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Reflecting on the Proverbs 31 Woman

Me and my future "Proverbs 31" girls

Do you ever come to the end of a study and feel like you should be showing a lot of improvement by now?  I know I get frustrated with myself sometimes when the change I want  is so slow. At this point I feel like I should have planted a vegetable garden, be a wiz with my sewing machine, only serve healthy homemade meals, have half of the Bible memorized, volunteer at a soup kitchen, have super obedient children and look awesome for my husband when he walks in the door after work.  It is easy to read Proverbs 31, get excited about wanting to become this seemingly perfect kind of woman, and then plummet into despair because the change we see is slow in coming.

Here are a few things that I have walked away with from our study.

1. No one who is perfect.

There is no one person alive who has it all together, either outwardly or inwardly.

    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23)

This should actually be a comfort to those who are feeling defeated. The “perfect” woman does not exist. Only Jesus holds that ability.

It means that we should take repentance seriously and beat down any pride that we may feel.

2. As Christians we are changing

    And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in
you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
(Philippians 1:6)

Sanctification is usually a slow process by which we are transformed more and more into the image of Christ. While it is the work of God in us it still costs blood, sweat and tears. Christ’s blood and our sweat and tears in the form of hard work (through the power of Jesus) and repentance. If we are faithful we can be assured that God will be faithful as well. And even when we are unfaithful or faithless, he remains ever faithful to us. As time goes by we will be changed.

He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
(1 Thessalonians 5:24)

3. We know what kind of woman God wants us to be.

I am so thankful that God included Proverbs 31 in his word. Here we see the kind of woman we should strive to be. We need to seek out godly character qualities like, generosity, kindness and wisdom. We need to be hard working, uncomplaining and devoted to God. The reason we are to seek out these things is because we see all of these qualities in Jesus. He is our example. Because Christ is in us we have the power to be like him.

4. Our hope before God is not becoming a Proverbs 31 woman.

I know the whole point of our study was to learn how to become a Proverbs 31 woman. The principles we see there we can also find laid out for us in other parts of scripture. Yes, we are to strive to be this godly kind of woman, but Proverbs 31 should not be our hope or where we find our identity. My hope is that Christ is a Savior who rescues women, like me, that don’t measure up. He is a Savior of those who are weak, who are tired, who mess up or who sometimes give up. While we should be eager for our character to be reflective of Proverbs 31, it is not our identity. Our identity is found in Christ, through whom we are the adopted children of God the Father. Therefore, no matter what, we are always loved, always forgiven, always heard, always accepted.

God is always at work in his children and the more we study his word, pray for his guidance and wisdom and work hard through his power we will become more and more like this Proverbs 31 woman and therefore more like Christ.

Looking To Jesus,

My Proverbs 31 Reflection… Dare to be different…


I sat on my ten year old’s bed and felt the heaviness in his heart.  Moms feel every bit of that, you know.  It had hit sooner than I had hoped, and hurt deeper than I could have ever imagined.

Sometimes you just don’t fit in.

He may have known it before then, but the hot tears streaming down his face confirmed that the blow was a good one this time.  His ears stuck out too much, he wasn’t athletic in the least, and that was just the beginning.  Forget his inquisitive mind and compassionate heart.  Those things don’t feel cool when you’re ten.

I waited until just the right time, then I told him the story of when I was his age.  I shared just the highlights: being invited to the birthday party of the year (all of the most popular girls would be there…), me scrounging up all of my spare change to buy the birthday girl the most hideous (but oh so cool at the time!) Pepto-Bismol-pink purse, packing my bag for the overnight bash, only to be uninvited at the exact moment the other eight giggling girls piled into the bus after school to catch a ride to the party.  Oh, I remember it like it was yesterday, and I empathized with my struggling boy.  My advice to him that night?

The world will always tug at us to fit in.  But God has called us to something greater.


I love to read the scriptures out loud.  There’s just something about hearing the Word audibly spoken that helps it sink into my heart.  So for this Proverbs 31 study, I always looked forward to when Courtney or Angela would quote our verses on their Monday videos.  And these words got me every time:

A wife of noble character who can find?” ~ Proverbs 31:10

Only eight short words, but life changing for me.  God really challenged my heart throughout this study in one key area:

Dare to be different than the world.

The world tells us to compromise.  The Word tells us to keep doing right.

The world tells us that we deserve better.  The Word calls us to be faithful.

The world tries to talk us into cutting corners.  The Word speaks of diligence and discipline in our work.

The world tells us to be takers.  The Word talks about satisfaction in giving to others.

