTH ON YOUR SIDE!!! Away I went to finish cleaning the house. A few days later one
of those awful shows I would never have watched was on – the 700 Club. A man was saying, if you can’t believe in God – its ok – tell Him. So I figured ok, I said God
I can’t believe in you. Ben Kinchlow said now say this prayer… I didn’t know what prayer he was talking about but I’d started the conversation so I said, Jesus I
repent of my sins, come into my heart and be Lord of my life…. amen. At the end of amen… as I spoke the ‘n’…. I was on the floor crying, I knew every time I had
spoken to God and He had spoken to me, I knew that not only was there a God, but He was Jesus Christ. Every time I think of that moment I am filled with awe at a
God who would bother to fill me with the knowledge of Himself. Me who only used Jesus as a cuss word. Me who mocked Christians as people who needed a crutch. I
mention this because it is the perspective I come with as a Proverbs 31 woman in 2014. I know the power of Jesus to transform lives, to impart to us a knowledge
outside of ourselves, to reveal Himself to us and to conform us into His image.
I would say to any woman who thinks they are unworthy of being called a Proverbs 31 woman, that it is not our view of ourselves that is important. It is how
Christ views us. With our faces turned toward Him, at times we will fall and we will stumble, often others will be hurt in the process. Yet if our faces are turned
toward Him and we are acting in faith, with Christ as our center, He truly will turn All things together for our good. Faith is a verb, it is active and it is powerful.
Heb11:1 now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. I could not have seen 31 years ago the woman I am today. God saw it. I
saw a foul mouthed woman, angry and unforgiving. Smoking four packs of cigarettes a day, unable to control my temper and unable to trust anyone. God said, “it is
finished”. The work He Himself had accomplished on the cross was already done. I was yet to learn many things about the importance of those words “it is done”. I
still have much to learn, but the joy is in the journey.
Today my house is peaceful, I am still imperfect. I’ve learned that there is fun in dysFUNctional. I can laugh at myself. Rarely do I laugh at others. Quick to
forgive, quick to apologize and yes – still quick to anger but it is a fast flame, blown out like a match. Some of who I am is in my DNA, more of who I am is in Him. I
still think the church is full of hypocrites. We are still saying one thing and doing another. Still investing in stained glass windows. The apostle Paul understood, as he
wrote in Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Yet, it is not I who has overcome it is He. I
no longer have a profane mouth, smoke, do drugs and most of the carnal issues have past… getting old is helpful too.
The scriptures tell us that without holiness no man will see God. I believe that, I also believe that He is our holiness. There is still no good thing in me except
Jesus. I was saved the first day I asked Jesus to be Lord and Savior, I will never be more saved then that. I will have more joy, more sorrow, more scars and there
are consequences for not following after Christ. God has said, He will not be mocked. His grace is given in abundance but there is one ‘condition’ because faith
without works is dead.…. the work of God is to believe. We must be faith-ing in Him. As we do that He changes the old carnal desires to new spiritual strengths. For
some of us it is an easy transition, for others “not so much”. There are many pitfalls in this Christian walk, there are false teachings, false apostles and our own
rebelliousness. None of them are so big Christ can not deal with them. Romans 8: 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor
demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate
us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Salvation is not a flower whose petals we pull, I’m saved today, not saved today… salvation is not
dependent on us, our denomination or our theology. It is a promise from Jesus, “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out. John 6:37. I think if we choose
sin over righteousness, eventually we will walk away. Our consciences seared. If we continue trusting Christ for our salvation He has taught us to forgive others
seventy times seven. A term which at that time implied infinity. Then that is how many times He will for give us.
The Proverbs 31 woman was a woman who loved God, she took great care of her family. She worked and she ran a household and labored outside of the home.
She could be a strong leader and was not afraid to tell those who worked for her, what to do. She demanded quality from them and from the goods she bought and
sold. She commanded respect. She had wisdom and her beauty was an inner beauty and outer strength. The original Hebrew speaks of someone who is valiant. She
was trust worthy and not afraid to work hard and to turn a profit. Her husband had good reason to be proud of her. Nowhere in Proverbs 31 is a woman commanded
to be submissive, needy or unable to make decisions on her own. It appears she was physically, mentally and emotionally strong and independent. Proverbs 31
begins by instructing a man to be sober, kind, generous, accountable and virtuous. This is advice from a wise mother to her son and a wise word for today it is…..
Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
There was a time when women were subordinate to men, it was more then cultural. It was ingrained in the male identity. The idea that a woman could possibly
be a man’s equal was unimaginable. When men had to hunt and fight to survive, women were weak and often a burden. Male children would work the fields and hunt
while women would do servile tasks. The fact that women had been used as judges in the Old Testament and God never demeaned or degraded women is sometimes
forgotten. When Jesus spoke to women, He was respectful and in all areas He lifted their position up as an equal in the ‘kingdom of God’. A revolutionary thought. My
belief is that the scriptures were not stronger about how women should be treated, because it would have inhibited Patriarchal societies from receiving the gospel. If
men thought they would have to treat their wives as more then property, many would have rejected the gospel and not allowed their wives to hear it. As it was it was
an easy fit for men to ask Jesus to be Lord and for them to continue to be head over their wives. As they submitted to Jesus as Lord, society was being changed.
Women once used and abused were becoming seen as valued for their virtue, their work ethic and their intelligence. They could own property and businesses.
Although, the scriptures about women submitting were emphasized, the scriptures about submitting one to another were too often neglected.
Pagan societies used women as sexual objects and the property of their fathers or husbands. They were bought and sold through dowries and exchanges for
goods. Pagan priestesses were most often prostitutes for whatever god they served.
I bring this up because in 2014 telling women they must submit is now the very thing that inhibits many from hearing the gospel. Although, women without
Christ have become not much better then in pagan societies. Women can legally make a living, an important point in civilized society but far too many are cast off as
objects for male pleasure, left as single mothers and heads of households. The honor afforded them in scripture is fleeting if scripture is not the basis for their
I would challenge the church in 2014 to honor woman as Jesus did and to advance the message that the unbelieving world has done more to degrade women
then at any other time in history. Women’s rights groups have left them with little options to either abort their unborn children or be saddled with the responsibility
alone. Men have the option of leaving with little responsibility but a monthly stipend. Marriage once an honored commitment is now a 50-50 shot at stability. Porn,
prostitution, sexual diseases and their consequences, sterility and possibly death are commonplace. The chaste women is considered a neanderthal even within the
church. Teen women are mocked for committing to abstinence. Adults having chosen to not only teach them all about sex, they are encouraged by their peers to do
likewise. Leaving little or no sense of propriety. We should not wonder why teenagers will send pictures of their own bodies to friends, sexting for fun and games.
Thus the only equality is the option to have sex or to be alone. For males the pressure to be sexually active is even greater. The consequences often just as damning.
The church of Jesus Christ must be a safe place for men and women to be encouraged to be all that Christ calls them to be, that includes ministers, teachers,
evangelists and apostles. His gifts are for all, His mercy is for everyone. Jesus has no biases and is not a ‘respecter of persons’ that He would favor one group or
gender over another. We must not impede the work of Christ in favor of our preferred doctrines. I would also concede that in some countries, cultures, there is a
place for not confronting cultural biases if it would hinder the spread of the gospel. I speak specifically today of the Middle East; where the rights of women are
virtually nonexistent. Our obligation is to further the gospel, not to further our own personal interpretation of that gospel. I would end with a quote of unknown
origin….”in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity”.
May God richly bless you with all wisdom and compassion for His beloved… you. God bless, andrea
What it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman in 2014.