Random tidbit: I like sugar. A lot.
I grew up in a conservative home. It was a good home, but there were a lot of things we didn’t do so that people would know we were good people. I learned Bible verses and about Jesus in Sunday School. My high school years I was on the youth leadership team, worship team and I could be found yearly at see you at the pole. It was a fine upbringing. I had a great base of Biblical knowledge and I know that the fundamentals of my faith that I learned growing up have been the basis for a big part of who I am now. After high school I went on to a private Christian college, that I am still paying for. It’s worth it though. Because it was at this faith based school that I met my husband and now we have three adorable kids after almost ten years of marriage.
Like any other church girl will tell you, the Proverbs thirty-one woman was held up as the ideal of how I was to be as a Christian woman. I went thru a few different Bible studies that left me feeling defeated about this standard. A friend of mine was in the Proverbs study with me and just scoffed all the way thru it. As in, this isn’t even relevant to my life but I know I should be at Bible study so I am going to do the study. I agreed with my friend. So, to me, Proverbs thirty-one was a lovely sentiment, but it was something that could only be attained if I was in heaven. Otherwise, I felt, it was just going to be this archetype that I would try to be like but never be able to attain a likeness too.
For the next six and a half years I have generally ignored the passage found in Proverbs thirty-one. Yes, I have heard it preached on or be referenced, but I have largely put the Proverbs thirty-one woman off in my mind as something not to look to closely at. So I won’t feel bad about myself.
Then, I stumble upon this blogger and author. Her name is Rachel Held Evans. She has stirred up some controversy. But she has some really good things to say. Her latest book is “A year of Biblical Womanhood”. ( I haven’t actually read the book yet. I spent my allowance last month before it came out. But I think the book is worth reading.) In Ms. Evans book she explores what the Bible says about being a woman. Then, carries out what it says, literally. There are many funny anecdotes and lessons learned. In the process of researching her book, Ms. Evans interviews several different women of faith. One of whom is Jewish. In that interview the Jewish woman explains about their custom of celebrating women. Women who love or give in extraordinary ways. They are called women of valor.
I love that, Women of Valor. Women being celebrated for the acts of love or kindness they do for or to each other. Rachel Held Evans is offering Proverbs thirty-one back to us women of faith. Celebrating all she did for her family. This is offered to us not as standard to live by, but as a person to rejoice in. So let’s do that. Let’s celebrate this amazing woman of faith found in Proverbs thirty-one.
Then, go to Ms. Evans blog and check out her stories about women of valor, then look for women in your own life that you can celebrate. You can celebrate your women of valor with a note telling them how amazing they are, or you can throw a big party for all the women of valor you know. Or it can be anything in between. Just don’t put celebrating or telling this amazing woman that you think they are great.