Want some Proverbs 31 action from your woman?

Responses to Proverbs 31

I have a love/hate relationship with Proverbs 31.  I love it because it is a divinely-inspired depiction of a wise, godly, and strong woman.  A woman who I aspire to be.  I hate it because it has been absolutely bastardized (Am I allowed to use that word?) by contemporary Christian culture.

I realize that the blog has been relationship-heavy as of late, and after my review of Redeeming Singleness (which, seriously, everyone should read), I made the conscious effort to stay away from relationship/ gender issues for awhile.  Until my friend told me about a Facebook comment she read:

I can't wait for some Proverbs 31 action from my lady.

She also told me about her involvement in a conversation where a man proudly declared:

I would marry someone who was godly, even if she were ugly.

What?  Wait...What?

I'm pretty sure the Proverbs 32 man wouldn't say that.

In fact, even the Proverbs 31 man doesn't say that.  He arises and praises her strength, dignity, wisdom, skill, business sense, and provision for her household.  He does not, however, sit at the city gate of Facebook waiting for (demanding?) more Proverbs 31 action.  He also praises because she exceeds and surpasses all other women- without qualifiers as to how her physical appearance compares with others.

Reworking our standards

Proverbs 31, while divinely inspired, is also a fiction.  The Proverbs 31 woman- who can find? She doesn't exist.  She is a fictionalization, a hypothetical created by King Lemuel.  Modern evangelicalism misses this in analyzing the text.  Instead, we have elevated this "perfect woman" in our minds and have demanded that our young women and wives attain this goal and chided them when they have fallen short.

You know who was perfect (and not fictional)?  Jesus.

The calling for Christlikeness is the same for both men and women.  We both have the same unattainable standard.

So if you're a man waiting for some Proverbs 31 action from your woman, chances are, she's waiting for some as-Christ-loved-the-church action from you.  Seems like we can all use a little grace.