I asked my dear friend Amy Bayliss if I could share an excerpt from her eBook, Pursuit of Proverbs 31 with you. Amy’s a down-to-earth girl with a crazy love for Jesus. I couldn’t possibly ask for more in a friend, could I? I met her about five years ago when I held an online writing contest and her article made me ball like a baby–in a good way! Needless to say, she won the prized ipod and we became forever friends.
In Pursuit of Proverbs 31, by Amy Bayliss
Many of us are fascinated with, and at the same time terrified of, the woman in Proverbs 31. This woman was a wife, mother, manufacturer, importer, merchant, manager, realtor, farmer, seamstress, upholsterer, and the list goes on and on. She is intimidating to say the least. I’ll admit I’ve snarked at her under my breath on more than one occasion.
We still try to be like her though, don’t we? And when we fall short we don’t want to face it. Instead, we try to hide behind strength and facades of perfection. But, there is always the One who can see right through us. He sees our hearts and our intentions. He knows what the neighbors would have never guessed; we don’t have it all together.
I, too, thought I was conquering this short snippet of time called life. At one point, I worked my fingers raw cleaning my home and crafting items I had no interest in. I memorized Scripture so that I could quote it at the next Bible study. I kept my hair in a trendy, but easy to manage, style and I spent lots of money on fashionable clothing so I could look nice at church functions. I smiled and laughed even on some of the worst days of my life. I didn’t allow myself to be vulnerable or to break. I was more than super-woman. I was super-Christian-woman. I can do all things, right?
Yet, even in the midst of wearing the super-woman cape I echoed the questions that have plagued the hearts and minds of so many:
Why can’t I get it right? How can I find more time to get it all done? Why isn’t God helping me?
Aren’t those the kind of thoughts and emotions we go through? Life brings us obstacles and we make it our responsibility to conquer them. On the outside we look like we have it all together. We roar while standing on top of a basket of freshly folded laundry when on the inside we are meowing and begging for someone to see us, to take notice.
Somehow we miss the one thing the Proverbs 31 was praised for: her fear of the Lord.
As I read and meditated on the Scriptures and tried applying them to my life, something odd happened. I became filled with anger, bitterness, anxiety, and was more overwhelmed than when I started. When I heard other women speak about all the Proverbs 31 guidelines they had achieved I would feel myself cringe inside. Why was I different? Why couldn’t I just get it?
Have you ever felt this way?
If you have, then I pray that this book will be a source of encouragement to you and strengthen your walk with God. It may not always be easy because we will have to overcome some mindsets we may have formed. This book is not typical of what you will find in the majority of books, articles, and posts written on the verses in Proverbs 31. Instead, it is a look into the heart of God and the reality of those words in the Bible.
Only Christ can completely fulfill Scripture. He did so on the cross. That was His job. My job is to accept that and follow Him. We aren’t expected to do all that is written in Proverbs 31 and yet, in our imperfections we are still worth “more than rubies.”
The skills of a Proverbs 31 woman are the result of her relationship with Him. Her relationship with Him is not the result of her skills.
This is a simple, biblical approach to living up to your God-given potential. Are you ready for freedom?
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