I’ve always struggled with feeling threatened by other women. When I was dating my last boyfriend, I remember meeting his gorgeous female housemates and wondering if I should end the relationship right then, because he would obviously choose one of them over me eventually. It seems ridiculous now, that I would sabotage myself by making such drastic assumptions after meeting these girls once… But, I did.
I was reading through my prayer journal today and came across my study of the most enviable woman I’ve ever met: the Proverbs 31 woman. Remember her? She is clothed with strength and dignity. She laughs without fear of the future. She rises before her household and goes to sleep after everyone else. She works all day and still finds time to serve the poor. She is more precious than rubies. This woman is intimidating. I used to read that scripture and think, no way, God. There’s no way you can expect me to be like her.
This spring I participated in a virtual Bible study and read through Proverbs 31 every day for a month. At first, I read it and pretended like it wasn’t meant for me. God must have given that example for the most intelligent, beautiful, loving women to follow… Not me. Thankfully, God loves us too much to leave the way we are when we come to Him. He slowly worked on my heart and my final journal entry from the challenge said this:
Any woman who is a child of God can be like this woman because Jesus lives in us, and He fulfills the righteousness of God. The Proverbs 31 woman may accomplish many things, but it’s her love and reverence toward God that are most important.
I believed that in April and I still believe it now. The Proverbs 31 woman is worthy of admiration because she seeks God’s heart and that love overflows into the lives of everyone she encounters. My favorite part of this passage says, “Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.” I no longer believe this verse is intended for the “best” of us. It’s written for everyone. It’s written for you, and it’s written for me.
I used to ask Jesus for all kinds of selfish things… For repaired relationships, for a perfect figure, and whatever else I felt insecure about that day. But, somewhere along the way, my prayers changed. John 13:35 says, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” To me, that means waking up every morning and asking God for eyes that see others’ needs, words to encourage those who feel lost, and a heart humble enough to reach for His hand when I need help.
I’m grateful for the Proverbs woman, and every other woman walking a path of peace, who show us that you don’t have to be perfect to love God. I’m grateful that God can use a passage of scripture to stir and inspire my heart. I’m not always consistent about reading my Bible but when I am, I feel the difference. God has knocked on the door of my heart for a long time… I’m finally answering.