Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
These two verses express beautifully just how blessed both men and women are when they embrace the roles they are meant to hold; that of cherished spouse and loving parents. While these roles are often challenging, they are also the most rewarding. Much hard work goes into being a Proverbs 31 individual. It not only requires a verbal commitment to be and do good, but to serve as a daily role model to others in deed. As a reward for this commitment, their loved ones praise them in word and deed in return. Their children are grateful for their early training as it sets the tone for a lifetime; owing all that they achieve to their upbringing and to the parents who loved, guided, protected, and shaped them. Their spouse praises them too saying, "many have done excellently, but you surpass them all."
On a more personal note, I cannot tell you how truly blessed I feel when family and loved ones appreciate me as a friend, partner, parent, and more. This has not always been the case though. During my first marriage, my former husband would come home after work very tired. It was then that he would often be critical of the work I did professionally, how I maintained our home, and how I cared for our children. I cannot tell you how crushed I was because I was sincerely doing my very best to balance a full-time career with marriage and family life. While I received much praise from friends and neighbors, I was seeking, but rarely received praise from the man who meant everything to me … my husband and father of our children. While I did not realize it back then, I was trying so hard to embrace a Proverbs 31 way of life without a foundation; without a partner who valued and appreciated it. We eventually divorced, with my spending the last 15 years as a single parent of now two grown kids.
Then eighteen months ago, I met a wonderful man who changed my life forever. During the past year, he has been there for me as I experienced some of the most painful times of my life. He helped me through a former friend’s betrayal, as my business fell on hard times, as I became very sick with the flu, as my resources dried up, and as I was on the verge of losing my home. Every step of the way, he not only showed me through words, but also in deeds what unconditional love truly looks and feels like. It was then he re-introduced me to Proverbs 31. I say, “re-introduce” because like many of you out there, I had preconceived notions about Proverbs 31 along with its “following the lead and serving the needs of others” lifestyle. In fact, we shared numerous discussions about how a woman would not want to serve a man who did not love and cherish her; and that, if you read in between the lines every Proverbs 31 woman had a Proverbs 31 man who loved, cherished, encouraged, and protected her. Then one day he challenged me to study Proverbs 31 verse by verse to learn their true meaning. During the last few months, you - my readers - have been beneficiaries as this blog has been about sharing what I have learned. What is the biggest thing I learned? To my surprise... my life works much better when I follow the lead and serve the needs of others and when Proverbs 31 and a Proverbs 31 man are a part of it!
Remember ... touch a life today "The Little Way" by following the lead and need of others. Also, if you ever thought to yourself, "I wish my community, knew...", then be sure to visit White Light Communications at http://www.tothewhitelight.com.