Proverbs 31: Ashley.

And we're back with the Proverbs 31 series (no, I hadn't forgotten about it)!  Today's guest post comes from my beautiful friend Ashley from She Smiles, She Writes.  Her blog was one of the first that I stumbled upon when I began blogging, and I continue to be so encouraged by her faith in the Lord and the way that she lives it out.  To this day, I count her blog as one of my absolute favorites!  Did I mention she's drop dead gorgeous as well?!  Be sure to swing on over to her blog after you read her post.

 "The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, not harm, all the days of her life." Prov. 31:11-12 

Do you know what I love most about this portion of chapter 31?
The title: "The woman who fears the Lord."

Then the first line says 'an excellent wife who can find?'  She is not easily found because she is not like the rest.  There is worth being attributed to this woman, a woman only God can point out to a man.  But what really maker her stand out?  Why is she a woman of excellence?  What is this Proverbs 31 woman about?

We often approach this passage and we are inspired to be like this woman.  We want to run a household, raise kids, have our husbands delight in us and be praised.  The fibers of our hearts, our woman hearts, are touched gently by this ideal woman.  But our admiration can often turn into envy... our hope can turn into insecurity.  After all, who can be like this woman?  And we settle for verse 30b: ".. but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

This was me. And I'm sure this is you. Newsflash: we've missed it.
The title of this portion is the starting point: a woman who fears the Lord.

Before we are praised, married, running a household, raising kids, we must fear the Lord.  Fearing the Lord is a transformation that happens when we're not worthy to be praised (for me it's being messy, cooking one meal a day, not being patient, etc...) until the day that I am.  It is a lie to believe the Proverbs 31 woman was born that way.  I feel as if when the Lord ordained for this passage to be in the Bible, He wanted us to read in between the lines: maybe this woman was lazy... or maybe she gave up easily on tasks/people... she most likely was vain, conceited, beautiful and charming... but God turned it all around! He made her surpass what others have done excellently (v.29)!

Don't be discouraged if you don't feel at level with this woman of excellence. 

You'll get there by fearing the Lord.