You ever walk away from a conversation analyzing your words line by line? Thinking, “Why did I say that? They must think I’m a mess.”
Same. In fact, since the move, and meeting countless new people, self-doubt seems to have completely consumed me. I’ve started a new job, we’re getting plugged in at a new church, and I just can’t seem to shake the feeling I’m making a total fool of myself.
A Woman’s “How To” Guide
While there are many scriptures that are brilliant reminders of God’s love for me, in this particular season I wanted more of a “How To” guide.
- How To: Be a Confident Woman
- How To: Be an Honorable Wife
- How To: Be a Loving Mom
- How To: Be Successful
- How To: Be Happy
Guess what? There’s an outline in Proverbs that does it all. An all-encompassing, “how to” list on being an amazing woman. PTL!
10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?Provers 31:10-31 NLT
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm clothes.
22 She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
That’s…. a lot
Woah! As thankful as I am for such a detailed and specific outline… GEEZE! There’s a whole lot on that list and can easily feel overwhelming.
Here’s the beauty of following Jesus: it’s a process and perfection isn’t required or expected.
So instead of reading that scripture and focusing on the areas you’re falling short, rejoice in your natural giftings!
For one woman, waking up before her family and preparing a nutritious breakfast brings her joy. Another may have a heart for the poor and loves donating her time and resources.
For me, I see “She makes her own bedspreads.” and I feel pretty good about my new quilting hobby! I read, “She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable…” and I rejoice in my entrepreneurial heart.
Confidence Breeds Inspiration
I believe with all my heart that growth happens when we are hopeful, not when we feel hopeless. This translates into absolutely every area in life. In the case of being a confident wife and woman, when you rejoice in your strengths, you’re more likely to feel an inspirational tug to grow and become an even better version of yourself.
We’re All a Work In Progress
So instead of judging yourself so harshly, and worrying others are doing the same (even if they really are), find rest in the fact that you are a work in progress. Enjoy your life. Enjoy your journey. Even in Proverbs, concluding this somewhat daunting list, verse 30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”
Keep this in mind the next time you worry about what someone may be thinking about you. Or the next time you feel you’ve failed your family. If you keep yourself in a headspace where your primary concern is pleasing God, all else will fall into place.
Stay close to Him. He will love you, He will grow you, and He will protect you.
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