There is so much more I want to blog about the Wife of Noble Character (WoNC), and in the week or so since I wrote last lots of thoughts have been going through my head. Some of them are still there, so three cheers for being past the pregnancy and occasionally remembering where I was up to.
What was I talking about?
I believe Proverbs 31 is not a tick list. Far from it. It does not include such other vital things as:
- She provides coverings for her children’s bottoms and considers the cost per nappy, cost to the environment, space in the pram, fit, deals and brand loyalties without having a tantrum;
- She knows how to distract a child; she also can gain their attention without raising her voice unduly.
- When she goes out of the house she forgets nothing; she remembers to bring things home when she returns;
- There is nothing she cannot use to entertain a child, but she will not entertain disrespect.
That sort of thing. There are many more if you consider the implications of 21st century living in all kinds of cultural contexts. A list of all the things a woman might be applauded for would not fit into the Bible And not just a wife: the Hebrew word ishah means grown woman. The text is not a list of what a wife should be able to do. It is more like a celebration of what a wise woman can look like. Busy, virtuous, able.
I would love to see this translated into the contexts of the commuting working woman, the foster carer, the doctor giving her time to serve in war zones, the girl with M.E., the teenager with Asperger’s, the grandmother, the single mum on benefits and the worship leader. All different, but all incredibly valuable.
Likewise, I would love to see an equivalent praise of men who are wise. Sons, brothers, husbands, fathers.
Wisdom is not a tick list. We should not be motivated by paranoia or trying to achieve all that could be achieved, even and especially by those not in our own situation. It’s a bit like the difference between twitching or regular birding.