So, my church is doing a study on the book of Proverbs for the Month of May.
Here’s the thing about May. My birthday is at the end of May, exactly one month from today and, as in previous years, I choose to defer any New Year’s Resolutions to the start of my new year, mostly because an arbitrary date in the winter just doesn’t cut it for me. I’m a fairly introspective person and tend to spend the month of May considering, and making peace with the choices I’ve made and the consequences of my actions. It’s nice to let go of the past and move into the new year without the weight of guilt, regret, or resentment cluttering up your life. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for celebrating triumph and engaging in a little course correction if necessary.
Solomon paints a portrait of two women as a metaphor for the two paths we can take in life: wisdom and folly. Solomon is writing to his sons and trying to get them to pay attention, so using women as object lessons is a pretty effective mechanism. But this begs the questions: as a woman, which will I be? The wise, gracious, dignified truth-teller who is a blessing to her family, and church, or the seductive, ridiculous temptress of folly who leads her Brothers in Christ away from the truth of God? How do my words, actions, clothing choices, and attitude represent me? Do they portray me as a woman of wisdom, or one of folly?
So here’s the challenge: One Proverb a Day for the Month of May.
I wanted to take it a step further, though, and consider the end result. Obviously, I want to be a woman of wisdom (does anyone really want to be folly?) but how do I know that I’ve achieved that goal? So I did what you do when you want to know the end of the story. I flipped to the back of the book, and found verse 25 tucked in the middle of a description of the ideal woman in chapter 31.
Commentators disagree to what “the future” may refer, whether it is the near future, death, or the end times, but the idea is still that, having persevered and done her duty to the utmost, the virtuous woman is not afraid of the legacy she leaves, her life after death, or the reputation she may have after she is gone. She lives in the now, fully present and unconcerned by what may come, knowing that she will approach each new opportunity or challenge with the same grace.
I’m not sure where this will lead, or what I’ll find, but you’re welcome to follow along as I find out!