For most God-fearing, God-honoring girls, Mrs. P31 is someone we look up to (or should). After all, she’s the clearest picture in scripture of a virtuous woman! She’s smart, good with finances, beautiful, hard-working, selfless, and…married.
This woman has a husband that’s well respected, children that behave in public, and a solid understanding of the world around her.
But…guess what? I’m NOT a mom! I have no husband, no kids, no household to run. So, I read through this chapter saying “yeah, that’s what I’m gonna be” and then move on. #stupid
I would argue that when Miss P became Mrs. P, virtue, strength, and good habits didn’t just drop on her head.
So, what are we doing as single women that is going to affect our futures??? What does MISS P31 do with her time–her life?
Let’s take a look.
Vs. 11 “The heart of her [Father] safely trusts her.”
Yeah, I know it says “husband” but we don’t have husbands, remember? If our fathers don’t trust us with:
How are our husbands going to do this?
I know what you’re thinking.
Fathers can be overprotective, or uninvolved, or unworthy of respect. They’re HUMAN. And, just a side note, your husband will be too. Only he’ll be younger, and less experienced, and probably less mature…so…
In a nutshell. Miss P31 builds trust.
Vs. 13 “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”
In common English, Miss P seeks out work. She doesn’t hide in the corner and hope it won’t find her. If there’s no project in sight, she goes and finds one. Then, she attacks the project willingly. Not dragging her feet, not moping.
All that overachiever wife and mother stuff doesn’t just happen overnight. (I know, I was disappointed too.)
What are we pursing: Work? School? Ministry? Let’s not dabble. Immerse!
Vs. 14 “She is like the merchant ships: she bringeth her food from afar.”
I don’t think this means she weighs as much as a lead balloon. Missy looks for good deals and she’s willing to go out of her way to get ’em. She wants the best and the lowest cost.
How do we spend our money? Foolishly? Do we have an instant gratification mindset?
What about health? Do we stop at the closest Micky D’s, or take the extra time to pack a lunch? I’m guilty when it comes to buying whatever’s closest when it comes to food (exception: McDonalds. That’s not even food.)
Vs. 15 “She riseth also when it is yet night…”
Hard to swallow version: she gets up before everyone else. Blast!
My bed is sooo cozy in the morning!
Are you going to be Miss P or aren’t you? Get out of that bed! (I will too. Deal?)
She probably goes to bed at a decent time because she knows she has commitments the next day. Burning the candle at both ends made me lose my hair (literally), so don’t overdo it. But sleeping-in when there’s stuff to do (and trust me, if we’re looking there’s always stuff to do) is no bueno.
Vs. 16 “She buyeth [a field]…and planteth a vineyard.”
This woman knew business and we should too!
What are we investing money in? Make-up? Shoes? (Guilty on the shoes.)
Let’s pay attention when businesspeople talk so we can know how to make wise monetary decisions and invest!
Vs. 17 “She strengtheneth her arms.”
A.k.a. she works out. If we can’t find time to work-out and take care of our bodies now, how are we going to find time to exercise when babies are crying, we’re planting vineyards, supporting our husbands, and making our own clothes from WHEAT! Not gonna happen. Period.
Vs. 18 “Her candle goeth not out by night.”
No, this doesn’t mean Miss P parties hard. Sleep is super important to living a full, quality, life so don’t go all literal on me.
Seeing my mother get up with crying babies, hurling kids, and ear aches, gives me an idea of what this means as a mom.
As a single woman, I believe this has the same message.
We need to lay beauty sleep aside and DO what needs to be done WHEN it needs to be done. Again, for some reason I don’t think partying all night is what God was talking about here.
Vs. 20 “She reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”
This is not limited to the poor. Maybe a friend needs an encouraging note. Maybe our co-worker needs help with a looming deadline. Maybe our neighbor is in need of a break from their kids.
Needs are all around us in thousands of different forms.
Let’s have servant’s hearts and give of ourselves.
Vs. 21 “She is not afraid of the snow.”
This woman is prepared and plans ahead! She has an extra change of clothes, some spare cash, and a flashlight in the dash (or a “flashlight app” on her iPhone).
Later, this might translate to snacks in the diaper bag, and a spare pair in case toddler-in-training can’t find the toilet. But regardless of what stage we’re in, expect the unexpected. Plan ahead, and be ready if the snowstorm strikes out of the blue.
Whatever happens…don’t be afraid. ‘Cause we can trust in Jesus.
Vs. 22 “Her clothing is silk and purple.”
I’m sure Mrs. P31 didn’t dress like a rag-bag through her teen years and end up a stunning, classy, tasteful wife. I mean, people change, but…there’s limits.
I’ve totally worn mismatched socks, greasy hair, and nail-polish half-scratched off (at the same time). But…that’s not who I want to be. If we can’t take care of ourselves now, we will definitely be the bedraggled, unkempt moms no one WANTS to be.
We don’t want to draw attention to ourselves by dressing provocatively–the bible warns against over-doing-it. But we also don’t want to hide the glory of Christ in a sagging pile of poor taste.
Again–balance. That’s life.
Vs. 23 “Her husband is known in the gates.”
So, for those of us not well-versed in “bible language,” sitting in the gates is a big deal. That’s where the leaders, innovators, and honored wise-ones sat.
“So what?” You ask. “I don’t have a husband.”
Just like girls don’t turn into virtuous women overnight, losers don’t turn into leaders the moment they’re married.
Is your boyfriend “gate-sitter” material? With your support, encouragement, and love, will he sit in the gates or on the couch?
Just like we need to be hard-working, servant-hearted, and well-dressed now, the guy we date needs to be a leading, learning, and God-fearing NOW.
Of course, people mature and grow. (At least, I hope so, because I have a loooonnnnggg way to go).
But the raw qualities need to be there.
I gottcha. He’s hot, funny, and clever. But is he a leader amongst his peers? Is he respected? What do his friends/family say? Is he drawing you up to his level or pulling you down?
Miss P31’s need to aline their lives with future “gate-sitters” if they want to become Mrs. Proverbs 31.
Mrs. Proverbs is already WAY too busy leading her family and fulfilling her tasks to have to struggle with a dead-weight husband. She can’t juggle her responsibilities along with the role of being provider, protector, and priest of their home.
If we want to be Proverbs 31 Women, we have to start TODAY! Our future success rests heavily on the decisions, actions, and relationships we are involved in right now!
There’s still eight verses left to go, but I’m going to marinade on this for awhile. The chapter is so rich, I had to limit myself to a few nuggets that jumped out at me.
What are some things you’ve learned from Mrs. Proverbs 31?