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Eve picFor many years we have been taught about the Proverbs 31 woman. She has been held in high esteem, as she should be. We have been taught to model ourselves after this great gal…and yes, that we should.  We have also been taught that if we attain this stature, we have reached the epitome of being a woman…

 Could this be true…? 

I should come clean, I admit it; I have never been particularly fond of this highly over productive woman. Who could possibly attain such accomplishments!

Secretly, I think she has gone to countless prayer meetings over her behavior.

Somebody help me.  Look at my life… I’m up before dawn and then I burn the midnight oil.  I make all of our clothes, and  weave the fabric as well.  I am an accomplished cook; ask anyone, especially our servant girls, I bring them portions daily!  My vineyards, well, they are the envy of all. I am a financier, and can manage money like a well trained stockbroker. I am a fierce negotiator and can bargain with the best of them. My wisdom is matchless and I can instruct anyone on anything. I am obviously a fantastic parent, my children arise and call me blessed everyday. And  who can compare with me, says my husband. I am worth far more than rubies! 

As the women in the prayer group gazed at her, they were amazed.  They always thought of her as the mantle they should wear. She was the one they should pattern their lives after.  After all, she has won Outstanding Woman Of  The Year  in the church for the last ten years!  She has been coveted by  both the education committee and missions committee.  She was asked to head the church finance department.  Everyone needed Miss 31. “Oh Miss 31, can you please teach a parenting class, your children are unequaled in their behavior”? “Oh Miss 31, can you and your husband bring a marriage conference to our church, your marriage is for what we all strive”? “Oh Miss 31, we are wanting to teach a survival class next fall, could you bring your expertise in sewing, weaving, and possibly canning”?

Go ahead, say what you will, but it’s true. 

When I think on the Proverbs 31 woman, she makes me tired. Now, I know in some versions, this passage is subtitled the Virtuous Woman, but I think a more appropriate title may be, the Virtual Woman…you know, the kind that are air brushed, thinned out and filled out in all the right spots. She is kind of like June Cleaver, Joyce Meyer, and Wonder Woman all wrapped up in this nice, neat little spiritual package! 

Please don’t judge me…

The more they ladies looked, the more they saw. That Outstanding Woman was tired!  In fact, what they saw ran so deep, they began to question themselves…Yes, Miss 31 was the creme de la creme;  but should Miss 31 be replicated? 

She was only known as “Miss 31”. Did anyone even know her name? Did anyone know her difficulties, or the deep needs of her heart? Has anyone ever taken the time to look beyond her accomplishments and awards to see the woman who lies beneath? To find out what motivates her?  Was her strength and courage only a veil of disguise? Was everything really that perfect?

As women, we want to be known; fully and completely. We want to be loved and accepted desperately. That is the heart of the matter. I believe we want to be transparent, but society and often times, church deems that to be a poor practice. We should never come across as weak or discouraged. We should always lead the perfect life; at least that is what is to be visible to the “outside”. It will be within this venue we are deemed acceptable and then entitled to be loved.

To unveil our flaws and weakness is to relinquish the idea that we can be loved and accepted for who we are.

It seems only as of late, there is a true rebellion rising within the hearts of women. It is as if we’ve known all along something is out of balance. Only this time it is a righteous rebellion, born out of a God filled dream.

The Original Intent has always been embedded deep within our souls. It was planted there with purpose upon our creation. Woman, and everything we are to be was derived out of a Holy Contemplation. 

And to become everything we are called to be, we may have to throw off everything we have been taught.

Are you ready to go?