The world encourages worry.  The Word speaks of confidence in Christ.

The world elevates physical beauty.  The Word elevates a heart that fears God.

You see, leading a Proverbs 31 life allows for much influence for God.  Getting up early, working hard, being creative and profitable, serving others, etc. should not JUST be in an effort to make life run more smoothly (though it is often a wonderful by-product!).  Instead, when I am committed and efficient in dealing with my family and in other areas of my life, it makes room for even MORE serving, more loving, more generosity, more time to show God’s love to all around me.

The world says “Look to your own interests.”  The Word says, “Point people to Jesus by how you live.”

Sometimes it’s a good thing to not fit in.  Will you dare to be different with me?

At His feet,

Living a life focused on Him…the Proverbs 31 Woman

 

 

It’s the only way to live.

That’s what I learned through our Proverbs 31 summer study……to live a life that is intentional and focused on Jesus.

(If you are reading this in an email or feed – click here to view the video)- Gotta love the still shot of this video…! Keeping me humble!!! Ha!

Today I’d like to share one of the many testimonies I received last week, testifying to the importance of getting up early to be in God’s Word and the difference it makes in your life, home and the attitude you have towards the people you love!

I found GMG last year, when you were mid-study, so a friend and I jumped in and began with the Prov. 31 book as our “test trial” to see if we could handle running a GMG group. (More specifically, if we could ever get off our poor habits and actually get up and read most mornings!!!!) It was a smashing successwe are totally addicted to God’s word in the mornings now, and we even have a few ladies who join us for all the studies now! We keep in touch via texting each day. I love that our group spans two different states and women from different seasons of my life whom I would never be able to meet with over coffee.

Here we are encouraging each other daily across the miles through GMG!

Through the Proverbs study I had my vision renewed on how to bless my husband in the little things. It’s not the big ones that “get me.” Praise God I am still seeing fruit from this study even months later - the Word is so powerful and active. It keeps coming back to me when I need the correction to stay on track.

The other thing I was challenged by – getting up early – most days – and jumping into the word first.

Otherwise it never happens. There were many more things, too – - oh, I think on praising God and loving my family through the “mundane tasks” ALL the time. It has infused my to-do list with joy and strength on many occasions. I always felt guilty about not “loving” parts of the housewife routine. This new perspective helped me realize not many love the task – - it is the people we serve THROUGH the tasks that we love.

My home is more and more comfortable and cozy as this new attitude develops in my heart – to protect our safe haven in what we call “home.”

Thank you everyone who makes this ministry possible! You are changing lives, by pointing us consistently to the One who changes our Hearts.

Bless you!

Rebecca

Thank YOU, Rebecca for sharing with our GMG community the power of being in God’s Word and how that affects all areas of our lives! I know your testimony has encouraged many women’s lives today!!!

If you’d like to share your testimony of how God worked in your life through this study, please send it to me at LoveGodGreatly@gmail.com

Remember sign-ups for the fall Colossians study start this Wednesday! I’d LOVE for you to join us!!!

Love God Greatly!

Finishing Well

The hands of an 87 year old woman

Honor her for all that her hands have done,
   and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Proverbs 31:31

When I think of our “good works” I tend to think of our obedience to God, done in faith, that brings glory to God. Like Jesus says in Matthew, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) But here we read that the works of a Proverbs 31 woman bring her praise. How does that work?

Good works are themselves “conspicuous” (1 Tim 5:25). They are easily noted, especially in contrast to the world in which we live. They draw attention to themselves. In fact, it is our good works that make us beautiful (1 Tim. 2:9-10). Yes, good works ultimately point to our great God, but it is impossible to get from them to him and leave us out of the process. Our good works tell the world something about us.

But what are the works of a Proverbs 31 woman? What are all the things “that her hands have done”? As we look back through this proverb we see she cared for her husband and children. She served others and looked after the poor. She got up early and stayed up late in order to make clothes and take care of her vineyard. She had business in the marketplace, prepared herself and her household for upcoming seasons. She made sure she cultivated her relationship with God and grew in godly character and while she cared for her appearance, she was not vain. The Proverbs 31 woman ran the race that was set before her, and she ran well (Heb. 12:1). She knew exactly where God has put her, what her job was, what her calling was, and she threw herself wholeheartedly into those things.

I think many of us struggle with where God has us right now. Maybe some of you are single wishing to be married. Maybe some of you are married wishing you had children, or maybe some of you are married with children wishing they would all move out. Regardless of where you are in life can you say that you are throwing yourself wholeheartedly into the roles God has carved out for you? Are you an uncomplaining homemaker? A loving and giving wife? A selfless and joyful mother? A devoted child of God?

