Proverbs 31 stands as a guideline to women as to how we are to live a life of excellence.
Often times, I read through this chapter in Proverbs and find myself slumped in my chair by the end of it.
Although it is meant to encourage us, often times we can feel completely overwhelmed by what seems like a long and unachievable task list.
I've began journaling about who the true Proverbs 31 woman was, and I jotted down five simple and practical habits to start your day in the mindset of a Proverbs 31 woman.
I pray that by the end of this you are no longer bogged down with the unreachable standards, but encouraged by a woman in the Bible who just loved God wholeheartedly.
"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised."
Fear The Lord
Most people hear this saying and automatically assume it means to be scared of God.
That couldn't be further from the truth!!!
It can be confusing when we think of it that way because we know that our God is not a mean, intimidating God. He is accepting, loving, and always stands with His arms wide open. The main Hebrew and Greek words translated to fear in the Bible can have several different meanings, but in this context it conveys a positive reverence (Bennet). This context of fear means to have a sense of deep respect, awe, and submission. It truly paints a beautiful picture of how we should view our God. When I think of fearing the Lord, I simply imagine myself kneeling at His feet in complete surrender.
Fear=Respect. Think of it like that.
It is no mistake that this is one of the most iconic and frequently recited pieces of scripture from Proverbs 31. And I believe it is one of the most important.
When we start our morning in reverence and surrender of our King, the other areas of our life will begin to bloom. Each morning when we open our eyes, let's make it a priority to first fall at the feet of Jesus. When we do, we are acknowledging His place in our lives. We recognize that everything we do is through His power and by His spirit. If we start our morning with a reverence to the King of Kings, He will make us strong, capable, and brave enough to do all of the things He is calling us to do.
"She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and portions for her female servants."
A lot is to be said about how we start our day. Or even when we start it. I am not saying we all need to wake up at the crack of dawn every single day to be a respected woman... However, I do believe there are meaningful fruits that come from waking up early and starting the day with the correct mindset.
This woman, although not the wealthiest or most well known, woke up every morning with an attitude to work hard. She stewarded the gifts that the Lord had given her with dedication and commitment. In verse 15, we see that because of her hard work, she was able to provide for her family and servants. When we commit to stewarding what we have and working hard every single day, we make the best use of what we have been given.
We may not love the season of life we are in. We may be in a dark place where motivation is not on our hearts or minds. Or perhaps, we feel like there is no way we are going to get the things we so desperately need.
Rise up anyway. Get to work. Get your hands dirty. Sometimes Christian culture likes to tell us to sit back and give God the control. And while giving God control is important, we cannot mistake this with laziness. The enemy will want us to get this confused and think we do not have to try as hard when we give God our lives. However, the opposite is true. We can still give God control of our lives and show up to work hard in our everyday. In fact, God uses our hard work and produces blessing when He has control. It might not look pretty or be very fun, but when you sow plenty, you will reap plenty. Give it your all, while still giving God control.
Wake up early. Plan ahead your day. Drink some coffee. And fuel your drive.
"Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come."
Put On Your Clothes
Let's think about our clothes for a moment. We can't leave our house in the morning without a shirt covering our backs or pants covering our bottoms. We spend so much time and money finding nice outfits and making sure we look presentable for our daily activities.
Imagine if we viewed the strength and honor of God in the same light?
What if it became so engraved in our culture that we didn't dare leave our house or start our day without it?
To be honest, I am feeling convicted as I write these words. I am completely guilty of worrying more about the temporary clothing I wear rather than the eternal clothing that comes from Him. Too often I leave my house and begin my day without even thinking about the strength and honor of the Lord.
I have found that when I am starting my day without these two articles of clothing covering me, I do not function to my fullest capacity. I am not able to laugh without a fear of the future. Doubt and insecurity have direct access into my soul. Ladies, let us not forget our covering!!!
I encourage you today to view strength and honor in the same way that we view our clothes in the morning. When we do, we will have peace that acts as a shield protecting from all destruction. We will have a joy that can only come from above. We will have the ability to laugh without an ounce of fear in our minds. This is what this Proverbs 31 woman did. Let us do the same. Put on your true clothes.
"Her mouth speaks wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue."
Speak Wisdom and Kindness
Our words have immense power. We often times forget the importance of the words that leave our mouths and the effect that they have on our lives.
After reading this verse, I was forced to reflect on the words that leave my mouth in the morning. Am I starting my day repeating scriptures and promises that the Lord has declared over me or am I speaking hurtful lies over my life? When I begin my day with negative words, I am allowing the enemy to have power in my life. My day looks drastically different because of the power that comes with my words.
Seriously- Sometimes I'll roll over first thing in the morning and begin scrolling through IG and lies just begin filling my head.
I encourage you to be intentional with the words you speak. I love the way her words are described as "loving instruction". Another meaning for this is the teaching of kindness.
By speaking words of wisdom and kindness, not only do we change the trajectory of our day, but we have the ability to change others as well. We have the opportunity to demonstrate the kindness and love that the Lord gives us through the words that leave our tongue. These words of kindness and wisdom are contagious and when we are covered in them, they will begin to flow over to those around us. Let's be women of God that always chooses to speak kindness, love and wisdom over our life and over the lives of others. It has the power to change things.
"Who can find a wife of noble character? She is far more precious than jewels."
Remember Your Worth
Speaking of words, this verse is one of my favorites to speak over my life. All of the habits listed above are what make us valuable. Our value does not come in how much money we make, what our career is, what titles we hold, or who we know. Our value comes from Jesus. Through His noble character within us, we are far more precious than the most beautiful and expensive jewels the world could ever offer.
In the mornings when we rise, let's remind ourselves of our worth and value. I like to read some confirmations in the Psalms some mornings, or even write an encouraging note for myself on my mirror, or even text a close girlfriend and remind her of her worth, which winds up reminding me too!
Our value lies in the act of love that Jesus portrayed on the cross. A brutal death that He did not deserve. He didn't have to give His life for us. He didn't owe us anything. But He did because we are worth that much to Him. When we understand our value in this perspective, our hearts should burst with a motivation that cannot be matched. Start your day walking in this truth and God will continue to bless you in all that you do.
Reading through Proverbs 31 can be overwhelming and quite scary.
We can automatically see these requirements and expectations and believe that we can never be that woman. But I want you to know that because God has created you and called you to be this precious and valuable woman, He will give you the ability to do so.
It’s time to begin walking in that truth.
Every morning, let's surrender our lives to the Lord and live every moment making the most of what He has graciously given us. When we are walking in these truths, we will begin to experience the immense power and favor the Lord pours over our lives.