I’ve concluded that the virtuous woman of Proverbs was like Carolyn Ingalls (of Little House on the Prairie), Mary Kay Ash (of the cosmetics), and Cindy Crawford all rolled into one. Homemaker par excellence, there was nothing the Perfect Woman couldn’t do. Spinning, weaving, sewing, and knitting. Cooking, baking, and directing the household help. And with her magazine worthy house and gourmet cooking, her husband’s friends and business associates were always wined and dined in style. Her family always well-dressed and mannerly.
Yet she was also Business Woman Extraordinaire.
Buying, selling, and trading. Dealing in real estate, farming, and commerce. Never allowing an opportunity to slip through her fingers. And all the while fashionably dressed and beautiful, every hair in place, and perfectly made up.
She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night, (Proverbs 31:16-18).
And her excellence doesn’t stop there!
She seemed to never sleep, yet had energy enough to help the poor and needy, more than likely as president of many local charities. She was tireless, impeccable, and flawless.
No wonder I never really liked her! She leaves me feeling frumpy, feckless, and lazy. How could I, an ordinary, average homemaker, ever match this icon of the superwoman?
But I think I’m starting to see the quality she had in abundance, which I lack: Commitment.
Times are different now, and even this woman’s portfolio would be greatly changed. If she lived in today’s First World, even she would probably not spin and weave. But one thing is certain. She knew that true excellence takes commitment, so she was highly committed. And applied herself wholeheartedly to all she did.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ, (Colossians 3:23-24).
We may never excel in all the ways this woman did, but I’m not sure that’s what the Lord is really asking of us. He has a special and unique plan for each of us. But he does want us to do things with our whole heart. And just like this woman, to strive for excellence in all that we do.
It’s wholehearted commitment that pleases him. Not that we do things perfectly. But that we give them our all and do them to the best of our ability.
What holds you back from excelling like the perfect woman?
- Distractions you need to get rid of?
- Unhealthy comparing of yourself with others?
- Or are you just trying to do too many things?
- And possibly even things the Lord never asked of you?
Take time today to prayerfully discover what the Lord would have you do in your present time of life.
Then ask his help in devoting yourself wholeheartedly to those tasks!