She takes care of all of the details of the household. She never forgets clothes in the washing machine. She always has home cooked meals for her family.
She is an entrepreneur- she knows how to turn a profit. She works hard. Plans ahead. Makes the most of every opportunity.
Her husband speaks well of her. And he is respected wherever he goes.
We know her, right? She's the Proverbs 31 woman. Or how I picture her to be.
I have found that I respond differently to this woman at different times in my life.
Sometimes I have been irritated with her. I mean, seriously? How can anyone do ALL of that? There are some days where we are living out of laundry baskets, pulling dishes from the dishwasher, barely making it to the next thing on time.
And I get irritated with this woman that has it all together. And I begin to question her. Does she really do all of these things? How in the world does she get it all done?
There are other times when I read about her and I am intimidated. I want to be like her. I want to work hard, to have my children call me blessed, to cook all of my own food, to make my kids clothes.
I read about her and I want to hide. I don't measure up. Not even close!
And I wonder, how many of us do this with women in our real lives? Do we get irritated with the woman who has the "perfect" house? Do we get intimidated by the one who has thousands of followers?
If we're honest, I think we all respond these ways at times. Because we are really good at comparing and criticizing and putting others down to make ourselves feel better.
But... what if we saw these things for what they really are? What if we identified our irritation and intimidation as pride and insecurity? What would change if we admitted that our responses to the Proverbs 31 woman (and the other women in our lives) was not based on a desire to honor God?
I am learning that instead of comparing myself to others, I need to celebrate them!
This is when I begin to be inspired! When that one has a perfectly clean and organized house, I seek to learn from her. When someone else has worked hard to start her own business, I want to support her. When I see someone developing a passion and having success, I want to celebrate them!
Our lives are meant to bring glory to God- every single one of us. The way that we do this will look different, because God made us each unique. When we understand this and when we are seeking to honor Him, we will be inspired by others who are seeking to do the same thing. We will want to celebrate others, because we understand that it is not about us, it is all about Him!
I challenge you to read Proverbs 31 today and instead of being irritated or intimidated, seek to be inspired. Find out who God has made YOU to be and then glorify Him with all that you are!
"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." (Proverbs 31:30)