Welcome to week 11, and an absolutely fantastic week here at Mummy Meditations. Discussion has been flowing over in the Facebook Group and so many great thoughts and insights given on this verse. I guess it is one of the more well known verses in the whole chapter and I’m really looking forward to sharing my thoughts on it:
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
Clothing yourself or being clothed
The first part of this verse says “She is clothed”, and its quite easy to skip over this phrase and move on to what she is clothed in. But this phrase is important, and a mummy meditator in the Facebook Group pointed it out. It doesn’t say that she “clothed herself”, but that she “is clothed”. This is an action of someone else putting the clothes on her. Like you would clothe your children, this is an external action to her. When we clothe our children, we do so because they are not able to do it themselves. It is a skill they are yet to learn so we do it for them. This is such a significant point to remember – this woman isn’t able to give herself the strength and dignity that she needs to be a great wife, she NEEDS someone else to give it to her.
Don’t be discouraged if you feel that you are lacking things as a wife or a mother (and definitely don’t be discouraged by the Proverbs 31 fictious wife!), as we are all lacking things. It is important that we know to turn to the one who can clothes us in what we are lacking it – turn to God as ask him to clothe you today in what you need for the week to come.
Clothed with what you need
Now we have established that it is God who is clothing her in what she needs, we can now look at what it is she is being clothed in. I love this image of strength being place on her and dignity too. It’s a beautiful image of how we be stronger than we ever thought possible. But it is important to remember who this woman was going to be – the wife of King Solomon. This wife described was going to be a Queen, and that comes with its own challenges. She would definitely need to be strong to take the weight of royal service (how amazing is our own Queen in how she has tirelessly served our country for so many years). But she also needed to be dignified.
I wanted to look at the word dignity, as the way it is used today is more surround death than anything else (when you google dignity the first results are funeral directors!!). There were two definitions of this word that stood out to me:
- “The state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect” – this ties in nicely with the first verse of this passage – a wife of noble character.
- “A composed or serous manner or style – majesty, regalness, grandeur” – this has a real link to royalty – that you have to be able to act in a certain way and fill that role as Queen
When we put it in this perspective, then we realise that these two qualities that she was being clothed in were the things SHE NEEDED for that specific role. Maybe they aren’t transferable to us here and now. Maybe when we quote this verse to each, as nice as it is, its not actually what the passage was trying to say. Maybe we need to be praying over each other that God would clothe us in what WE NEED for our specific roles. Maybe that is strength, gosh as mums we definitely need strength some days!! But maybe we need clothing in patience or generosity or cheerfulness. Whatever we are lacking in, we have a God that can clothe us and fill that gap. How amazing!!
Because you are clothed
The final part of this verse presented a real challenge to us mums. It suggests that this woman has nothing to worry about and laughs at the future with no cares in the world. We shared in the Facebook Group about some of our worries, and how a lot of them centre around our children. We couldn’t really imagine not worrying about things really and being anything like this woman in the verse seemed unrealistic. But I want to say that this care-free, laughter inducing state is not unreachable. This queen, this wife, this woman, surely had many many things that she could worry about, and yet BECAUSE she is clothed by God in what she needs, she doesn’t NEED to worry about them. It’s not that those things don’t exist, but that she knows God is equipping her to deal with them. If we are well equipped to deal with things then we don’t need to worry about it, as we know it is all in hand.
So perhaps we need to change our prayers and our focus sometimes. Yes it is great to pray for future issues and challenges, that God will change them or work through them. But lets also pray that God clothes us in what we need for those seasons and challenges so that we can forget about them, knowing we have got it. We can “laugh at the days to come” because we don’t need to think or worry about them at all.
We will be meditating on the following verse next week and discussing it over in the Facebook Group, so please do join us:
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26
You can also find lots of great resources over in the Mummy Meditations Shop, as well as some great Christmas gift ideas and printable bookmarks of all the verses we are studying in this series.