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Janice Crow – “Proverbs 31 – Version 2024”

May 2024

Proverbs 31 –  Version 2024

I’ll have to admit that sometimes reading Proverbs 31 is a bit intimidating.  It’s kind of like reading that letter tucked inside a Christmas card from your perfect over-achieving friend. You know the one I’m talking about….”Bob got a promotion and a tremendous raise this year and it looks like we’ll be able to buy that beachfront property after all. Timmy has been accepted to Johns Hopkins on a medical scholarship. Jenny got all A’s again and the lead in  Oklahoma and little Peggy is way ahead of the other twelve-year-olds in figure skating and should make the Olympics easily one day….and me, I’ve lost that last twenty pounds and can now wear the same designer dress you saw Kim K.  wearing in People magazine.”  Cue the gag reflex.

As a Christian, I’m always torn…should I be happy that her life is so stellar or just retch at the curb?  Some days the latter seems more appealing.  Hers is NOT my life experience, and I doubt that it’s yours. My life is NOT always filled with great news and happy discoveries, but rather trash bags ripped open and strewn about by the neighbor’s dog, clogged drains and sewer backups,  and sometimes just trying to squeak through till payday.  And puh-leeze….you only had twenty pounds to lose?  Amateur!

The Bible in Proverbs 31 paints this awesome picture of a virtuous woman, so perfect and hard to relate to in today’s world I almost get annoyed when reading it.  Okay, don’t get your knickers in a knot. I’ll explain.  I mean, when was the last time you gathered wool and flax for spinning, got up in the middle of the night to cook for anyone or bought a piece of real estate without running it by your spouse? That’s not me. It’s not most of us.

The Proverbs 31 woman is a stylish dresser, wearing silk, fine linen, and purple.  I got out my summer clothes the other day.  They look a lot like my summer clothes from 2019…because they are.  I don’t understand fashion trends and accessories and, honestly, some days I’m so harried it’s all I can do to find two matching shoes.

The New Living Translation says about the Proverbs 31 woman that besides making sure everyone has warm clothes for the winter, she makes her own bedspreads.  Seriously??

The Proverbs 31 woman is energetic and works hard well into the night sewing and making garments for the poor.  As for me, Goodwill is lucky to get what’s been worn down to a frazzled thread.   She makes beautiful garments to be sold at the market place and I sell trinkets trying to make a buck in a yard sale.

She doesn’t fear the future while I find it hard to breathe after watching the news.    She stands with strength and dignity while I collapse in a chair at the end of the day with my hair on end like I’ve just wobbled off the Screaming Eagle.

Who is this superwoman anyway?  Strangely enough, I think there is still a semblance of her in all of us Christian ladies.  Okay, maybe not quite so perfect or so sickeningly sweet (insulin anyone?), but she is just the pattern…just an idyllic blueprint.

Most women today have to work, whether they want to or not.  It’s been thrust upon us by an unforgiving economy and a society that does not respect the traditional family.  We leave our homes with unmade beds, unswept floors, and undone laundry to spend eight or nine hours doing someone else’s work… while ours stacks up and vies for our attention.  It hounds us and wrecks our concentration on the job like a toddler yanking at your clothes, whining  “Mommy, mommy” until you pick him up. And then when you get home, it’s staring at you accusingly,  as if to say “Where have you been all day?”   Let’s face it, the working woman’s family gets the last vestiges of her energy.  Sad, but true.

Some of us deal with guilt, even shame, over what we perceive to be our failure as a Proverbs 31 woman because we had to work.  To some, it’s easy to look back  with bitterness, disappointment and regret.  Each year Mother’s Day rolls around and I can’t help but feel like the imposter in the room. But from now on I’m going to stop being so hard on myself.

When the Bible says the Proverbs 31 woman brings her family “food from afar”,  I’ll try to remember that every time I make that ten-mile run to Popeye’s for chicken.  When I put a roast in the crock pot and go to bed, I’ll equate that to the Proverbs woman rising while it’s still night to give food to her household.  I’ll consider clipping stacks of coupons and searching for the best bargain the same as the Proverbs woman’s successful business dealings.  I’ll think of her wise words every time I keep my mouth shut to the person who just cut in front of me in the checkout line at the Save-a-Lot.

It may not be a whole field, but I can buy a Christmas tree from the nursery without permission or supervision and be quite happy to do so.   I can do battle with an overflowing toilet, glue on my own rearview mirror when it falls off and recognize the sound the washing machine makes just before it goes off balance.  I can make a decent turkey dinner, but I still know the number to Roma’s Pizza by heart if need be.  I’d rather bake chocolate chip cookies than bread for the family, but surely that counts as a Proverbs woman trait.

I will call myself blessed by my children when they show up or call on Mother’s Day and remember my birthday, and I will consider it praise indeed when my hubby still wants to kiss me hello when he comes in the front door.

Yes, I know…all that sounds like small potatoes compared to the Biblical icon and if you can’t relate to this, then please accept my apology, June Cleaver.  But to all of you modern-day Proverbs 31 women who did what you had to do, cut yourselves some slack.  If you’ve served the Lord and your family the best you can, you’re doing fine.  Take yourself out to dinner this Mother’s Day,  if no one else will.  Buy yourself a begonia, sit on your porch, and eat a pint of Haagen Dazs if you want to….because you deserve it.


Staff writer Janice Crow – Singer – Songwriter

Janice Crow

Janice Crow is an accomplished singer/songwriter.
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