We’ve been studying our role as wives this year during ladies’ Bible study, and last week we came to…gulp…the Proverbs 31 woman. You know the one, the woman who makes us all want to crawl in bed with a bar of chocolate and pull the covers over our head. Or is it just me? Am I the only one who finds this passage in Scripture completely overwhelming and intimidating?
Our leader asked us to look at this Scripture in the Amplified Bible, as well as our usual translations, and make a list of the characteristics that we see in this woman. Not the things she does – because, really, how many of us are getting up in the morning to organize our maids? Some of what she did was very different than what we do today – but the characteristics she exemplifies can be applied no matter what century or culture we live in.
So I took about thirty minutes, and here’s the list I came up with:
~She is morally excellent, righteous, chaste, and beneficial to her husband.
~She has merit.
~She is capable.
~She is worthy of her husband’s confidence and reliance upon her.
~She enriches her husband’s life.
~She does not hinder, delay, or hamper her husband in any way.
~She gives her husband assistance and support.
~She improves, relieves, rescues, benfits, promotes, and serves her husband.
~She is busy.
~She arranges things.
~She is intentional and makes plans.
~She is industrious, skillful, diligent, and full of energy.
~She is strong, frugal, and has great resources.
~She is compassionate and generous.
~She is confident.
~She is careful and observant.
~She is worthy, honored, and esteemed.
~She is full of wisdom and kindness.
~She fears the Lord.
Whew! I need to go lay down – this woman exhausts me. Unfortunately, this assignment left me discouraged and ashamed. I fall so short of this ideal. And so I went to Bible study feeling deflated and a little apprehensive of what I would hear.
But before we got to the discussion time, I led worship. And this is one of the songs I had chosen for this morning:
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound!
Amazing love, now flowing down
From hands and feet that were nailed to a tree,
As grace flows down and covers me.
It covers me.
It covers me.
It covers me…
And covers me.
Words and music by David E. Bell, Louie Giglio, & Rod Padgett
I am not always morally excellent and righteous…but He covers me.
I am not a consistent support and benefit to my husband…but He covers me.
I am not always diligent and busy and capable and confident and compassionate and frugal and generous and wise and kind and…
He covers me.
And because He covers me, I won’t crawl into bed with a chocolate bar and give up. I will keep clinging to Him and allow Him to make me more like that list. Will I be perfect? Not in this life. Can I do better? Not on my own. But He covers me.