Family,  Fashion

Sunday Best Dress: Proverbs 31

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Welcome back friends – I’m so happy you’re back on my couch for the third installment of our new weekly series Sunday Best Dress, where we talk Faith + fashion!

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I love this corduroy jumper dress from 3 Brunette’s Boutique – click here to read all about it! But today, I want to focus more on the Faith part of our Sunday series, so let’s just dive right in.

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Jenna Roman Photography

When I was 17, I really started thinking a lot about marriage and the kind of wife I wanted to be. One day after school, I was sitting in a local shop getting my oil changed and noticed that they had a few books for sale. An avid reader, I picked up a copy of My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife and finished it in two days before passing it on to a family friend who’d recently gotten married.

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As my 17-year-old eyes devoured those 210 pages, I was so inspired by Sara Horn. She shared the many raw moments of her experimental one-year journey into creating a modernized version of the Proverbial 31 Wife. Since then, I’ve read a TON of devotionals geared toward women preparing to marry and those for wives. I’ve learned a lot about how to pray for myself and my husband in specific areas of struggle, as well as how to show gratitude in ways that are tangible to my husband – more about that in our coming post on Emotional Intelligence and Love Languages.

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For everything these devos and books have given me, for everything I’ve learned from Sara, Stormie Omartian, and Joyce Meyer, the most important thing I’ve come away with is this: everyone’s womanhood, everyone’s wifehood is different. Not everyone knows how to sew. Budgeting doesn’t come easy for everyone, and sometimes we just don’t want to do the dishes. Some of us won’t even have dirty dishes because we always order takeout.

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And I’ve also learned that it’s okay. It’s okay to be a different kind of wife. It’s okay to work outside the home, and it’s okay to not want kids. There are specific things that as wives, we are 100% absolutely called to do. However, many of the things that society places on our list just aren’t Biblical. So, let’s break apart and analyze Proverbs 31. I’m going to bold the words that we’ll be discussing more.

Proverbs 31:10-31 NIV

 Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

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To start, we should note that Proverbs 31 is actually a poem directed toward men, in how they should praise their wives. It is not a list of characteristics for us to measure ourselves against. The topics of Proverbs 31 is kind of like the topic of submission…bring it up and you can almost hear women rolling their eyes in disgust. This is because in all the Proverbs 31 sermons I’ve sat through, I’ve never really heard one that succeeds in highlighting the how versus the what. It’s not about living a life that’s perfect. It’s about living a life of purpose.
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Stay with me here. See, it’s not the what we are – or the role we’re in – whether that’s a wife, mother, etc. But, it’s the how we are – or the character and values that drive us. Are you noble? Are you considerate? What about wise? Do you give to the needy? Do you work hard in everything you do? Most importantly – do you fear the Lord? These are the things that are important. It doesn’t matter if you work hard at a retail job all day, or if you’re busy wiping snotty noses and changing diapers. If you’re working hard for the right reasons, that’s what counts. So it’s okay if most of your dinners come from a restaurant. And it’s okay if you’d rather drop your husbands good shirts at the cleaners. Everyone’s womanhood is different. And everyone’s wifehood is different. That’s what makes us, and this life, so good.

What do you think about today’s topic? Is exploring Biblical Womanhood something you’d like more of? Let me know!

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