Monday, June 11, 2007

Can I measure up?

So I've been thinking/reading/studying/stressing-out about the Proverbs 31 woman lately. Am I a 'virtuous woman'? Here's just a short list of her qualities....

  • her husband trusts her
  • early-riser
  • unselfish
  • loving wife and mother
  • smart shopper
  • seamstress
  • gardener
  • good housekeeper
  • trains her children with wisdom
  • her husband appreciates and praises her
And that's just a short list! Wow, that's a lot to measure up to. Do I even possess half of these traits?

I am naturally hard on myself. I compare myself to other wives, mothers, and even celebrities. And I know I'm not alone in this...most women do this same thing.

God knew that we would be critical of ourselves and knew we would seek examples to follow. Isn't it cool that he put such a detailed description of a virtuous woman in the Bible? He knows my heart, loves me so much, and thought of everything. Pretty cool!

So the thing that stresses me out though is trying to measure up. God knew we would be hard on ourselves, so why did he have to make her so perfect? It's like she's mocking me! There's no postpartum depression, frustration, fast-food getting, pretend she's asleep and doesn't hear the baby crying in the middle of the night so her husband will get up in her description. Her children don't even watch tv!

I know the Sunday School answer...read what I wrote about ten lines up. But still I'm stressed out! What do ya'll think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments (Mom, just click 'comments' on the bottom of this post and type your comment...you can click the anonymous circle and just sign your name in the 'leave your comment' section.). It's ok to say that I'm way off base and just need to relax too!
Carrie

4 comments:

Vikki said...

I can so totally relate to all of this. I have had similar discussions with myself. :-) The thing that I come back to is something that someone once said. And I am not totally sure it is the best advice but it does sound good. You are right, he did give us the description as something to aspire to and that is great b/c we are always wanting to know just exactly what it is we are supposed to be doing. However, this person noted that there is a long list of virtues here but that we should remember that they encompass her entire life. Meaning that she did all of these things but not necessarily at the same time. That makes sense b/c we are continually in different stages of life with our being single, getting married, having babies, babies growing, having toddlers, etc, on and on. We should not let this stop us from aspiring to be all of these things but we should let it temper us a bit in our criticism of ourselves as we don't measure up. Even still, we should also be continually praying for God to reveal to us where we are lacking and asking Him to give us what we need to make up for it.

That's my take on it! :-) I still have to remind myself of this though as it is so easy to feel like I am not what I am supposed to be. In fact, that I am so miserably not what I need to be. I am anxious to hear other's thoughts as well!

Anonymous said...

I think that makes sense. I believe the most important thing is that we have a love in our hearts for Christ and for our families, and that we act out that love every day of our lives. I think if we do that, then everything else will fall into place. I don't think God expects us to be the Proverbs 31 woman---I think He gave us that example as someone to aspire to, but no one will ever totally get there, because we're all imperfect. And I think God knows that and is OK with that, as long as we're doing our best and giving of ourselves the best way we know how, and relying on Him to help us.

I think we all tend to compare ourselves to other moms, but I think that's not a good thing, because God gave each of us different personalities and different family situations, and our kids have different personalities, so what works for one person may not work for someone else. We can only do the best we can with our particular situations and know that that has to be enough.

Kelly said...

I have often struggled with the Proverbs 31 woman as well, because there's no way I measure up. But recently, I've looked at her as an original (just one of God's children) who learned the virtues of devotion to God, caring well for her husband and family, caring for others, diligence, the ability to create a little extra income to help the family, etc. We can all learn those virtues and employ them in different ways.

In the Message Bible this morning, I read this from Galatians 6:
"MAKE A CAREFUL EXPLORATION OF WHO YOU ARE AND THE WORK YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN AND THEN SINK YOURSELF INTO THAT. DON'T BE IMPRESSED WITH YOURSELF. DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS. EACH OF YOU MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR DOING THE CREATIVE BEST YOU CAN WITH YOUR OWN LIFE."

And, as always, it's by His grace.

Race Mom said...

Carrie - I too struggle with where I measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman. Instead of trying to fit into the big picture, I strive to fit into a smaller one just day to day. We, as women, tend to be over critical of ourselves. I was recently shocked to find out that I was considered an "alpha mom". That couldn't be farther from the truth. I'm simple a child of God.