“a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised” (Proverbs 31:30 NLT)

In many instances, the mere mention of Proverbs 31 causes women to cringe when this seemingly perfect woman becomes the standard of Godly womanhood. The list of attributes for this woman and the expectations that we place on ourselves can leave us feeling inadequate, guilty, and unable to live up to the standard presented.

What is often missed in reading Proverbs 31 is this is an account of the words spoken to Solomon by a son, another king – King Lemuel – about his mother and the lessons she taught him. Motherhood is one of the most rewarding and most challenging roles in a woman’s life. Many of us try to live up to the standard of being a perfect mom. Yet, unrealistic expectations set us up to be stressed out and can leave us filled with guilt, disappointment, frustration, anger, fear, and regret.

What is most notable about the Proverbs 31 woman is found at the end of the passage. Solomon records, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised” (31:30). This standard-bearer, fears the Lord and “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10 NIV). Her success and list of accomplishments rest with her relationship with the Lord.

Our first priority as a godly woman and a godly mother is to fear the Lord. As we follow the example of the “virtuous woman” in fearing and reverencing God – like Lemuel, our children and those around us will be influenced and impacted.

Happy Mother’s Day – every day!