Hi friend & Welcome to Part II of 20 Things a Proverbs 31 Woman Is NOT! If this is your first time reading this post, please see Part I that was posted last Tuesday! Part I covered the first half (numbers 1-10) of the things that a Proverbs 31 Woman is NOT. Today’s post covers the second half (numbers 11-20) of that list. Here’s a brief overview of last week’s list:
- A Worrier
- A Gossiper
- A People Pleaser
- A Burden
For an in-depth look at numbers 1-10, please click here to view the entire post.
If you’re rejoining the conversation, WELCOME BACK & let’s get into Part II of today’s post! Here’s the next 10 things A Proverbs 31 Woman Is NOT:
11. Insecure- Have you ever tried to build a relationship or friendship with someone who’s insecure?
It’s pretty much impossible to accomplish. Insecurity is like a worm in an apple because it rots your self-esteem to the core. When I read Proverbs 31, the image of a tall, strong, beautiful woman comes to mind. Not tall in the sense of height but tall in confidence. I can’t fathom the woman in Proverbs 31 accomplishing each of the enumerated tasks with a cloud of insecurity looming over her head. Moreover, I can’t imagine her husband being able to flourish in his career and in his purpose, if he was married to an insecure woman. Proverbs 31:23, describes this woman’s husband as a man who is well-known and as a man of significance. It is clear that her husband is involved in his community and is someone who is held in high regard. In fact, he probably has a few notable accomplishments under his belt; which also means that he needed a lot of support and encouragement to achieve those things. Surely, those things could not happen with an insecure wife by his side. Nope. A wife with a husband like that understands that God has called her husband to do and be great things. She also understands that God has called her to do and be great things. Therefore, she turns to God for her confidence. She blesses her husband with support and encouragement, and she lives confidently. (see Proverbs 3:26).
12. Broke–Girl, if you remember nothing else about the woman in Proverbs 31 remember that she is BLESSED! God blessed her with so many skills and talents that she will never go broke! She may have a few days when funds are tight and when funds are low but she will never be eternally broke! In fact, God has blessed her so abundantly that she is even able to conduct business locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Proverbs 31:14, compares her to a merchant’s ship and says that she brings her food from afar. The last time I checked, ships don’t just travel locally, they also travel globally. That means when local business slows down or when the regional economy hits a slow season, this woman remains in business because God has blessed her with the knowledge, connections, resources, intelligence, business savvy and favor to make money. You are just like this woman. You are not confined to a career in the field of your degree program. You are not confined to the company or position that you’ve been in for the last five years or even the last five months. Because of who God is, you are called and favored to live a blessed life. God has blessed you with skills, talents and favor in a variety of areas. Just like the woman in Proverbs 31, those blessings won’t just follow you, they’ll also follow your children, your husband and those around you. Those blessings will spill over into every gift and talent that you possess and will cause you to experience increase in every area of life. You are not broke. You are blessed.
13. Desperate– One of my favorite things about this woman is that she’s a negotiator. She owns a business and she is always on the lookout for the best deal and one that is advantageous to her business and employees. How do we know this? Because the scripture says so in Proverbs 31: 16 and Proverbs 31:18. She is committed to excellence no matter how long it takes. In fact, she is willing to wait up all night if that’s what it takes to make sure she gets the best deal for her business. How many times have you wanted something so bad that you settled for second best? There have been so many times that I’ve gone shopping for something that just couldn’t wait. I had to have it at just that moment that I wasn’t willing to take the time to search for sales or deals. I hurried to the store and made the purchase, only to wake up weeks later full of regret when I saw it on sale for much a cheaper price. Impatience and desperation are often great friends. They love to feed off each other until one impulse takes over the other but, in the end, both leave us with a feeling of regret. I admire the patience and faith of the woman in Proverbs 31. She never acts out of desperation because she is constantly operating out of a confident faith in God, to deliver His best.
14. Selfish– “She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy…” (Proverbs 31:20). When I was writing this post, I took a moment to stretch my left hand out to the side and open up my right arm. When I did that, though I was seated in the middle of my apartment looking quite odd, I couldn’t help but notice that I was left in a position of vulnerability. I felt completely open because there were no limbs to protect or cover the front of my body. As I sat in my seat in an outstretched position, I couldn’t help but think about the position of Jesus as He hung on a cross and it was at that moment, that God reminded me of the power of generosity.
