The Proverbs Project: Day 31 – Finale

Oh, the Proverbs 31 woman…the model woman! Ultimate goals, right? She’s long been held as the standard of a Godly woman: the perfect wife, she wakes up early, makes a full breakfast, cleans the house before anyone’s awake, irons her husbands shirts, sends the kids off to school with a three-course lunch, goes to work at her high-stress job (of which she is the CEO), CRUSHES IT, comes home before the school bus and manages to make a five-course dinner while helping the kids do their homework. She meets her husband at the door (in stilettos and a full face of make up, of course), puts the kids to bed, finishes up conference calls to finalize acquisitions, washes the dishes and has time to spend QT with her handsome husband. I’m sure she meal preps, maintains a wax/mani/pedi schedule and does kickboxing classes at the gym every couple of days, too. Easy breezy.

I’m being silly, but I do think that sometimes we look at this total bossbabe with our full-schedule, comparison-prone point-of-view and think to ourselves: how am supposed to be that? I’m a single woman living in NYC, I don’t even have kids and I feel like I’m nowhere as productive as she is! But what I’ve learned reading through the book of Proverbs this month, is that this stunning, hard-working, brilliant Proverbs 31 woman isn’t some ruler by which to measure myself.

Being a Proverbs 31 woman isn’t about doing it all, but rather doing all things with wisdom.

For this last entry of The Proverbs Project, I’d like to highlight a few ways that this Proverbs 31 woman has applied wisdom to her life and how we can, too. You see, we’re all meant to be Proverbs 31 women—wise women, women who embody all that God has called us to in whichever stage of life we find ourselves in.


Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.

Proverbs 31:10

House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the LORD. Proverbs 19:14

 

Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

Proverbs 31:11-12

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4

 

She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. 

Proverbs 31:13-15

I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber. Proverbs 24:30-34

 

She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.

Proverbs 31:16-18

A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty. The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble. Proverbs 28:19-20

 

She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.

Proverbs 31:20

The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both. Proverbs 22:2

Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor. Proverbs 22:9 

Don’t rob the poor just because you can, or exploit the needy in court. For the Lord is their defender. He will ruin anyone who ruins them. Proverbs 22:22-23

 

She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes. She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders. She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:

Proverbs 31:21-18

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6

 

“There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

Proverbs 31:29-31

She’s a woman of virtue and competence. She’s trustworthy and looks to enrich the lives of others. She’s a diligent worker. She cares for and serves others, she also leads others and makes a way for them. She’s someone who not only sees potential, but invests in bringing it to fruition. She’s lively and not afraid of doing the tough stuff. She’s wise about her finances—considering the best way to maximize them. She creates margin in her life to generously help those in need and to make sure that her family has what they need in the rough seasons. She cares for her home and for herself. She chooses well in a spouse—he’s wise and respectable; a leader. She’s strong and fully aware of her God-given dignity–she can enjoy her life with no fear because she know’s who he is and who she is in him. She’s kind and wise; she gives good advice thoroughly seasoned with love. She’s vigilant, watching over her home and those in it. She’s not a lazy mother, but raises her children with wisdom that they will enjoy the benefits of in the years to come.

Father, thank you for your word. Thank you for your wisdom. Thank you that you highlight this woman, not as an impossible standard, but as an example of what living a life rooted in Godly wisdom can look like. Thank you that you’ve called us all, irrespective of our marital status, financial status, ethnicity, race, etc., to be a Proverbs 31, real-life example of what walking with you looks like. Holy Spirit, I pray that you bring your word to life in our hearts and minds. That you would remind our hearts to lean on you and not on our own understanding. Help us to live so dependent on you, that like this Proverbs 31 woman, we can laugh without fear of the future. In Jesus’s name, amen.

The Proverbs Project: Day 30

Shanelle C

S: Proverbs 30:5

“Every word of God is flawless…”

O: God’s Word is without flaw. It is perfect. It is truth.

A: Honestly, this verse reminds me of Beyoncé. When I think of her song, I think of a strong and seemingly perfect woman. I think of other women (the “BeyHive”) finding their true selves in and set free by this empowering woman.

But the truth is, Beyoncé is also a human who isn’t flawless. She is flawed and she cannot make my life strong and perfect. Beyoncé cannot set me free from death. She cannot save my soul.

But there is one who can – Jesus. Jesus IS the Word. And Jesus is flawless. He took on OUR flaws and died on the cross so that we can be set free and saved.

In Jesus there is life, truth, hope, and freedom. In Jesus there is eternity. And when God the Father looks at me he sees Jesus and I’m flawless and righteous before Him.

P: Jesus you are perfect. You are love. You are truth. You are life. You are everything good. In you I have access to all of this and more.

The Proverbs Project: Day 29

Quenesha L

Proverbs 29:8, 11

Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger.

Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.


The thing that stands out to me in these verses is that they both deal with the expression of emotion. The mocker’s smugness in v8 and the fools rage in v11 both lead to bad outcomes not only for them, but for those around them. This is in contrast with the positive outcomes (peace in v8 and calm in v11). How we handle our emotions has implications to not only us, but those around us. We all have to deal with negative emotions, but it is important that we remain in control of our emotions, and not the other way around.

