The shrill cry of the alarm clock pierced through my dream and I awoke startled, not ready to get out of bed and be an adult.
I stumbled to the kitchen, needing more than a little coffee and whole lot of Jesus to start this day.
Desperate to hear from the Lord and have him snap me out of my funk, I opened my Bible to Proverbs 31:10-31, where it describes the makings of a godly woman.
“Ouch,” I thought! I have seriously missed the mark and know this standard of womanhood is one I struggle to keep.
As I think further about this daunting charge, I realize I’m not the only who has greatly missed the mark on striving towards being a P31 woman.
In fact, I look around and wonder why many of us have fallen away from God’s design for wives and mothers.
There seems to be three harmful mom personalities that have emerged in modern times, and each one is detrimental to the family unit in its own way.
Definition: The woman who wants to do-it all and be all, for her family and others. She strives to put her best foot forward, although has an unhealthy obsession with the need to be perfect.
The Damage: How can a woman wanting to please and take care of her family be a bad thing? After all, the Proverbs 31 woman almost resembles a Super Mom, doing it all and being the heart of the home.
The damage comes when there is a desire for self to be glorified, complimented and patted on the back.
When the works become a cry for self-recognition and take the focus off of glorifying God, the Super Mom no longer builds her family up.
The Super Mom, needing the approval of others and taking delight in praise, may not realize her intentions. She may chock up her actions to being a perfectionist, and not realize her value and worth is coming in recognition from others, not from God.
Plus, this sets an unhealthy tone for her daughters, teaching them that in order to be a good mom or wife, you have to do it all, and perfectly.
The Control Freak
Definition: Someone who needs to be in charge and in control at all times. Letting others make decisions and take over is a struggle for her.
Damage: Liking a calm, peaceful environment isn’t an issue, until one has an unhealthy obsession with control.
Control issues can causes anxiety when things don’t line up according to plan, and one can easily take over, trying to do God’s job.
A control freak tries to control the path of her life, as opposed to trusting that God as a plan and following His path.
She can easily make herself an idol, thinking she knows best, and stand in her own strength, rather than relying on God.
Conflicts in the marriage may arise when the control freak tries to be the head of the household. God designed the man be the head of the house, yet the Control Freak struggles because she desires to be in charge, and does not want to let him lead.
The Critical Spirit
Definition: This woman is critical of her family and others around her. She complains often and has a judgmental spirit.
Damage: The last thing a woman wants is her family to walk on egg-shells around her and to be on guard because they never know if her Critical Spirit will emerge.
But the woman with the Critical Spirit does more damage to her family than she realizes.
The husband may not feel supported or be able to share his opinion if his wife constantly nags. Nagging leads to irritability and resentment, which erodes the bonds of the family unit.
Her children will model the critical words they hear, and in turn, may have a critical spirit themselves. They may also feel criticized and picked apart, believing they don’t have value and don’t do many things right.
When the woman is a “clanging symbol”, there’s not peace and relaxation in the home, but conflict and confrontation.
Steps Towards Change
Ladies, are you uncomfortable? Do you look at these and cringe a little, seeing yourself in one of these women?
Honestly, I see myself in each one, at different seasons of my life and embarrassingly, sometimes all three together.
Yet, this is not who I want to be, and I guessing you are the same way.
I desire to be a blessing and have a strong bond with my family.
While I don’t have the answers, I do know that God is faithful to provide change when we seek Him wholeheartedly.
As I pray through God changing my own heart, I’ve found the 4 S’s help when I’m caught in one of these traps.
1. STOP: Learn to stop and recognize when you are not acting like a P31 woman.
2. SUBMIT: Pray that God will help you wrestle these actions as you submit your heart to Him.
3. SCRIPTURE: Memorize Scripture that resets your mind and helps refocus your heart.
4. START AGAIN: Give yourself grace, ask for forgiveness if necessary, and move on.
God can restore our lives and rebuild damage done to our families through our actions.
While we may never see ourselves as the Proverbs 31 woman, we can trust that God will change our hearts and lives when we let Him, and we can have a strong bond with our family again! #strongfamilyproject
Do you see yourself as one of these women? What measures do you take to build your family up and guard your heart?