Becoming a Young Woman of Quality

As often happens, ideas and situations tumble around in my brain and I reflect on them. I was recently asked to review a new book titled, God’s Special Forces: A Manual for Becoming a Young Woman of Quality. In addition to discussing beauty, posture, skin care, and positive thinking, there are chapters about the creation of woman and the value of a woman. I look forward to going through this book with my girls, as it is geared toward ages 8 to 14.

Many of us are familiar with the Proverbs 31 woman. God’s Special Forces has reminded me of the important role mothers play in bringing up young women of quality. But how can we nurture these qualities in our daughters, when we don’t feel any closer to being like the Proverbs 31 woman ourselves?

Some days, this mysterious Old Testament woman appears to be unattainable. She is the “ideal” woman, whereas I am far too human. She is noble, hardworking, charitable, strong, dignified, and resourceful. She speaks with wisdom. Her children call her blessed and her husband praises her. Would my family describe me the same way? I’m not sure.

Though many of us strive to be like the Proverbs 31 woman, I don’t think God ever meant for us to be terrified by how we might not match up. Like Kathi Macias discusses in her book, How Can I Run a Tight Ship When I’m Surrounded By Loose Cannons?, when we try to do it alone, we’re overwhelmed by the shadow of this “ideal” woman. But when we get down on our knees and surrender to God, becoming totally dependent upon Him, the journey becomes easier. The burden is lightened. We don’t need to fear how we don’t match up to the Proverbs 31 woman, because God is still doing His work in us.

Over time, I’ve come to consider being a mother as a role that is part teacher and part student. Sharing my experiences and wisdom with my daughters is important. But what is equally important is to allow them to see me as being continually worked upon by God–even when I’m an old geezer (their words, not mine). And it’s good for my girls to see me and all my human frailties, because then they can also witness my dependence upon God. My hope and my prayer is that this example will lead them to surrender to the Father’s will, which will in turn help them to be women of quality.

 

 

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Comments

Becoming a Young Woman of Quality — 10 Comments

  1. A good post, Cheryl. I think the key in Proverbs 31 is that the woman who is described there is someone who fears (reverences) the Lord. Everything else good in her life flows from that. I’m not sure the chapter was ever meant to be a checklist for women, although there are some good things to see in it: husband and family are a priority (not the only one), use your gifts and talents well, find your security in God. It’s interesting too to realize that the advice actually comes from the king’s mother and is intended for the king–this is the kind of woman you want to be your wife.

  2. You’re so right, Cheryl. We don’t need to put on a perfect act in front of our kids or anyone else. If we had it all together we wouldn’t need Jesus. But we do need Him so much! It’s good to let our kids see we make mistakes and can be forgiven and changed for the good by them. This frees them up to try new things, learn from their mistakes and accept the forgiveness Jesus offers us all. Thanks for your post!

    • It’s took me a while to learn I didn’t have to act differently in front of others; not so much my kids, as other adults and members of my church family. It’s okay to be human. :) Thanks for the comment, Linda.

  3. After reading your comments, I must share this information I came across while studying the Proverbs 31 Woman. It is written by a Jewish woman and she says that every week at the Sabbath table, her husband sings the Proverbs 31 poem to her. She says that it is special because she knows that no matter what she does or doesn’t do, he praises her for blessing the family with her energy and creativity. Additionally, she says that “eshet chayil” – woman of valor- is invoked as a sort of spontaneous blessing in Jewish culture. So rather than viewing the Proverbs 31 Woman as possessing impossible standards by which to measure our perceived failures, she instead celebrates what has already been accomplished by women of valor.

    In following this example, I posted on my facebook to all the women that were called to the front line, standing for something, standing on the line or taking a stand…eshet chayil.
    And, I say to you, for maintaining this blog, reviewing books, managing a household and raising a family…eshet chayil. Woman of Valor.

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