We should be trying to live our lives according to the examples in scripture. We should be turning to God’s word as our guide for life. We should be trying to apply the verses of the Bible to our everyday lives. So why do some scriptures make me feel like I will just never be good enough?
Today’s Scriptures (ESV)
- Proverbs 31:13 “She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands.”
- Proverbs 31:18 “She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.”
- Proverbs 31:25 “Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come.”
- Proverbs 31:29 “Many women have done excellently, but you have surpassed them all.”
Food For Thought
I’ve been doing a 14-day Bible study that is focused on being a Christian wife. It has been great, really, and I’ve studied and learned and been reminded of things I need to be doing better in my own Christian marriage. Actually, it couldn’t have come at a better time, as I’ve been rather challenging here at home lately!
A few days ago, these were my verses for the day. Good stuff, right? Except that the more I read and meditated on these words, the worse I felt. Does anyone else ever feel like we can never measure up to this perfect Proverbs 31 woman? I want to be like her, really I do, but it just seems so…unattainable!
I read a lot of faith-based books, especially pertaining to women and our unique roles in life. Several of the books I read last year talked about how women set themselves up for perceived failures, contentment issues, depression, and other struggles due to the modern society view of “the woman who has it all.” I even did a post about that idea a few months ago.
Our society has this image for women that we must be able to hold down a full-time job bringing in six-figures, have children, be the PTA/soccer/dance mom, run marathons, do yoga, eat nothing but healthy food/shakes, and look darn good while we do it too! I tried to be that woman and came *this* close to putting myself in the loony bin. I am not cut out to be the “woman who has it all,” if this is the definition. And I was fine with that…until I started contemplating Proverbs 31.
Our scriptures have presented us a woman who has it all, but she does it all for the Lord, as she is fearful and reverent. And let me tell you…I’m feeling guilty. Not because I don’t want to work for the Lord or I’m unable to care for my family. It’s the selflessness of this woman that seems to make me sigh. It also appears in these verses that this woman has no difficulty working and providing for her family. So why did I have such trouble balancing the two?
It’s not like I spend the days sitting on the couch watching TV while she’s at school and my husband’s at work. I have this blog, which is very important to me, and my attempt at a writing career, but I fail to see my “merchandise as profitable” (v. 18). And I can assure you my lamp goes out at night!
So it brought me to this thought: Maybe the Proverbs 31 woman is an example of perfection set before us, to present a model for our behavior, in the same way that Jesus is our perfect example in the New Testament? We certainly will never be perfect as Jesus was, but we are to strive and live as closely to his example as we can. And guess what else? The Proverbs 31 woman was NOT a REAL woman! This is a PROVERB…advice…given to a man…for what to look for in a woman! Go back and read verses 1-9 to get the context for the next 22 verses.
So my conclusion…no need to feel guilty! It’s more Biblical wisdom to help me be a more Godly woman, which I need to work on wherever I am, whatever job I hold.
For more interesting facts about the Proverbs 31 woman, check out this blog post at Equipping Godly Women.
There is one part of Proverbs 31 that I seem to be able to do better than some of the others, and that is in verse 15, right smack in the middle, “she provides food for her family.” I know this isn’t a strength for everyone, and that’s okay, because there are other areas that I struggle with, but for me, it’s an honor to prepare and serve my family’s meals.
This feeling has a lot to do with the mission of faith-family-food, bringing you recipes and meal ideas that make it a little easier to provide food for your family. Today’s recipe is a pretty good example, with the ease of the slow cooker to prepare most of the dish.
This recipe for Italian Drippy Beef Sandwiches is great for dinner any night of the week, but also great for serving a crowd. Like say you’re having some kind of gathering for a BIG football game that may be coming up this weekend…this could be a great option. Put your meat in the slow-cooker first thing in the morning, and by game time, you’ve got some hot sandwiches ready to go. Just be sure to have extra napkins available because these sandwiches are called “drippy” for a reason!
Slow-Cooker Italian Drippy Beef Sandwiches
- 2 large onions
- 2 green bell peppers
- 3-4 lb. beef roast
- 1-oz pkg of dry au jus gravy mix
- 1 pkg dry Italian seasoning mix
- 2 TBS flour
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1-2 pkgs hoagie rolls
- 1-2 pkgs of deli sliced provolone cheese
- 1 jar of deli-style sliced pepper rings (we like Mezzetta pepper rings and they come in mild or hot)
- Slice onions and place on bottom of slow cooker.
- Place the roast on top of the onions and top with fresh bell pepper strips.
- In small bowl, whisk together gravy mix, Italian seasoning, flour, and beef broth. Pour over roast and vegetables.
- Cover and cook on low for 10 hours.
- Pull meat apart with tongs and mix well with juices, onions, and peppers.
- Line baking sheet with foil. Split open hoagie rolls and add a couple slices of provolone. Place under broiler for a minute, or until cheese is just melting.
- Top each roll with meat and vegetables. Add extra au jus to sandwich, if desired.
- Top with deli-style pepper rings, if desired.