WARNING: The task you’re asked to complete to start today’s study might be somewhat frustrating & overwhelming. Better cover yourself in prayer before you go any further.
To get yourself in the right mindset for this week’s study, take a few minutes to create a master list of everything on your plate right now. In other words, create a “to do” list of all the projects and tasks you want to or need to complete. This isn’t a list of dreams and goals, but a hard and fast list of all that you know needs done.
The Proverbs 31 Woman’s “to do” list probably looks something like this:
No, she doesn’t do each item every day, but many of them she does, and the rest no doubt take up a her time on a pretty consistent basis. And the list doesn’t even cover all those activities implicit in other areas of her life (which we’ll cover in the coming weeks) such as her relationships with her husband and her kids?
Maybe you stand in awe of all that she accomplishes, even feeling like less of a woman in the shadow of her “to do” list. Maybe you can easily pit your own “to do” list up against hers, confident yours will come out the clear winner.
The problem with both of these mindsets lies with the realization that comparisons create dangerous realities. You see, someone will always accomplish less than you in a day. Likewise, someone will also always accomplish more.
Have you ever thought about why people become addicted to online gaming and chat rooms? There’s always another level and always another conversation. No end exists. That’s the hook.
Unhealthy comparisons can do the same to us as these online addictions (which, by the way, researchers have discovered work in the brain the same way addiction to drugs and alcohol works). We seem to get so wrapped up in proving our value by what we do and by how we compare to what other women do or don’t do. Sometimes, we simply get depressed realizing how much we just don’t measure up to others.
To help transform this mindset, let’s consider how the Proverbs 31 Woman sets an example for us to follow rather than creating an unrealistic ideal and unhealthy competition. In other words, rather than competing with the Proverbs 31 Woman or any other woman for that matter, let’s discuss how the qualities and abilities she possesses can also be cultivated in our own lives.
Consider the following 5 aspects found in the Proverbs 31 Woman as related to building her home:
- She prioritizes. Prioritizing involves knowing what needs done first and what can wait.
- She considers quality. This can mean choosing what’s best rather than just what will get you by.
- She is organized. Being organized increases a woman’s effectiveness like few other aspects can.
- She manages her time. This is done through prioritizing, organizing & choosing quality.
- She is a self-disciplined woman. Self-discipline can be cultivated and is essential for being productive.
These 5 aspects found in the Proverbs 31 Woman really only get us started in describing why she is able to accomplish so much in the area of building her home as well in every other area of life. Other aspects include sacrifice, wisdom, energy, commitment and motivation.
We started this week’s study comparing our own “to do” lists with that of the Proverbs 31 Woman’s list. And now we find ourselves considering the qualities and attributes that allow her to accomplish so much. Doing so can either take us into the dangerous area of comparisons once again, or it can inspire us to grow these same aspects in our own lives.
Let’s again remind ourselves that this description of the Proverbs 31 Woman is not written to make you feel less of a woman. She simply represents the gold standard toward which all women can and should grow.
Now, please read 2 Peter 1:3-11. Not only are the attributes of the Proverbs 31 Woman seen in this scripture, but so is the essential point that becoming a godly person means growing in these qualities over a lifetime.
None of us are meant to be exactly like The Proverbs 31 or any other woman. But we are meant to cultivate these godly qualities within ourselves. The unique combination of these qualities within each person can give us an increased appreciation for the One who created us. After all, we are made in His image (Genesis 1:27).
These qualities also shape who we are and what we do as individuals. They allow us to rejoice in our unique “to do” lists and to remain free of weighty comparisons. After all, Christ came to set us free from that sort of weight, so let’s live in that freedom!
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
For further study:
- Read through 2 Peter 1:3-11 again, and make a list of all the qualities named in this scripture. Name some ways that faith can be “supplemented” with these qualities.
- Of all the qualities we’ve discussed regarding the Proverbs 31 Woman, which one do you feel you currently possess the most? Take a minute to thank God for producing that quality in you.
- What one quality found in the Proverbs 31 Woman do you feel you most want to develop right now? Take a minute to ask God to cultivate and grow that quality in you.
Previous Weeks’ Studies