She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. Proverbs 31:16
Who is this amazing woman we have all been hearing so much about? Is she even real or just another impossible ideal to make us real women feel as though we don’t and can’t measure up? I have heard much about this perfect Proverbs 31 woman and even met a woman or two whom I thought could possibly be her. I’ve seen her in church; usually leading a small group with power, passion and poise. She is always perfectly groomed and accessorized with a smile and a glow that lights even the darkest of moods. She knows all the right things to say….usually scripture packed and dripping with kindness. She is of course an excellent hostess who serves others with genuine love and compassion. She prays the most beautiful prayers and never looses her temper. Her words are always encouraging and her hands are always serving others. Her heart is pure and completely un-offended. This is the image that came to mind for so long when I thought of the Proverbs 31 woman.
I actually did meet this woman in the first small group I ever attended at Church of the Highlands. She was all that and more! Oh how I envied her for so many reasons. Everything about her seemed perfect….too perfect. She was beautiful, smart, self confident, beautifully dressed and seemingly without a care in the world. I imagined she woke up every day in her beautiful spotlessly clean home to perfectly adoring husband and adorable well behaved children. She would then go to the gym where she would likely work out with her closest girlfriends and they would chat about their volunteer work and the most amazing vacation trips they were surely planning. I was even certain this perfectly poised Proverbs 31 woman had no cellulite and never pigged out on french fries. She probably fasted on a regular basis and knew God so well that He immediately answered all of her prayers and gave her preferential treatment in everything. Of course she has no worries. It was easy for her to “just trust God” with everything….she already had everything.
This was my real experience at my first small group. This woman was real and my group leader. I was jealous of her, but I couldn’t not like her because she was so genuine and truly as kind and compassionate as anyone could be. She loved God and loved others with a pure and sincere heart. She invested in me and taught me much about God, faith, ministry and about being a Proverbs 31 woman. She always referenced the Word in every situation. She always knew what to say because she knew the answer to everything was in God’s word. We became friends and I realized how wrong I was to judge her and assume she had it so easy. The condition of my heart was reveled and it wasn’t pretty and certainly not the heart of a Proverbs 31 woman.
What made her so attractive wasn’t the seemingly perfect life she had or the fact that she actually was very beautiful. What made her so attractive was her heart for God and how she served him by serving others. She did not work outside the home, but worked tirelessly inside the home for her family. Her family was her first ministry. As I have thought of this verse this week, this amazing Proverbs 31 woman has been on my heart. Like the woman in this verse, she considers a field and buys it — to me this means she makes smart decisions for her family. She “considers”, she does not impulsively make decisions without first consulting God and then considering whether or not they benefit her family. The vineyard planted out of her earnings means she provides for her family out of the fruit of her labor. She works for her family; loving them, investing in them, teaching them, caring for them, preparing meals and creating a home that feels like home.
So….who is this woman? She is the woman after God’s heart. She is the woman who prays first and does what she can with what she has where she is. That woman can be any of us. I pray to be that woman. Tracey
Tracey McDonald is a wife, mother and Mia to three precious little grand baby blessings. She enjoys all things creative; writing, crafting, painting and journaling. She has a heart for prayer; particularly praying for women, children and families. She is a former nurse and practicing attorney; but her most worthy job is serving God by loving others. Her Breath on Paper bio can be found here.