Sometimes, I Don't Even Like Her.

There's this lady who is really well known amongst us women. We've heard sermons about her and she gets headlines in many Bible studies. But sometimes, I don't even like her. You probably already know who I'm talking about. Let's see if a few lines about her ring any bells,

The heart of her husband trusts in her...
She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands...
She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household...
She dresses herself in strength and makes her arms strong...
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable...

and for the first time today I see,
She is not afraid of snow for her household... !!!

I mean, it goes on an on. Have you rolled your eyes yet? This is the Proverbs 31 woman. She is found in Proverbs 31:10-31. This girl has got it going on! She's sweet to her husband, skilled, works hard, hardly sleeps so she can serve her family, always dresses well, is great in business and is probably a member of some CrossFit gym with those killer arms she has. And she doesn't care about snow? Her schools must never have snow days, right?

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It's hard to read these passages sometimes. I find myself comparing myself to her immediately. Well, I made 6 lovely jarred salads yesterday and a few weeks ago I made 20 freezer meals from a blog I read. I've sold some stuff on the Facebook yardsale and used the money to pay for haircuts, does that count? I try to make husband toast every morning and I put the peanut butter on it he likes, is that enough? And I haven't worked out this week but I put some fitness pins on my Pinterest board and next week I plan to look at those again.

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The Bible isn't Pinterest and it isn't SELF magazine and it isn't Better Homes and Gardens. It's often said that the Bible IS a mirror, and sometimes I look in the mirror and I don't even like her. Thankfully the Bible is a book about our hearts and God's plan to revive and restore our hearts towards Him. This Proverbs 31 woman is not our poster child. We don't have to recreate her life within ours but instead, take note of her heart. This is what God cares about - where is our heart?

What I notice about the Proverbs 31 woman is that her heart is on God first, then family and finally herself. We're told all throughout the Bible to put God first. And while there's no passage that talks about this gal's quiet time or how many devotions are on her bedside table, she serves her husband and family first. When we serve our spouse, we serve Christ. We can be an example of Christ and can serve Him at the same time! And if you are single, your acts of service toward others are showing that you put God first. All men and women are called to serve and love the Lord first regardless of marital status.

I also imagine that this woman was so good in business because her mind was on her family all the while making land deals and selling her goods. I think God is teaching us there will be success for us when our heart is in the right place. We are to think of those we are serving when we buy and sell. That's not to say you can't enjoy earning your money and having fine things. This gal rocked some expensive purple linen! I imagine she was well aware of the Half Yearly Sale at Nordstrom...or marketplace.

God wants us to take care of our hearts. This Proverbs 31 woman has wisdom, she laughs, she is kind and dignified. Do you think sometimes she groaned at the sick kid who woke her up at 2am? Probably. Do you think she muttered a few words about the lady who stepped in front of her at the marketplace? Maybe. She was human after all. Her example shows us, however, that when we are focused more on the Lord than ourselves, beautiful traits will be what is seen of us. Perhaps the writer Proverbs had seen her groan or mutter but he failed to mention all of that because her love shone greater.

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