Father, thank you for being patient with me. I want to be a source of positivity to those around me, but sometimes I fail. Help me to reflect the wisdom of these verses in my daily life. Amen.

The Proverbs Project: Day 27

Samara W

As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person. Prov 27:19


Our heart bears witness of our true selves.

When heart is spoken of in the scriptures it’s not referring to the organ beating inside of our chest. It refers to our emotions, our desires/will, what and how we think, etc. It testifies to what is happening on the inside of us in these areas.

When my heart witnesses about me, what does it say?

In the past it would have reflected insecurity, self-centeredness, worry, but now at this present time, I am confident that my heart reflects Jesus. It is a glad heart, a heart inclined to God, a heart burning with desire to serve him and live for him. It reflects gratitude and love. I am relieved that reflections are only limited to the current state of the image bearer. Past images no longer matter. All that matters is my reflection today and it reflects Jesus.

Dear God, thank you for changing my heart. Thank you for loving me and working in me to resemble more of your Son. My desire is that I always reflect Jesus. Amen.

The Proverbs Project: Day 26

Karen Cecilia

Proverbs 26:20

For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.


There’s this saying, “Gossip dies when it hits a wise person’s ears.” This verse speaks directly to that. When we don’t stoke the fire of gossip, quarrels and bickering, when we don’t instigate by speaking life into the wrong things, they die out. Sometimes, especially where there’s been a genuine offense, it’s easy to justify why we won’t stop adding wood to the fire of that offense, but this Proverb speaks to the wisdom in letting the fuel stop with us.

I strongly believe that there is always room for healthy conversation and dialogue when perhaps there is a misunderstanding or an offense or if something needs some clarity. I think that having openness and humility to have difficult conversations is a characteristic of a good leader and it’s something that I always want to do well. A part of doing that well means learning to separate healthy channels of communication from gossiping and fruitless venting.

Here are just a couple of questions we can be asking ourselves in moments when we want to speak up:

  • Is this the right person to speak to? Is the person I’m speaking to someone who can help the situation in any way? Are they involved in any way and is letting them in on it a necessary step towards resolution?
  • Does this conversation pass the Phil 4:8 test? “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Is what I’m saying honorable, is it just, is it pure or am I speaking dishonorably, unjustly, unkindly?
  • Is this going to build up or is it going to tear down? Will this help or will this hurt? The truth can hurt sometimes, but truth is meant to be spoken in love. Love builds people up, it doesn’t tear people down. It makes room for growth and improvement, it makes room for us to assume the best.

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Father, thank you for giving us tools to live wisely. Jesus, thank you that you are the best example ever of knowing when to speak up in love and when to stop a negative word in it’s track. Holy Spirit, I pray that you would bring this word to mind and help it to give us pause when we are about to add wood to a fire that should be snuffed out. In your name, Jesus. Amen.

The Proverbs Project: Day 25

Megan D

Proverbs 25:4

“Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel.”

In the literal, a silversmith is the person working, shaping, and forming the silver into a useful vessel.  In the light of the inspired word of God, we are the silver and God is the silversmith.

The definition of dross is “foreign matter, dregs, or mineral waste, in particular scum formed on the surface of molten metal.  In order to remove the dross from silver, there are a few ways it can be done.  The first and most common way is to heat the ore to an extremely high temperature, allowing the silver to separate from the ore.  This is what we would consider being refined through the fire.  This is also what happens to us when we are being tested by the Lord, stretched by our circumstances, and put under pressure.  Usually, things like wrong thinking, bad fruit from bad seeds of thought, entrenched beliefs that don’t align with the spirit of God, will appear when we are put through the fire of sanctification.  The dross, or the waste, is being brought to the surface in us.  When that happens, The Lord can remove the impurities or the foreign matter in us and begin to shape and mold us as a pure metal.  When this happens, and it happens often, we are being prepared and readied to be shaped into a useful vessel.

What are some areas where you are being refined in the fire?  Which areas feel like there is pressure or that you are being stretched and molded in order to let the impurities rise to the surface? Write these areas down and remember what you have prayed for.  Have you prayed for patience and now you find you are being tested in that exact area?  Have you prayed for increased faith and your circumstance seems even more impossible?

• Write down the areas where you are being refined in the fire

• Write down God’s promises that directly relate to your circumstance

• Read about Daniel and all of the ways he was tested

• Pray for Holy Spirit to help you through the process

Father, thank you for your son, Jesus.  Thank you that he was tested, and he succeeded in accomplishing all that you set out for him to do.  That he died for me and rose again so that I could have life and freedom.  Thank you that I get to walk this with you.  Forgive me for the times I was frustrated with the process.  I pray that as I am being refined in the fire, that you would help me identify those areas and the dross that you are removing from my life. Help me to let go of that which is not serving your divine purpose. Give me the strength to continue on through this season and become all that you have called me to be.  Help me to have wisdom and discernment to know when I am being purified and how to trust you in that process.  Thank you for helping me to become a vessel for your truth.  In Jesus name.  Amen.