Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; – Proverbs 31:30a
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. – Proverbs 31:27
She is clothed in strength and dignity; – Proverbs 31:25a
When I was in high school, our teacher would take us through Proverbs for devotion time every few months. Since there were 31 chapters, it was perfect to look at one chapter each day. I really enjoyed it because no one would pull life lessons and applicable ideas from the Bible like Mrs. Profitt could. It became true and real and a source of inspiration to me for the first time, really, in her class.
In any case, this chapter is still one of the blueprints that I wish to follow for being a good woman and wife. These verses really struck me today but especially the first one I listed.
I know that I have grown, at best, moderately attractive over the past few years. A late bloomer, some would say. Not trying to be modest, just honest here. I do not want to forget, however, that outer beauty does not last forever, nor will always seem charming, witty, or cute to those I meet and speak to. I will not deny, though, that it feels good and gratifying to be thought of as beautiful, attractive, or desirable by Ben and others. It’s something that I never really felt growing up and to feel it now is, still, a bit surreal. But, more important than that, I need to be a woman who lives what she says she believes, works hard, loves her spouse (and children whenever they come along), treats others with respect and love, and cultivates true relationships with people.
I do think, however, that I have grown lonely-lazy lately. I miss the facet of college that involved having quite a few friends fairly close at hand. I do not have many close friends nearby and I do get lonely at times. Often, I react to loneliness by withdrawing into myself and letting my introverted side have sway. I know that this is, often, not the right response and I need to work on it. I need to cultivate true friendships and relationships with others but sometimes the work and risk it requires scares me. I’ve been burned by stretching out my hand once already this year, and I’m a little gun-shy now, I think. I am trying to forgive and move on, though it’s taking time. I know how important friendships are, true friendships without the ceiling of mere hobbies and similar interests. Friendships and relationships where you learn about each other and are interested and invested in each other’s lives. I have several friends like that and am developing a few more, I hope. Such relationships are precious to me, and so I need to work on them.
I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman. I want to be “clothed in strength and dignity”. I want to do what’s best for my family, for my husband, for our lives together. I want to be strong for the days ahead, take care of our home, work together to care for our lives, and work hard to make it what we want. I want to always have a dignity that makes Ben (and whomever I am with) proud to be with me, to be seen with me. To carry myself like the woman I want to be. As I tell my students, if you want to be treated like an adult, you have to act like it. I need to act like the woman I want to be, I know that.
There is still so much for me to become. I cannot afford to rest on my laurels now and sometimes I just need that reminder. I am not a finished product yet; there are parts of me that still need refinishing as other parts continue to develop. I would ask you to be patient with, but please don’t give up on me yet. I may be 27 but I am still growing up.