Because life is a series of edits

Happy Mother’s Day

In Family, Marriage on May 11, 2008 at 10:03 am

I know most women get nervous about Proverbs 31:10-31 because of the “all-or-nothing” evaluation that often accompanies it, either in its presentation or in its processing. But today on Mother’s Day, could we read the Scripture for what it means? Proverbs 31 isn’t intended as a list to live up to but as a life to live out, and I’m grateful to be married to a woman who wants to live this kind of life (though she’ll admit it’s hard for her sometimes to get everything checked off).

From Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase, The Message:

“A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing. She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.

She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day. She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden. First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.

She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking. She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor. She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear. She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks.

Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers. She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops. Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile. When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.

She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive. Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise: ‘Many women have done wonderful things, but you’ve outclassed them all!’

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God. Give her everything she deserves! Festoon her life with praises!”

Happy Mother’s Day, moms.

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  1. I’ve never been fond of that passage because it always made me feel like a failure because I could never live up to it. But today our pastor preached a brilliant message on the passage and managed to free me of all the guilt associated with it. It’s going down as one of my Top 5 favorites sermons.
    http://waysidechapel.org/313118.ihtml

  2. I actually was re-reading this passage yesterday myself, underlining parts that I want to work on this year!

    It never really intimidated me, ever since I first studied in in-depth as a college sophomore, probably because I always have read it with one of the Christian women I admire and know in mind– filling the shoes of the woman described, and I KNOW they aren’t perfect. I think it helps to think of other wives and mothers who are seen in the Proverbs 31 light.

    One of the things I noticed yesterday is that whatever the wife of noble character does, she does is joyfully and gladly. I am trying to change my tune about housework and the like and roll up my sleeves and get to it…starting right now!

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