I have a confession. For years I’ve been baffled by the daunting roles of the P31 Woman. Upon reading her accomplishments and tasks in Proverbs 31: 10-31, I have mixed emotions ranging from awe, exhaustion, inspiration and guilt.
I am in awe of her accomplishments, which include a solid relationship with her husband, adoring children, and handcrafting goods to financially help her family. Wow! Despite a full plate and countless responsibilities, the P31 woman is a blessing to her family in any situation.
Secretly upon reading her myriad of accomplishments, I wonder how I can measure up and match her amazing efforts. Truthfully, I just don’t feel that special and I’m tired simply reading her daily tasks. And I guarantee I’m not the only woman to close my Bible and wonder, “How, Lord? How can I possibly measure up?”
When you don’t feel like a P31 woman….
Friend, if you’re like me, there are days and even seasons where I just don’t have it all together. As I fumble through those moments, floundering with my responsibilities, I find…
- There are times when my children call me anything but blessed and my husband shows more annoyance than adoration.
- There are days I would rather lounge in bed than bring food from afar for my family.
- There are seasons in which I am clothed with anxiety and fear instead of strength and dignity.
And on those days of exhaustion and doubt, I bring my discouragement before the Lord. Wearily I lay down my burdens and feelings of inadequacy at His feet. Humbly I confess my shortcomings and ask forgiveness for the times I eat the bread of idleness.
In my moments of discouragement and self-pity, the Lord gently reminds me of the simple truth I have been missing. While the P31 woman holds many admirable qualities, her life is an example, but not our goal.
Our goal is to live like Jesus.
Grace changes everything…
Grace. That simple word changes everything. Instead of striving to be like the P31 woman, with a list of demands and tasks to accomplish, grace has freed us from every single ‘must-do’.
While grace isn’t an excuse to sit idle and not serve our families, grace has freed us to pursue the most important relationship of all; one with Jesus. Living like Him isn’t about a checklist and rigid rules we must follow.
Being a Christ-follower isn’t about what we can and should do, it’s about what He’s already done.
When I compare His perfection with my own flaws, I can never measure up to His standards. Yet instead of leaving us to wallow in our sin, God invites us to live clothed in Christ’s righteousness. We don’t have to live haunted by sin, guilt and personal shortcomings. The grace poured freely for us at the cross covers all and brings freedom to those who accept Christ as Lord and Savior.
Learning to live like Jesus…
In our charge to exemplify Jesus in our everyday, we realize it’s not about a checklist of ‘to-do’s’. It simply entails:
- Regular prayer and fellowship with God (Mark 1:35)
- Loving others well and forgiving even when they don’t deserve it (Matthew 22: 34-40)
- Serving others and putting them first (1 Peter 4: 9-11)
- Sharing the Good News with others (Matthew 28:19)
And when we fail to exude Christ on a daily basis, there’s no condemnation for falling short of this lofty goal. We simply can start over in His name, thankful for grace and the redemption at the cross.
So on those days when I’ve failed to complete my to do list and I’m nowhere close to reflecting the P31 woman, I can breathe deep. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and wondering how to ‘do more, better’, I can rejoice that Jesus has set me free from lofty expectations. While the P31 woman is a fabulous, godly role model, she was never meant to be my ultimate destination. May my life reflect Jesus, even in small ways, as I pursue Him as my ultimate goal and prize.