“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and she does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her, her husband also, and he praises her saying: ‘Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.’ “ Proverbs 31:25-29, NASB.
On this Mother’s Day…it is fitting ESPECIALLY to remember the impact of mother’s in our lives. It is not the ONLY day we should do so, but especially today.
We are foolish if we attempt to reframe history and give honor where it is not due. We should not look at bad parenting and call it good or good and call it bad. We should look at deeds and call them what they are. That is the point of this passage. We are told ALWAYS to honor mothers (and fathers) as this is right and leads to our blessing. This is honor based on position. Every mother and father is due respect…even if he or she is a horrible example or had no involvement in our lives. We honor them because we honor God and He has instructed us to do so. This passage in Proverbs in more than that “honoring.” It is a BLESSING in consideration of performance. It is a recognition of performance and the impact of a mother.
As you read the chapter in Proverbs, you realize that this woman is the “total package.” Some today read it and determine that the woman is fictional…since no one can do all that she did. They see her as an aspirational example only. Yet, if the text speaks for itself, this is a real person. Others read it and declare that the writer is doing so through “rose colored glasses.” She isn’t really THAT GOOD but the writer just thinks she is. Again, this view is not supported by the text.
The best reading is this…she is a hard-working, behind the scenes woman with grace and kindness as the cornerstone elements of her character. She is responsible, resourceful, and recognized as promising provider who cares deeply for her household, her husband, and her children. She prides herself on providing. She is a servant and a servant of servants. As such, the product of her hands (v.31) evokes praise from her household and even the entire community.
As I reflect on this today, I desire to live in such a place that recognizes the contribution of a mom as significant. Not a working mom (though this one was and those today are praiseworthy as well), but a mom. IOW…we should celebrate the incalculable contribution of a mom who encourages, strengthens, provides, and nurtures her family and her household…if she works outside the home or even if she never goes to college and never works outside the home…
See, motherhood itself is significant and doing it well…is praiseworthy. So, for those to whom it applies…”Rise up and bless her.”