The posture of giving is one of the most vulnerable positions that we’ll ever experience. It requires us to expose ourselves from the inside out and risk being taken for granted…and even being taken for a fool by those who abuse our generosity. The woman in Proverbs 31, could have easily said “hey God, I’m tired of volunteering my time in the community each week and not getting anything back in return. I’m tired of donating my money to the church. I’m tired of giving away my food to others. I’m tired of giving” but she didn’t. Instead, she chose to live life from a position of generosity. She rose early to attend to the needs of her family. She worked late to make sure her employees had funds to take care of their families. She used her free time to be a blessing to others, and she did not allow her needs to control the reach of her giving.
Imagine turning to Proverbs 31 and reading the following verses…
“She sits at home wondering when God will bless her with a spouse.”
“She spends her weekends at home alone because she just broke-up with her boyfriend and now she’s single.”
“She keeps to herself because she’s afraid of being hurt.”
“She’s waiting until marriage to go on her dream vacation.”
“She’s waiting until she loses weight to go on a cruise.”
“She’s waiting until she has an expensive car before she uses valet parking at a restaurant.”
“She’s waiting until she owns a home to throw a holiday party.”
“She’s waiting for an apology before she forgives.”
“She’s waiting for an invite before she goes to a concert.”
These things sound really silly but so many of these are a reality in our lives. So many of us are waiting for things to be “perfect” and we’re wasting precious moments.
If there’s one thing I admire about the woman in Proverbs 31, it’s that she does not waste time. She is not idle and she is not waiting on others, or for others in order to enjoy life. She is not waiting to be who God has called her to be. She’s also not waiting to do what God has called her to do. Each day that God gives her breath, she uses that day to pursue her calling and to walk in her purpose. Bottom line, she’s living life and she’s enjoying every moment of it!
16. Dishonest– One of the most revealing scriptures about the character of this woman is found in Proverbs 31:28, “her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her.” A true testament to someone’s character can be found in the words of those closest to them. Children are one of the most honest creatures in the world. They’ll tell you when something stinks and even when someone is ugly. If you ever meet a man, who’s been lied to by a woman, you’ll likely notice the pain in his heart and the blow to his pride. An honest woman is truly one of the greatest blessings to a man and a child. A man who is blessed with an honest wife can’t stop bragging about her, and a child with an honest mother will strive to pattern her life and will bless her in return.
I have no doubt that the woman in Proverbs 31, is often tempted to be dishonest when negotiating in order to land the best deals for her company. I have no doubt that she is tempted to make her life sound more glamorous or adventurous than it really is, in order to impress her children but you know what, she doesn’t do those things. Instead, she practices goodness. She remains rooted in Christ, and in return God blesses her with children, a husband, a business and a community that praise and bless her (see Proverbs 31:31).
17. Arrogant– One thing that I’ve learned over the past few months as a business owner, is the power of a referral. Nothing says a “great job” like a referral. In a time when everyone is vying for the spotlight, the woman in Proverbs 31 simply allows her work to speak for itself. Rather than boasting, bragging and highlighting her accomplishments and accolades, the scripture in Proverbs 31:31, says “let her deeds publicly declare her praise.” God’s favor has become her reward and the praise from others is her referral. She works hard, remains humble and in return God causes her children, her husband, and her community to regard her with praise.
18. A Follower– You ever notice how well things work out when you simply do what works best for you? In law school there was so much pressure to be the best. Criminal law was my least favorite course during my first year of law school because no matter how hard I studied, I still couldn’t get higher than a C- average on quizzes and tests. One day, I decided to pick the brain of a girl who was at the top of my Criminal Law class. I asked for her best study tips so that I too, could enjoy life at the top. Unfortunately, what worked best for her was horrible for me. She learned best by making flashcards and quizzing herself but when I tried to do the same, I only got more confused and ended up with the second lowest score on my next quiz. Talk about the price of being a follower. =/
Proverbs 31: 27, says “she carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.” It doesn’t say “she carefully watches everything on social media.” It doesn’t say “she carefully watches everything in the newspaper.” It doesn’t say “she carefully watches what her friends are doing.” It doesn’t say “she carefully watches for the latest trends and fads.” Nope…she carefully watches HER HOUSEHOLD. This woman could easily allow the success of others to dictate the way she runs her household and/or her business but she doesn’t. Instead, she pays close to attention to what’s going on in her household, and uses her own performance as a measure and indicator of her success. This woman isn’t busy patterning her life after others. She’s focused on what God is doing in her life and she’s using that insight to lead those around her.
