Friday, March 13, 2009

Gimme a Break!

I found this gem in the editorial section in our local paper, published on February 14, 2009. Novelist Kate Dolan found a humorous way to update the description of the "Proverbs 31" wife. Whenever I want to feel really bad about my wifing/mothering skills, I read Proverbs 31. Okay, okay....I know it's supposed to be inspirational, but sheesh...

Kate Dolan's take gave me a smile. Hope it starts your weekend on a laughing note!

Verily, doofus, give thy Proverbial wife a break

Several years ago, our Bible-study group examined "The Proverbs 31 Woman." For those not completely "up" on their Proverbs, let me explain that the 31st (and final) chapter of Proverbs describes, at length, "a wife of noble character."

The author endows this wife with seemingly superhuman virtues and skills. She makes cloth not just for her family and her household, but as a going retail business. And that's just for starters. She also plants a vineyard, imports food, feeds the poor, and instructs the household. The writer notes that she never sleeps or even rests. No wonder!

I got tired just reading about her workload. My reaction: There is no way one woman could do all these things. But one woman in my Bible-study group had a different take. Instead of seeing all the things in the verses that we cannot seem to be able to do, she looked at things she already did for her family and saw how they fit into the pattern of the "noble wife." That is certainly a more encouraging approach.

Still, there are a lot of verses about "grasping the spindle" and "making linen garments" and other things that most American women just don't do much anymore. So I thought I'd update the verses a little to help a suburban wife of the 21st century relate to the ancient wisdom. Here goes:

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth more than a Nintendo system with Rock Band and Wii Fit all bundled together.
Her husband trusts her with all the credit cards and the remote control.
She brings him excellent credit ratings all the days of her life.
She selects volunteer cutting assignments from the kindergarten teacher and works with eager hands.
She is like merchant ships, bringing in food from the store with the best coupon deals that week.
She gets up before the clock radio kicks on; and microwaves sausage patties for her family.
She considers a lottery ticket and buys it; out of her Bunco winnings she enters a basket bingo and wins a birthday gift for her mother-in-law.
She works out at the gym vigorously; her arms are strong enough that she doesn't have too much of that hanging flab when she raises her forearms.

She sees that she's getting a good return on her 401(k) rollover, and her lamp always goes out at a reasonable time (but she can turn it back on if the kids need something or the dog starts whining).
In her hand she holds the steering wheel, and grasps the box of Cheez-Its to hand out to the kids in the carpool.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for she has arranged to go in late for work on days when schools open on a two-hour delay.
She makes her bed most days even if no one's coming over.
Her husband is respected at the city sports stadium, where he takes his seat among the season ticket- holders.
She makes allergen-free brownies and sells them at the bake sale; and supplies the Scout troop with sodas for the party.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, or at least sweats that are clean, with not too many paint spatters.
She can laugh at the ridiculously high heating bill.
She speaks with wisdom, and can faithfully instruct her family on how to change the bag in the vacuum cleaner.
She watches over the affairs of her children text-messaging each other in the same room and does not eat anything from the Cheesecake Factory.
Her children arise and, though they call her really bad names, at least they're up in time to get ready for school.
Her husband praises her (from his seat with the season ticketholders): "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who has read this far in my bad paraphrase deserves to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned: A rest. (In other words, that's the end.)

{Amen, Amen!}


  1. Very funny! lol Workation made me miss the paper delivery for the past week, I am not entirely sure why (?)

    I will say, that I have done study upon study about the Proverbs 31 woman, and in every single one, the common conclusion is that there is a season for everything. This woman is not doing all of this all at the same time. It would be impossible, even for the utmost Martha out there! lol So I long ago decided to shed my feelings that I never measured up to "the perfect wife and mother" and decided to just enjoy the season I am in, kwim?

    I might just print this and hang it on the fridge though, I like her take too! hahaha!

  2. Hey...I saw your comment on the MOPS forum about the new theme and wanted to say HI.

  3. nice. i was going to say how this passage used to make me all depressed and like the worst wife ever, but then i read something about the seasons of life thing. blah, blah, what meri said ;0)

  4. meri- thanks for that!!!

    (e and m...still can't leave messages on your blogs. i think they hate me. ;( )

  5. You have a great blog! Loved this post!

    I enjoyed meeting you on Saturday!


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