You Are Worth Celebrating
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
Do you ever find yourself feeling like you don’t measure up because of what you’ve been through? Me too.
I was a young mom when I first read Proverbs 31, which describes a woman of noble character. I thought the Proverbs 31 woman was overwhelmingly perfect.
Through many other seasons and hard realities I’ve walked through, I’ve found myself not just intimidated by Proverbs 31 but sometimes even defeated by this woman whose entire life seems full of praises.
That’s why my heart feels especially tender toward those of you who would rather skip over this passage of Scripture. I know what it’s like to have these words sit heavy on your heart with a resounding declaration of “I’m not enough.”
But what if I told you the heart behind Proverbs 31:10-31 is one of celebration and not condemnation?
The first thing I want us to take note of is that this isn’t just a chapter about a wife of noble character, despite how your Bible labels verses 10-31. It’s a chapter about a woman of valor. A courageous woman. A woman of strength and dignity.
And the fact that you are reading this devotion, seeking God and pursuing healing for the painful circumstances you’ve walked through, is evidence that you are a woman of valor, courage, strength and dignity. So Proverbs 31 is for you and me.
In Jewish culture, these verses are read out loud on the Sabbath as a celebration over the women. This in no way condemns what they aren’t, but rather celebrates how they, in their own unique expressions, live out the virtues detailed in this chapter. These aren’t words meant to tell a woman she is supposed to be more. They are a celebration of who she is.
Isn’t that the way it should be?
Courageous women celebrating each other – and those they love celebrating them. All under the banner of honoring God, serving out of love and smiling at the future. I also love how Proverbs 31:30 reminds us of what is truly worth celebrating: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
Notice it’s not a woman with a spotless house who is to be praised. It’s not the mom who never skips pages when reading books to her perfectly behaved children. Honestly, it’s not even just for a woman who is married and has children.
It’s a woman who fears the Lord who is to be praised. This isn’t an “I’m afraid of God” kind of fear. This type of fear is referring to having a heart completely in awe of God. It describes a woman who honors God by seeking Him in everything she does and trusting Him wholeheartedly with her life. She has a heart of reverence that overflows into a life of spiritual maturity and wisdom.
And let’s not forget to look at today’s verses within the context of why God gave us this book of the Bible. The very first chapter of Proverbs tells us it exists so we can gain wisdom, instruction, understanding, insight, knowledge, discretion and guidance. (vv. 1-7) Proverbs 2:1-5 goes on to remind us that as we receive and apply God’s commands, we will be able to understand how to find the knowledge of the Lord.
Wisdom is both a gift from God and a process of learning. I know this passage of Scripture can easily trip us up. But what if we take God at His Word and choose to believe these words hold good and pleasant things for us? What if we challenge ourselves to look at Proverbs 31 closely, seeing what part of it is a gift to us and what verses we need to learn from? What if we speak these words over ourselves and the other women in our lives as a form of celebration instead of condemnation, realizing that our stories don’t disqualify us?
God tucked these words into His Word for all eternity, dear friend. And that tells me they are needed and meant for our good. Let’s ask Him to help us learn from them today.
Father God, I confess at times I look at the Proverbs 31 woman and feel like I will never be enough. But I realize the purpose isn’t to shame me for all I think I’m not. Her example is there to remind me to look to You and live for You in all I do. Help me receive these words from You as a gift. And show me how to live them out according to the unique way You purposefully designed me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
Which part of Proverbs 31 is a gift to you? Are there any verses you can receive as a celebration of the woman you already are? What verses do you need to learn from?