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.