Follow me on Twitter @revbrock

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

In the fall of 2000 I was picking up my textbooks in the Mississippi College bookstore when an interesting paperback caught my attention. Its title was “Help! I’m afraid of the Proverbs 31 Woman!” While humorous, this seems to be the general feeling of a lot of women on Mothers’ Day, which is usually when Proverbs 31 is read in church. The fear comes from the description of the “virtuous woman” who is up before dawn, makes clothing and food, conducts business, and is generally extremely busy all day. Modern-day Christians read this passage and are confounded by the relative impossibility of such a life.
We must keep in mind that this image of a woman’s life comes from a culture not our own. For example, the passage refers to the virtuous woman as managing her servants well. There are no servants in our homes these days, and haven’t been for several generations. Furthermore, not too many of our ladies make their own clothing or plant vineyards (but for those who do, you are amazing!). Instead, our culture today is one of department stores and pre-cooked food and business and baseball games and higher education. So are we then left on Mothers’ Day reading a passage that has nothing to do with our mothers? Certainly not!
Proverbs 31 is a wonderful chapter of Scripture for the modern woman to consider valuable. Notice that her work is valuable not just for the spirit of her household, but for its income as well. Her employment is as wide-ranging and important as her husband’s; she buys and sells land, she sells material and produce, and she is described as a ‘provider.’ What better passage for our mothers today? All of the language of economy, wisdom, value, and faith that are normally reserved for men in the Scriptures are here applied to the strong and beautiful mother in our household.
Let us realize that the value of a mother is indeed not just limited to the spiritual nurturing that she provides husband and children. Instead, let us understand that a mother’s work of provision, education, and income-earning work is just as valuable as her husbands. Let Mothers’ Day not be the one day a year when we think of mom as having some extra value to us – let this day be one where we celebrate the “virtuous woman” who blesses us each day.

No comments:

Post a Comment