Today’s Proverbs 31 Woman – A Mother’s Day Tribute

I know there are no perfect people.  One of the frustrating things about blogging is that there is a tendency to present yourself and your life in such a way that if people didn’t know better they would think you were living the perfect life.  Our blog is no different.  We celebrate the exciting events in our life and share interesting and educational posts, but the pictures and stories are usually edited so every imperfection is wiped away.

When I decided to draft this post as part of my Mother’s Day gift to my wife, I wanted to start by clarifying that our life is messy.  We have 6 kids ranging in age from 5 months to 17 years.  I have a demanding job that frequently has me traveling most of the week.  We home school all six children.  We have bills.  We have moods.  There are diapers to change and teenagers with attitudes.  We get irritable. We are almost always tired.  We have unfulfilled goals.  We struggle with allergies, headaches, and illness.  We sometimes resort to junk food even though we know better. Our house is in a roller coaster state of clean and dirty.  The laundry piles up.  The lawn needs mowing.  The eight of us frequently let each other down.  We lose our tempers.  We fight.  We are selfish.  We drive each other nuts.  Our life was not always this “messy” though.

USWhen I met my wife Bethany she was 15 and I was 17.  We started “officially” dating when I asked her out at 10:14 pm on May 10, 1992.  In the early years of our dating and marriage we spent every minute together.  We worked together at Burger King, then Taco Bell, then as managers at a group home, and eventually even as teachers at the same school.  We gardened together. We hung out together.  We truly spent every minute we could together.  Fast-forward 22 years and our life has changed substantially.  We are both so busy with our responsibilities during the weekdays and then the weekends are usually packed full of kids’ events and church activities.  Any minutes we get alone together are precious.  We count on each other to be giving each other our best, even though we literally might not see one another for days at a time.

I share all of that to say that my wife’s current life is one of chaos, resistance, messes, work, and very little acknowledgment or appreciation from those she faithfully serves everyday.  What you are about to see below is something my three oldest children and I put together many years ago for a previous mother’s day.  I remember being so appreciative of my wife at that time and thinking how incredibly hard her role in our family was.  It is now at least twice as hard!

Proverbs Chapter 31 describes the “perfect woman”…or at least gives some guidance on the kind of woman that should be praised and honored.  This caliber of woman is hard to find.  The Bible says that a man that finds this kind of woman has found something more valuable than rubies.  I am married to such a woman and my kids agree.  We measured “Mommy” against each verse, one verse at a time, and found that she lacks nothing.  Of course, she would disagree because she is not “perfect” and because our life is “messy”.  When I come home she apologizes if dinner is not ready or if there is a mess in the family room.  Every time she apologizes I wish I could somehow get her to understand how much I appreciate her.  I would rather enjoy a challenging life with her than suffer a “perfect life” without her!  I love the life I am living with her and with our children…it is a beautiful mess!  I am so thankful for Bethany and can’t imagine my life without her!

My purpose in writing this post is not to brag that I am married to an amazing woman.  My purpose is twofold:

1. To honor my wife and let her know how much I appreciate her

2. To remind myself and others not to take for granted the Proverbs 31 women that raised us (thanks mom!), that married us, or that we have the joy of raising.

For those that don’t know what a Proverbs 31 woman is, here is a summary (This was a Mother’s Day gift my kids and I put together for Bethany almost 10 years ago):

Mothers Day 01
Proverbs 31 – A Wife of Noble Character
Mothers Day 02
The commentary the kids and I used when we put Bethany’s book together was written by Sheila Graham. Please click on this picture to read her article titled “Portrait of a Godly Woman”
Mothers Day 03
Proverbs 31:10 – Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
Mothers Day 04
Proverbs 31:11 – Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
Mothers Day 05
Proverbs 31:12 – She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
Mothers Day 06
Proverbs 31:13-14 – She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar.
Mothers Day 07
Proverbs 31:15 – She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. (We have no servant girls so Bethany plans the day’s work for home school instead :-))
Mothers Day 08
Proverbs 31:16 – She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
Mothers Day 09
Proverbs 31:17 – She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.
Mothers Day 10
Proverbs 31:18 – She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.
Mothers Day 11
Proverbs 31:19 – Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.
Mothers Day 12
Proverbs 31:20 – She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.
Mothers Day 13
Proverbs 31:21 – She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes.
Mothers Day 14
She makes coverings for her bed; She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
Mothers Day 15
Proverbs 31:23 – Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders.
Mothers Day 16
Proverbs 31:24 – She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.
Mothers Day 17
Proverbs 31:25 – She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
Mothers Day 19
Proverbs 31:26 – When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
Mothers Day 20
Proverbs 31:27 – She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.
Mothers Day 21
Proverbs 31:28 – Her children stand and bless her.
Mothers Day 22
Proverbs 31:29 – Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”
Mothers Day 23
Proverbs 31:30-31 – 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.
Mothers Day 24
Canaan wanted to be part of the action. He was a small child at the time. When I saw this picture again after all these years I couldn’t help but think of Psalms 127:3 – Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

An added treat for those that saw “Mom’s Night Out“:

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