my response to a trending topic.

“I’d rather have a Proverbs 31 woman than a Victoria’s Secret model.”

Live 31 is a relatively new movement that centers around being (or finding) a Wife of Noble Character, as outlined in Proverbs 31, rather than focusing on physical beauty. I read the group’s website and something about it bothered me. After discussing it with a friend, I realized a few things. One of which is that not every woman will be a Proverbs 31 woman.

Do I believe “an excellent wife…is far more precious than jewels” (Prov. 31:10)? Yes.

Do I believe that this noble woman will take care of her household? Absolutely.

Do I believe she’s “clothed with strength and dignity”? Beyond a doubt.

There are a lot of really awesome and powerful things in this passage about a Wife of Noble Character…so much so that I feel the need to capitalize that title. However, I don’t think that we should take these 21 verses of scripture and define our lives by them. There are a handful of Godly women in the Bible that were missing quite a few of these qualities: Rahab, Mary Magdalene and Tamar, for example. These women fell short of the righteousness described in this passage, but they were washed clean by forgiveness and we refer to them as women of God.

The opening line of this passage is, “An excellent wife, who can find?” That says that this woman doesn’t exist. Nobody’s perfect, after all. Women weren’t and still are not meant to be measured by one passage of scripture. Women and men both are held accountable to the standard of Christ. We are supposed to model our lives after him, not a passage of fiction.

There are 2 sides to “Live 31.” The first is towards women and encouraging them to live Proverbs 31 lives. The second is towards men and encouraging the pursuit of Proverbs 31 women. My problem with this movement is that it’s not only taking away from the pursuit of Christ-like lives, but also the pursuit of Christ, himself.

Women and men alike should pursue Christ, right? After all, Max Lucado’s famous quote, “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her,” is one of the most popular of our generation. (And Lucado’s word is gold…you know it’s true.) I’m down for any group that wants to spark a revolution, but only when the scriptural basis is accurate. This one seems to be a little misleading to me.

What about women who aren’t married or that don’t have children? This “Live 31” idea excludes them.

And what about the Victoria’s Secret models? Nicole Weider was a VS model and is now a mission-work-doing-Christian, but what about the others? Are Noble Women supposed to assume the worst about VS models and be better than them? If I made a really judgmental list about who I think needs Christ’s love the most…VS models would be on that list. Obviously, I’m not a Woman of Noble Character just yet. What if a VS model sees the goals of this group? You won’t see them at church the next Sunday.

I think a true, Christ-like woman strives to do good by all of God’s people, sinner and saint alike.

I’m not saying that striving to be a Wife of Noble Character is silly or unrealistic. I think there are many women who strive to live that life and I think that’s amazing. I’m also not attacking the group. Like I said, I love a good spark.

Have you heard about this group? What do you think?

-Caitlyn

After I started thinking about this group, I searched what other people were saying. This blog post and I seem to be in agreement.

something beautiful. (insecurity: part 2)

It’s been a while since I talked about Beth Moore’s book “So Long, Insecurity”, so here we go.

It’s high time we got our dignity back. Let’s just be real, here. How long has mankind (or womankind, for that matter) stood by the wall and said, “Oh, it’s cool. I don’t need my security. No one else out there has it. I’m good”? Whoa. I feel like there are secure people out there, even if they’re by backroads in Timbuktu. They’re there somewhere and I plan on joining them someday. Take the journey with me. We’ll only get there through the Father, but He’s ever willing to lend a hand.

Proverbs 31:25 says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity…”. Now that’s good Joe.

Now, read it again. But really READ it this time. Read each word.

Think about it. Ponder away, my friend.

—————————————————————–

Let’s break it down, shall we? I guess I should say “unpack.” I love when speakers say that. It makes me feel like we’re going camping. Which is intense. Get it? Intense…in tents…yeah. Alright.

She is clothed with strength and dignity.

She

Beth talks in her book about how Scripture has a bit of a preference for male gender references, which is no big deal to her…or to me, for that matter. Sure, the body of believers is referred to as the “sons of God”, but we’re also “the bride of Christ.” I feel like we’re equal in that stature. In this passage, however, God uses “she” which is clearly, significantly female. This passage is meant for the female journey.

Is Clothed

“We are not nearly as likely to react with the same level of insecurity when we remember how well covered we are by God” (BM). God’s love covers us like a security blanket. That feeling of being overexposed is almost unbearable sometimes. Do you know that feeling? When it seems like there’s a spotlight on you with a little dry-erase board propped up by your side listing everything you don’t want people to know? I’m pretty visual…so that’s what I’m seeing in my head right now. Walk with me, here. We forget that God’s love is so vast and unmeasurable, it covers us and then some. There’s leftovers! There are scraps for us to use on other people. I don’t like referring to leftovers of God’s love as scraps…but it goes with the visual.

With Strength

Strength is a huge part of the journey towards security. “Nothing makes a woman feel weaker than insecurity” (BM).  Ain’t that the truth, ya’ll! Oh, I went there. Insecurity has a way of making us cower back into the corner and wait for the storm to pass. There is nothing weak about Jesus Christ, though. Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” Renew! Fresh and new every morning, yet strong and everlasting. “If Christ is your Savior, sister, you are completely covered by a cloak of strength” (BM).

And Dignity

Did you know that the word translated “wife” in most versions of Proverbs 31:10 is a word that also simply means “woman”? This section is commonly titled “The wife of noble character.” In the context of verses 10-31, the woman was married, so the translation of “wife” worked well. However, these verses work for an unmarried woman, as well. Win for the singles! We get to have dignity, too! We can be women of noble character. That tagline doesn’t come after a wedding. The Bible talks about how God crowned us with dignity (Psalm 8:5), which is really cool. “He wrapped it as a crown right around our minds, just where we need it most” (BM). However, dignity isn’t something we always feel like a warm beanie on our heads. It’s something we have to claim because it is, literally, our God given right.

You are clothed with strength and dignity. I am clothed with strength and dignity.

There are a lot of gifts that are given to us from the Father. Many of them, we’ll never stare in the face and accept. Security is definitely one of those. There’s an enemy out there that wants us to flee from strength and dignity, and sometimes that enemy is the one looking back at us in the mirror. Why do we run from security, friends?

2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

-Caitlyn

Listening to: Christy Nockels. She’s the woman.

*(BM) means the quote is from Beth Moore’s book, “So Long, Insecurity.”