I first came in contact with today's guest poster, Laura, through her site Joshua's Tree, where I was impressed by the creative ideas to help families focus on glorifying God through fun and thought provoking activities. This post is a wonderful reminder to me to stop striving (and it fits well with my earlier post this week).
Guest Post by Laura
If I told you that the rest of this post was going to be about a woman of the Bible, what would you think? What if I told you it was about a woman who wasn’t even given a name? What if she was the Proverbs 31 woman? If you are like most women I talk to, you are probably doing one of the following:
Response #1: You are squirming with discomfort. The woman of Proverbs 31 is too much to look up to. When does she sleep? Can someone possibly do that much? She must be Superwoman. If I just ignore she exists, my life will be much happier.
Response #2: The Proverbs 31 woman - now she is someone to look up to, someone I strive to be like. And then you make a list of all of the tasks she has accomplished and plan to be just like her.
Those may not be 100% accurate, but I have to admit that I frequently jump between the two responses.
No matter what your feelings are towards this particular chapter in the book of Proverbs, the reality is that it’s there, and there are so many practical lessons we can learn from her. Here are just a few of the things God has been teaching me.
Point #1: Jesus is our ultimate example. While the Proverbs 31 woman is pretty cool, and we can learn a lot from her, we must never place her example above God's example. I often need to remind myself of this when I study Bible characters, people in history, or even when I see others around me. They are all flawed – except for Christ.
Point #2: It's in the principles. Just as with most Biblical characters and stories, God often chooses to teach us principles. There are many in the Bible whom God specifically called to follow Him. Yet when the healed demoniac asked to follow Jesus, he was told to stay where he was and tell others about how he was healed. Yet in cases of both followers and the demoniac, the principle is the same - we must be willing to give up everything, including our own desires, to be obedient to God's callings.
Here are some of the principles we can learn from the Proverbs 31 woman:
- Diligence/Hard work
- Care for family
- Fear of the Lord
Point #3: We can't do it ourselves. This is so crucial, and is something I'm learning in so many areas of my life. We must allow Him to work in us. Then life becomes less of an issue of a list to check off, and more a life of surrender and dependence on God's strength to follow through with His plans for our lives.
Can you relate to me when I become stressed out by asking myself these questions: What do others think about my house, my work, my life, etc? How do they perceive me? Am I doing things the right way? Am I making the right choices? I often feel that my life has to look perfect and pristine - just like the Proverbs 31 woman. So I try . . . really hard.
Yet it is in this striving that we go wrong (check out Exodus 14:14). I cannot let social constraints determine what is important or how I should live my life. I cannot base my choices on perceived expectations of others. I must allow God to have all of my heart and my life. He can then work in me to make me more diligent, caring, compassionate, wise and a better steward. He can also help me to learn to grow in Him and give Him higher priority.
Why don’t you join me and the woman in Proverbs 31 and pray that God will daily help us to depend on Him so that He can work in our lives and transform us?
Laura great passion is to lead kids and their families to Christ. She loves her role as wife and is eager to add the mother role to her description someday soon. You can read about her adventures through life at her blog At Jesus’ Feet or learn about Joshua’s House, the family ministry God has called her to.