Sorry for being MIA for two months. I moved back to LA in December so things have been a bit hectic settling in. Don't worry though, we stayed up to date on our daily meme game - you can check it out on our insta @thedtrblog.
Speaking of instagram, I was scrolling through my feed last night (for 1 hour nonstop because I need help and/or repentance), and saw someone's profile with a Proverbs 31 verse in their bio. "She is clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come". (v.25). I love this verse, it always makes me feel classy, like I belong in Buckingham Palace. As I kept scrolling, there was another bio, with another Proverbs 31 verse on there. And another. I soon found that plenty of Christian women identify themselves with the 'Proverbs 31 woman'.
It got me thinking, is the purpose of this passage for us to practically identify with this figure or is there something metaphorical we are missing? Is she real?
Is she even attainable?
Mary is a character, she is Jesus' mother and we read about things she says and does. Ruth is a story of her redemption after losing everything, Martha was a great student, Rachael becomes Jacob's wife and is known for her kindness etc etc. These are women who have accounts and stories tied to their names, yet proverbs 31 is a figure. We don't know who she is, she is part of the poetry book probably written by Solomon, who was most notable for his wisdom - his unique revelations.
I've been reading Brian Simmons Passion translation where he explains: "The wife is a metaphor for the last days church, the virtuous, overcoming bride of Jesus Christ." (Proverbs 31:10 interpretation). His studies paint the powerful testament of Jesus coming back for his church.
I'm not going to lie, I felt relieved. I'll tell you why.
Sometimes it feels hard to relate to this woman, if we are taking it literally. I'm not this perfect supermom who wakes up at dark to bake bread and sew clothes for my children. I'm not married to a man who is 'respected at the city gates' as if he is some character in Lord of the Rings.
There is no weakness in her. She makes no mistakes. Neither does her husband. She doesn't cry. She's a great businesswoman. She has a great attitude, all the time. She knits and cooks and cleans and sells and laughs while she does it all. She is perfect.
I, my friends, am far from perfect. This stressed me out until I remembered how Jesus sees me perfectly, with my flaws. With. Every. Flaw.
I am perfect because I am HIS.
I don't think it's wrong to use Proverbs 31 as an example of being a woman of strength and beauty, of fearing the Lord. It's a good reminder of our inner strength and complexity. There are great metaphors in there for what good character looks like. I'm also a huge fan of ministries like Proverbs 31 because they build women up.
I just don't want us to get caught up in being the image of a perfect woman; rather, let's remind ourselves that it's okay to have weaknesses. To cry. To maybe feel sad or anxious or stressed. That's okay. I love the stories of actual women in the bible, like Ruth. She was sassy. She broke the rules. Or Jesus' mother when she said, "They have no wine left" because she knew who her son was and was like, okay lets get this show on the road. She had a personality. I love that.
Moral of the story is I will not be waking up at 2am to make bread for my kids. There is cereal in the fridge, help yourselves. (Just kidding, but you know what I'm saying.) Also, I'm not a huge fan of cooking. I think when I'm married I'll like it because it's for someone other than myself, but truly, it's not really what I dream of doing at 5am. My dream is Postmates. Also, yes, I definitely want my husband to tell me how great I am, all the time, but I'm assuming he probably won't. He'll probably get annoyed and I'll get annoyed but it'll be the great things true love is made of.
I don't have kids but can I just say I don't foresee my future 9 year old crying because she has to go to school, but in the midst of that calling me "blessed," like proverbs 31 lady's does. My point is, I'm Kristina, and I want to be known as having the personality of Kristina and I want my husband to be a great match for Kristina. And no, never will I be knitting and no I don't expect everything to be pristine and perfect. Sometimes I even forget to brush my hair. I know. The insanity.
To me, this Proverbs 31 woman is a beautiful metaphor for my mom. There was much sacrifice there. Much labor. After my mom died, I could look back and see how much she fought for me with all she knew how. She wasn't perfect. She wasn't Proverbs 31 if we take it literally, but she sure was this strong and dignified woman who did her best. She was Cheri.
I want to challenge you to let go of impossible goals you set for yourself, to be the perfect woman. To have the perfect instagram. To give a perfect picture to the world of what your life is like.
We know it's not like that. We know its probably hectic, crazy, you may yell sometimes, and you've probably cried in the shower. Show that to people, my guess is they'll relate - more than you know.