Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Proverbs 31:10
If you’re like me, some days my response to this question is an exasperated, “Who can find her?… I have no idea! She sure ain’t living in this house!”
I used to read Proverbs 31 only to feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Somehow I got the idea that this ‘superwoman’ mom was doing all this greatness in one day. This is clearly impossible, not to mention that she had servants. When mine show up, then I’ll be incredible too!
To be clear, this is NOT how God intends for us to read this passage.
For one, Proverbs 31 was written from a mother to her son, encouraging him to value things that really matter, things that last.
For another, this woman is described over a lifetime lived out of virtue, not a day, or even a year. This woman has lived through many seasons and has raised children that are old enough to acknowledge and declare her value on their own, in public. This could reasonably take decades!
That gives me a little comfort, however, more than anything, what I believe God wants us as moms to know through this proverb is that God sees us and He values what we are doing and why we are doing it.
So many of the details described in Proverbs 31 are specific to the time and culture when it was written, however, the very fact that the details are acknowledged, shows that God cares and values the work that goes into them.
Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. 31:19
You may or may not be knitting the clothes your family wears, but you probably spend a decent amount of time making sure they have them, and that they are relatively clean! The work that goes into feeding, clothing, and caring for a family is impossible to keep track of, mostly because so much of it is on a continuous loop that starts again before it’s ever complete. That’s life. And God sees it and He sees it as eternally valuable.
Currently I have friends in various seasons of motherhood. I have new mom friends experiencing the challenges of sleepless nights, ill-timed blow-outs, and mysterious fevers. On the other spectrum, I have friends who may no longer have kids in their home, but now spend time caring for grandchildren, aging parents, and even the declining health of a husband.
Seasons of caring change through the years. The specifics of what we do will be different, but the unseen service, countless prayers, and ceaseless love does not, because it comes from God.
In my own season, I’m no longer dealing with diapers, and most nights I sleep pretty well. I’m certainly in the middle of the “Mom, where are my baseball pants?” season and “Mom, we’re out of______.” (Milk, usually milk. We seriously go through about ten gallons a week!) I regularly negotiate peace between future world leaders. (AKA work with siblings not to fight–every.single.day.) Don’t get me wrong. There is an enormous amount of delight in the life I’m living right now. As my children grow up and their personalities blossom, the conversations get even more meaningful and their jokes are a whole lot more funny! We have great times together. It’s a rich season. And it’s still a season with a lot of work. Work that is valuable, even if it is mostly unseen.
And yet, it’s not unseen. That’s what God wants you to know. Whatever season you’re in right now, Mom, you are seen. You are noticed. You are appreciated. You are loved. The work you do, the care you give, it’s valued. Do we do it all perfectly? Of course not. In fact most women see their shortcomings far more than their triumphs. God, however, celebrates your heart, and covers and restores each time you come to Him.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. 31:30
So, Happy Mother’s Day Mom! Thank you for all you do. The Lord knows. He’s with you. And your value for Him is the greatest gift you give to all those around you.
Today, I encourage you to let God’s love for YOU refresh your soul. You are valuable indeed. Far more precious than rubies, and God knows right where you are.