If you attend a church in America, the chances are very strong that every Mother’s Day you have endured a sermon telling you the lie that you need to do better at being more like a Proverbs 31 woman. Be kinder. Be Stronger. Be wiser. Do better. Try harder. You find yourself leaving church exhausted on the one Sunday of the year you expect to find rest, which is what you should be finding every Sunday of the year to begin with!
The problem with Proverbs 31:10-31, is that it is misused. Using the bible to abuse Christians does not coincide with the message of Jesus Christ.
The Proverbs 31 woman is a mere model of what the perfect wife and mother should be. PERFECT. “You therefore must be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
Perfect Faith (31:26): There are many days that I don’t have perfect faith- correction- EVERY DAY. That I don’t speak with confidence in God. That I don’t trust Him wholly and give others good advice in perfect faith.
Perfect Marriage (31:11-12): I come up short in this department way too often. And I don’t think I’m alone.
Perfect Mother (31:28): I fail my children daily. I don’t play with them enough. I don’t always use kind words. I yell a lot.
Perfect Homemaker (31:27): I’m a terrible housekeeper. Don’t catch me off guard if you want to see vacuumed floors. I don’t always have hot meals on the table. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and we get take out! Even when I do clean house and cook awesome food, it isn’t always with a happy heart.
Perfect Service (31:20): Speaking of happy heart, I don’t always enjoy helping others. And even when I do help others, I’m not excited about it. That’s not exactly “pleasing to the Lord” (I’ll save that lovely exhausting phrase for another day).
God didn’t demand that we do our best. He demanded perfection.
HOW ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT?
As you can see, I’m not doing so hot! The beautiful news that set me free from the performance-based mindset is that I don’t have to be perfect! Jesus died in place of my lack of perfection. Not my righteousness, but His righteousness. He was my perfect marriage, perfect mother, perfect homemaker, perfect service, my perfect Christian. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Romans 5:1.
Mothers, please don’t fall into the trap that your identity is found in how well you can handle your life and family. Stop worrying that you must now perform for God since He so graciously saved you. It was gracious. Not a loan that you need to pay back. There is nothing wrong with wanting to strive to be this wife and mother. The problem is making this the standard. Jesus is the standard. The Proverbs 31 woman isn’t perfect. Only one was perfect. She is an imperfect woman that loves her family and is ready and willing to find perfection in Jesus.