Proverbs 31 WomanA friend of mine has been inviting me to a women's Bible study for a couple of years. I always hesitated in going. The location is 30 minutes away and it starts at 9am on Thursdays. I always found a reason not to go; I was getting great at excuses. But she would occasionally remind me and invite me again.
Valley West Women's Bible Study is unique in that they offer 2 periods of bible study. The first hour is a group session and the second hour is a breakaway session in which you can pick one of a dozen different classes to attend based on your desires and interests. I chose to be a part of the Creative Counterpart class, which is based on a book by Linda Dillow.
Richie and I have been married 9 years. We had some rocky points, as most do, during those first couple years of marriage. He had expectations that I didn't understand, and I had serious medical illnesses that we were having to work through together. Despite our issues our marriage has always been strong and solid. We are great a compromising and have learned how each other communicate. We have worked hard to build a solid marriage that is 50/50.
I was raised to be an independant woman who needed no man to live, survive or take care of me. The word "submissive" was a dirty word that implied I was less than the person I was to submit to. I was taught a very unbiblical view of submission.
This bible study has enlightened and taught me so much in such a short period of time. I found myself resistant, at first, to hearing all this Proverbs 31 women stuff. I was offended and insulted. "My marriage is just fine" turned into "honestly, who can be that woman?" Then as I moved through some of their lessons and the book I began feeling worthless and like a failure. I'm pretty sure bible study isn't suppose to make you feel worse...but I'm also very sure that in order to build you up and grow you, God must first break you down, reveal short comings, and insecurities. Yet He does this in love with mercy and grace. For that I'm grateful!
I've learned that to submit doesn't mean to allow yourself to be a door mat. I'm learning how to encourage, support, serve and love my husband in a way I never knew before. I see changes in him that amaze me...changes that are happening purely because I'm following God's command to submit, to step back and to stop being the way I've been all these years. Our great marriage is getting better every day. I'm not a success, but I'm well on my way to getting it all figured out.
The idea of a Proverbs 31 woman was a much easier pill to swallow when I was taught that it was written by a mother-in-law to her son, a king, about the type of woman she thought he should marry. My first thought, which I believe I actually said out loud was "Well, that explains EVERYTHING!" Then more comfort came when several of the older women expressed their view was that this was the perfect woman, and that though we can't expect to be this woman in her entirety that we should strive for it. That as a woman we have several roles we play and affect many people; that we will have seasons of stregths and some of weakness. But because we are human and fallen, while being compared to a fictional woman, we are still loved and adored by God...we will reap good if we put forth an honest effort to follow God's commands.
I'm learning that in this season of my life the best way for me to serve God is to serve my husband and family. I'm learning that to give my all to Him through doing my very best for my family will bring glory to him. I have an amazing husband who loves and supports me. He cares for me and our children. I owe him my best because God told me so. :) I owe God my best because he was the one who gave Richie to me, then Noah, and now our Bingo Baby. Why wouldn't I want to give very best?
I'm learning. I'm growing. I feel change in my soul and heart. I like it.