Years ago, me and a bunch of friends decided to host a gathering for Thanksgiving. Each person brought 1-2 dishes for everyone to enjoy. The food was delicious but the leftovers could not fit into the refrigerator and no one wanted to carry the extra food home. Not wanting to waste the food, a friend and I decided to drive around downtown Miami, Florida and deliver the leftovers to the homeless.
We identified a location and parked the car. As I walked toward an abandoned building, my left hand carried a gourmet veggie tray full of an assortment of specialty dips and cheeses; while my right hand balanced a small plastic container full of deli sandwiches.
I proceeded to approach a middle-aged homeless woman with dusty black, frayed hair and baggy clothes. My friend was positive that she was going to reach for the sandwiches in my right hand but to his surprise she reached for the veggie tray. She grabbed a handful of veggies and shouted “thank you sweetie…now pass me that dip!” During the next few minutes, I stood with my hands stretched out front as she dipped julienned peppers, carrots and celery into the gourmet dips that were in the palms of hands. As she continued to dip her veggies, she explained how she used to work in corporate America for a Fortune 500 company that hosted frequent catered lunches. She told how the veggies and dip were her favorite parts about those lunches.
When I walked back to my car, my heart was full of so much joy. Prior to leaving my friend’s gathering, a few of them made fun of me for wanting to deliver gourmet veggies instead of turkey and mashed potatoes. They said, “Erika…they’re homeless. What are they going to do with a veggie tray?” When I read Proverbs 31, I am moved by her reluctance to judge those she serves in her community. It’s so easy to judge those who appear to have less than we do on the outside, but when we judge them we become the most poor men and women in the world. To this day, that woman in Downtown Miami is the only former Fortune 500 employee that I’ve ever met in my life. Though she has less material possessions than me and many of my peers, she has already accomplished more than all of us put together. A Proverbs 31 woman does not judge those that God has blessed her to serve; she loves them.
20. A Duplicate– Proverbs 31:29 says “there are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Could this passage have the same effect without this verse? I don’t think so. There’s something quite amazing about you when someone makes a point to inform the entire world that you are like no other. Imagine the life of this woman if she tried to pattern her life after other women. Her marriage, her relationship with her children and even the success of her business would be altered if she lived her life trying to be like someone else. You see, when you live your life as the person God created you to be, the world becomes a bit brighter and you begin to live a life that changes the course of history.
God has already set us apart but it’s up to us to act like it. It’s up to us to choose to be confident. It’s up to us to refrain from comparing ourselves to others, and it’s up to us to be ourselves.
How does this woman remain authentic? Well, for starters, she probably has her goals written in a journal or posted around her home to keep her focused. She probably uses her evenings or her downtime, to pray and read God’s word. But most of all, she probably loves herself for the woman God created her to be from the inside out, and she most definitely looks to God for direction and guidance in all things.
When we read about the woman in Proverbs 31, she should not appear as an ancient matriarch. She should reflect the woman we see in the mirror each day. Though parts of our lives may be under construction and though our relationships with our friends and family may be far from perfect, we should never see ourselves nor declare ourselves to be anything less than the type of woman in Proverbs 31. God has equipped you with the tools, gifts, talents and skills to be the woman of God that He has called you to be. You are equipped to walk and flourish in your purpose. You are built for your purpose. You have been called on purpose. You are gifted on purpose. You were born on purpose. You are a woman of purpose, and you are a Proverbs 31 Woman. Don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise.
Father, thank you for each woman who reads today’s post. I thank you for the great call that you have placed on their lives. I ask that you make their calling known until it is crystal clear. I declare healing in the broken areas of their lives and I decree restoration to take place at this very moment. Allow each woman to see herself as the beautiful, intelligent, and gifted woman who you have called her to be and nothing less. Expand her social circle with women who can encourage her to rise up in her purpose, and push her towards a life of godliness. I cast out shame, doubt, fear, pride and guilt in the name of Jesus, Amen. I bind and declare love, peace, gentleness, meekness, forgiveness, patience, joy, faithfulness, goodness and self-discipline. Embrace each woman with your everlasting love and favor. May she forever be changed and transformed. If she is unmarried, prepare her heart for her spouse. If she is struggling financially, increase her with wisdom, creativity, resources, favor and financial overflow. If she married, strengthen her marriage and expand their territory. Bless each woman with the desires of her heart as promised in your Word. Thank you in advance for every good and perfect thing that is to come. In the name of Jesus, Amen.