I remember one of the first times I heard about seasons in a woman’s life. It was at a Bible study on Proverbs 31. We were discussing how to interpret and apply these Scriptures to our lives. One lady suggested we weren’t expected to fulfill all the aspects of this amazing woman in any one season, but that each season of a woman’s life was represented in the description. The passage was the culmination of a life well-lived.
The description of this godly, hard-working, thoughtful woman is inspiring to be sure, but I cannot deny it is also VERY intimidating. How could any woman be so… perfect?
Where are the verses that describe her exhaustion from getting up early and going to bed late, her fears of not being able to do it all well, her frustrations that her husband was always hanging out at the city gate, her irritations that the purple dye just wasn’t the right shade? How about being overwhelmed by all the work in and outside the home, her stress at raising her children or grandchildren, her prayers that they would choose to follow the Lord not Baal, and her fussiness when hormones and menopause kicked in?
I wonder why God doesn’t share those things? There are a lot of places in the Bible that God tells us about the shortcomings of people, but Mrs. P31… she doesn’t seem to have any. Why?
Even if this is about seasons in our lives, there are no perfect seasons. If there are, I haven’t lived through one. And honestly, it isn’t looking good for the next season.
I’m thinking that if God had included the grumpy verses, I’d probably latch on to them as justification for my fussiness. I tend to do that—find the one way I can excuse my bad behavior, “Well, you know at least I’m not as bad as so-and-so was and God still used them!” Not the best attitude.
Ultimately, God wants me to compare myself with Christ, right? Perfection. Be perfect as I am perfect (Matthew 5:48). If God desires us to be like Christ, why would He not want us to aspire to be like Mrs. P31?
Just like our children, we will likely rise to the high expectations set for us… or lower ourselves to meet the low expectations set for us. If God only presented a woman who barely got by, who grumbled and complained, and consistently felt overwhelmed (Oh my goodness, I just described me) who would be inspired? Who would want to aspire to rise to her standard?
I will tell you, I would probably wallow in her description. I’d say, “I have found my soul sister!” I would think, “See, God understands. He gets me.”
Yes, He does get me. He gets me, so much so that He knows I need more than understanding, sometimes I need a kick in the fanny. I need inspiration to grow, I need noble things to aspire to, I need to be encouraged that I can be all God has called me to be in whatever season of life I find myself.