When I read of the Proverbs 31 woman, it’s overwhelming to me that this would be an expectation to live up to as a wife and mother. Through the eyes of a perfectionist, it’s downright scary. How in the world do I live up to that expectation? God helped me to realize, that I can’t. To do so would be perfection and I’m not perfect. I believe the Proverbs 31 Mother wasn’t perfect either. But she yoked herself with God. Every. Single. Day. It was through his power that she was a truly virtuous woman.
I went to God ready to surrender my life to Him and do as he willed, ready to go on some Big Mission in his name. Know what he said? “I want you to support your husband and raise your children to know me.” Really? That’s the BIG mission. God has called me to make disciples of two little girls in my own home. That it is a BIG mission. I’ve been called to be a Proverbs 31 mother.
Learning to Be a Proverbs 31 Mother
But, how do you make disciples of our children? In the midst of Motherhood, I’m still learning. But I believe it’s ultimately up to God to draw our children near. It’s up to us to expose them to him and demonstrate for them our relationship with him. That sounds pretty general but here’s a few ideas on specific things we can do to raise up little disciplines.
The Greatest is Love
First, a proverbs 31 mother treats her children as Jesus treated his disciples. With Love.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 New International Version (NIV)
I’m drawn to “love is patient.” Jesus showed his disciples a lot of patience as they failed over and over again to catch on to his teachings. And patience is something else I’m learning from motherhood. I guess I need to add some prayer when I take a deep breath and count to 10.
The Last Will Be First
Second, I believe a Proverbs 31 mother shows her children how to be disciplines of Jesus through acts of service. Children these days are coming up in a world of entitlement and it’s through acts of service we teach our children the importance of working for the good of their neighbor. Jesus didn’t come to BE served, he came to serve others.
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35 English Standard Version
I am immensely thankful for the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) ministry. It ended the loneliness that I felt when my family relocated to this area and helped me face my new role as a stay-at-home mom. The group has also provided me with the opportunity to serve. I’m hoping my children will see the importance of using their gifts and talents to grow God’s kingdom and serve others.
Third, and hardest for me is putting on the armor of God every single day.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. – Ephesians 6:13-18 New International Version
Why is this one so hard for me? What a relationship with God looks like, is pieced together from whatever bits of information I’ve gathered from the Bible, Bible studies, church services, and other Christian folks that God has placed in my path.
Seek Christian Mentorship or Be a Spiritual Mother
In order to raise children to know God, I believe young mothers need the confidence and the intentionality to do so. The greatest blessing would be for that mom to find Christian mentorship, someone to partner with her, to encourage her, to tell her or better yet, show her what it looks like to walk with Jesus. So if you’re a young mother, seek Christian mentorship.
There’s a movie that everyone has been talking about lately, you might have heard of it. It’s called, The War Room. Spoiler alert: Mrs. Clara prayed that God would place someone in her path who needed her guidance. Look around this room, think about your neighbors, your co-workers, your friends… is there a young mother or father that you could take under your wing? If you’re reading this and you DON’T have children, there are lots of young parents and children who need spiritual mothers and fathers.
Daily Acts of Service
Perhaps being a Proverbs 31 mother has a lot to do with little acts of daily service to our families. Sometimes it’s the little things that mean so much. We can always Love the Lord Through Laundry.