Laughing at the Days to Come


She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25

It’s easy to imagine the Proverbs 31 woman laughing at the days to come isn’t it?  She is so perfectly perfect, of course she’s laughing.  Maybe she’s even laughing at the rest of us.  Surely a woman with that much going for her can pull off looking strong and dignified without even batting a perfectly made-up eyelash!  Why wouldn’t she be laughing?  Her husband has full confidence in her; she brings him nothing but good.  She works with eager hands, and gets up in the night to bring her family food.  She buys a field; plants a vineyard with her strong arms, and still has the energy to reach out to the needy and help the poor.  And as if that wasn’t enough, she works vigorously making bedding and linen garments to sell.

 She not only is clothed with strength, she is clothed with beautiful linen and in purple just like the queen she is.  She is wise, she gives faithful instruction and oh so perfectly watches over the affairs of her household.  She has probably never burned a dinner, or needed to frantically clean up before company arrives either.  No not the Proverbs 31 woman!  She surpasses even the noble women.  Her husband praises her, and I don’t know if she had teenagers, but if she did even they, I’m sure would call her blessed.  We are to honor her and let her works bring her praise, but I can’t help but let a little comparison between her and I taint the praise I would give to this seemingly perfect woman.  While she’s strong and laughing at the days to come, I’m weak, worn out, and just trying to survive today!

If this chapter of Proverbs were a picture of my life, it would paint a totally different picture and although it might be one of folly, it most definitely also is one of grace. It might go a little something like this:

11 Her husband had no confidence in her
and even though she tried to bring him good

12 
her marriage did not survive.
all the days of her life…

14 
She is like the merchant ships,
driving here and there,
bringing her family food from the drive-thru
while trying desperately not to be late once again!
She gets up while it is still night; and never goes to bed
before day’s end, trying to provide for her family
and yet her dishes are still in the sink
And her work always seems undone.
But…
her children know that she is blessed,
because she is a daughter of the King;
A woman who fears the Lord and is praised,
not for anything she has done,
but for who she is in Christ.
And at the end of the day,
she may not laugh at the days to come,
but she has had peace and joy enough for today,
And she lifts her exhausted voice in praise.

Not exactly a picture of perfection is it?  The Proverbs 31 woman was never meant to be a picture of flawlessness either.  We ladies have a way of setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves, and because of this we are also the first ones to turn up our pretty little noses at anything or anyone who appears to be attaining the perfection our hurting, tired hearts are longing for.  The reality is, the Proverbs 31 woman is a very misunderstood woman, snarled at by some, avoided by most, and although I have poked some fun at her here, she would do us girls some good too, if we were to open our hearts to her testimony.

This chapter on the wife of noble character comes at the end of the book of Proverbs, whose theme is living with wisdom and righteousness.  The Proverbs 31 woman is not someone to live up to, but a beautiful portrait of the life that is possible through the wisdom and righteousness of God.  It is not because there is something special about this woman in and of herself; it is her fear of God that brings this lasting beauty to her life.  That same fear of God can bring lasting beauty to your life and mine as well.  If I could get over myself for just a moment, I would see that I am a woman of strength and wisdom, even if I am standing in the middle of piles of laundry instead of my own personally planted vineyard.  I am praised for the work of God in me, not at the city gates, but in the gates of heaven; and I can laugh at the days to come because I have a hope in Christ that overcomes all my weaknesses and ultimately overcomes this world as we live together in perfection in glory!

 

8 comments for “Laughing at the Days to Come

  1. October 26, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    Thank you, Nicole! Very beautiful, I loved this!

  2. October 26, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Nicole,
    This is beautifully written because it comes from your heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you… for being real. World values are placed on appearance, status, etc., but our value in God is our acceptance of our identity which comes from Him. We have a choice to listen to God or the world. My prayer is for all of us to shut off all that is not real in society, to see God’s true beauty in one another and to encourage each other as sisters in Christ.

  3. October 26, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Ah, a “the rest of the story” articel! Loved it and needed it!
    Thanks, Rhea

  4. October 26, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Ok this struck a chord with me because I am not perfect but love who Christ is making me to be. I love the way you presented the Proverbs 31 woman and for the first time I see her as a woman like me, someone that could be my friend. Well maybe it was the verses you wrote about yourself I most related to but the way you explained it makes her seem more normal to me. Thanks Nicole. You are shining in God’s awesomeness here with this piece.

  5. October 26, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    You know as someone Mr Billy calls his “Proverbs 31” woman this article surprised me a little bit. His love, affection and thinking of me in this manner has nothing to do with perfection and everything to do with the spirit and the heart. It’s because he knows I will stand with him, he knows I am patient when drama is flying, he knows I listen before I choose to speak, he knows I have a gentle heart and much love for my family, my friends and the church. Yes sometimes it’s hard to walk through life this way, sometimes you get some rejection and very little thanks for what you do, but I don’t know how to live any other way. I will say that if you find yourself thinking less or envious of another woman because you think she’s perfect or has a perfect life, you should look again because that’s simply not possible. You should also be kinder to yourself, God didn’t create you to take on the whole world by yourself, nor is any one of us perfect in all we do. Take some time just for you to laugh, to love, to listen to the direction God has for your life and walk in peace as he intended even when there’s lots of laundry and dirty dishes. God bless you sister in Christ.

  6. October 27, 2011 at 6:42 AM

    Thanks Billy’s Lady for your comment. Proverbs 31 makes a lot of women feel insecure and that they are not living up to some impossible standard. I was just having a little light-hearted fun with it, not to be taken too seriously while shining some light of truth on who we really are in Christ and the hope He brings.

    Blessings,
    Nicole

  7. KareBare
    October 31, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Loved your article, Nicole. It takes courage to write on this passage from a graceful and transparant perspective. You go, girl!

    There is a whole lot more to this passage than meets the immediate eye, and perhaps one day, with God’s permission and our super-moderator’s approval, I’ll share some of what I’ve learned (the hard way) about the passage and the woman who lived it. For now, just be encouraged and know (without a doubt) that you’re on the right track. Proverbs 31 has absolutley nothing to do with ideality, performance, or any of the other trappings so many of us are tempted to step in when considering its contents. It really is all about God’s amazing grace, and not the exhaustive directions for assembling a really impressive day planner. Just keep letting God live His Life in-on-through-for-and-with you, Nicole, and one day I think you’re going to be laughing about just how much you and the original model Mrs. Virtuous have in common…
    Much love,
    Karen

  8. November 1, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Amen, Nicole! I particularly admire the Proverbs 31 woman because she shows me how much God can do for us and how much we can do by having faith in Him. Curiously, a few days ago, I wrote about the Proverbs 31 woman on my blog stressing that her most important feature was her fear of God, and that we can do. She’s not perfect and neither am I, but, just like The woman of Excellence, our strong points should outnumber our flaws so we can obey God by trying to be like Him. God bless!

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