There is conversation in the Christian world around the intense expectations laid forth in Proverbs 31. We refer to it as “the Proverbs 31 woman”–and women (and men) are cricking their necks at the thought. A summary of my understanding is this: throughout Proverbs, wisdom is personified as a woman–as such, the debate says that “Proverbs 31 woman” is not an unattainable standard for women, it is a summary account of wise actions.
I can see their point. I can also see that the chapter starts with a mother telling her son what kind of woman to marry. The counterpoint to that is that the language may be story-telling and not actual.
Why do I bring this up? For the month of July, daily devotions will be taking this chapter a verse at a time. For men who follow this blog, I think you know that there are wise actions portrayed and you can learn from this personified woman. For women, well, I am a woman–that is the lens through which I view this life. It may be that the applications are more womanly than manly–and that is okay too.
Here’s the deal from my perspective: if this is meant to train women in how to be wise, then it will up the man’s game as well. After all, how many slacker men could actually be appealing to a woman of Proverbs 31 caliber? Wouldn’t he need to step up his game to even be noticed? If Proverbs 31 is meant to be for women, that woman’s man is praised in the gates–he is noble and respected. And he didn’t come by that without a good dose of wisdom himself.
All that to say, please know that scripture is applicable to all. Man, woman, child, single, married, parent–we are all called to be wise. And we are all called to learn from each other.
So whatever your perspective, take the words of Proverbs 31 and apply them to your life. We will all be the wiser for it.
Image by Brad Harrison