Recently, one of my friends shared an observation she made among some of the young adults in her sphere of influence. That is, some of them feel, should they marry, they don’t want children. One thought is that should the marriage not work out they don’t want any children to be affected by a possible divorce. The other thought is that marriage and raising a family is hard work. Juggling family, work and outside activities doesn’t seem appealing.
As I pondered these thoughts, I struggled with my own thought; “have we possibly raised a generation of young adults and somehow given them a skewed impression of what it means to raise a family and the sanctity of marriage?” I continued to think about these things when I felt the Holy Spirit bring in a parallel thought; The Proverbs 31 Woman.
When I first met her I thought, “Wow, I want to BE like her!” As time went on my thought was, “How can I EVER be like her?” Now some theorize that all the work she does is during different seasons of her life, i.e., buying a field and planting a vineyard, trading and making garments. Perhaps, but the text seems to point to a daily routine and flows as flawlessly as all the things she seems to accomplish in her day. Others might say that she isn’t a real women rather an example of the ideal woman. Well, as many of us, women especially, continue to learn and grow in our identity in Christ, to say she isn’t real but ideal, would give us plenty of fodder to beat ourselves up with. I think it is easier to believe she is real and learn how to become more like her than to say she is an ideal, which automatically puts becoming more like her in the unattainable slot.
I decided to set out and do my own research on this amazing woman. If you’re familiar with the Proverbs 31 woman, then you know she is a wife of noble character, worth more than rubies and cares for her family and servants with their utmost in mind. She even wakes while it is still night to prepare for the day.
Among my searching I found this nugget, Proverbs 8:35, for those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD. What is being found is wisdom and what is being given is life and favor from God. This Proverb is a corresponding verse to Proverbs 31:10, where we find that the Proverbs 31 woman is a wife of noble character. Then it hit me! This is about her relationship with God. She is a wife of noble character not because she can seemingly do so many wonderful things in the span of one day; she can do all these wonderful things because of God who creates in her a wife of noble character. (see Philippians 4:13). Scripture doesn’t tell us specifically, but I have to believe that she had a deep, intimate, consistent and abiding relationship with God. One that was seeped in prayer, worship and praise. She chose to spend time in His presence, seeking His wisdom, and in return he gave her life and favor throughout her daily routines. It isn’t any wonder then that she could accomplish all she did!
So, what does the Proverbs 31 Woman have to do with my friend’s observation about some of the young adults in her life? My thought is, perhaps we ARE giving the impression that life, marriage and raising a family is a struggle; full of activity, hustle and bustle, be here….no go there. But, are we also giving the impression that we trust God to work out our days, that we are seeking Him for his wisdom and following his guidance and direction, which truly does make each path straight?
Any of us can become like the Proverbs 31 Woman. It all starts with a relationship….
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28.
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