To not only know our calling, but to embrace it, and work it out requires us to…

Love the Lord

God can’t just be at the top of our to do list. He must be first in our hearts. We must see him as the one who gives us life, sustains our life and who has given us all the responsibilities that we carry in our lives.

    You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your might.
Deuteronomy 6:5

Love the Word

Don’t underestimate the power of God’s word. This is what clarifies our lives and ourselves. It shows you who you are, who Christ is and what the purpose of all things are.  This is what God uses to strengthen us and transform us. We need to strive to view studying his word as more than a chore. Instead we need to see it as words that we can’t live without, words that we look forward to reading, memorizing and studying.

    The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Psalm 19:7-8,10

Love the world

No, we are not to love the world as a system opposed to God and steeped in sin, but we are to love the world that God has made and the people in it, especially the people God has put in our lives. We are to care for them, reach out to them, share Christ with them and love them.

    Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:3-4

We need to strive to glorify God in all that we do and in doing so we will run our race well and become a Proverbs 31 woman.

Looking to Jesus,

{Week 13} The Proverbs 31 Woman was an Olympian! WIWW Link-Up Party

I LOVE that we are ending the last week of Proverbs with the London Olympics going on at the same time. I don’t about you but I have been staying up way to late each night watching these amazing athletes!!! I love watching them complete because they soooo inspire me! All their years of training is finally paying off. They are now able to compete against the greatest athletes in the world!

To complete in the Olympics a person must be:

1. Focused…….focused on their goal…..focused on the prize……the gold medal.

2. Disciplined…..willing to say “no” to the distractions in their life so that they can say “yes” to the exercise that will prepare them to win their prize.

3. A hard worker…..training their body…..pushing themselves till it hurts…..and then still giving more.

4. Far sighted….willing to look to the future and sacrifice in the present.

5. A dreamer……these athletes have dreamed of going to the Olympics for YEARS and that dream is what has driven them to work so hard and sacrifice so much.

As I’ve been watching these athletes compete…..and I can’t help but think about us. We have been on an amazing journey this past summer! I have been encouraged and challenged as I’ve studied the Proverbs 31 woman’s life.

When I envision the Proverbs 31 Woman……I see an Olympian!

The Proverbs 31 Woman was:
1. Focused…….focused on God, her husband, her family and her community.

2. Disciplined…..she got up early in the morning to prepare for her day…..she spent her money wisely and not frivolously……she was in control of her words instead of her words being in control of her.

3. A hard worker…..she was always busy tending to the needs of her family or the needs of others…..yet she made sure she had time to be in her family’s life by “watching over the affairs of her household.”

4. Far sighted……just like an Olympian…..she also was willing to look to the future “laughing at the days to come” and willingly sacrificed for her family in the present.

5. A dreamer….she dreamed of “running her race well”….glorifying her Lord in every aspect of her life……she lived her life focused on the “prize”.

The Proverbs 31 Woman lived her life in such a way that at the end…..when her family is all grown…..she is praised! She stands on the podium and her husband, her children and her community praise this wonderful, inspiring woman for living her life, “running her race” so well.

“Some has well said, ‘Our lives are made up of a single day repeated. What you are tomorrow, you are becoming today.’ My friend, our treasured Proverbs 31 woman didn’t become who she was overnight. What we are seeing in this wonderful day is the disciplined life of godly behavior repeated, day after day, that in time emerged as a life of magnificence…..EVERYDAY you and I have a choice about how we will spend that day, that one precious, priceless day. ..choose to build your life on the solid bedrock of God-honoring disciplines that will withstand the crashing waves of time and trials. When the storms of life subside and the waves calm, then, by God’s grace, there will stand a life- your life-for all to see and praise.”- Elizabeth George

My sweet sisters…….run your race well!!! Stay focused on the “goal”…..be disciplined…..stay in God’s Word…..don’t get distracted by the world!!! Know that I am cheering YOU on all the way!!!!

Love God Greatly!

 

 

 

 

Next week is reflection week, if you have a testimony of how God has worked in your life during this Proverbs 31 series, I’d LOVE to hear it! I’ll be sharing your testimonies on Monday as I do my reflection and would LOVE to include you in my post. Please email me at LoveGodGreatly@gmail.com by Sunday night at 8 pm.

I also invite you to join us this fall for our online bible study of Colossians starting September 15th!

Congratulations to the following 3 winners of The Dig
1. Jessica Fowler
2. Christie
3. Becca

Please look for an email from me, Angela at LoveGodGreatly@gmail.com


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