The Proverbs 31 Woman. We either love her or hate her depending upon how we feel about ourselves at any given moment. She's either a hero or a villain that cheers us on in the great cloud of witnesses or the condemning voice that sounds suspiciously like our own. But like it or not, she's in Scripture for a reason.
I could list more ways than you have time to wade through on why you should read this book. I could give you example after example of how the words of wisdom borne from experience in this book have changed my life and the life of my family for the better. But I won't. I'll encourage you to buy this book for yourself and maybe a friend or two or ten and go through it together for accountability.
What I do want to do is highlight the set up of the book and one way it opened my eyes to something I did not know about my own walk with God. Something that was so transformative, that on the off chance you don't get this book, you still need to know and do this. Trust me.
Each day is set up in 5 sections. #P31Goal, #P31Authority, #P31Encouragement, #P31Prayer, and #P31Practice. Nothing in this book is condemning. It's encouragement from start to finish in all the ways you would want a dear friend to spur you on to good works and not grow weary. It's a desire from the heart of the author to build women up into their God-given purpose which overflows every aspect of our lives and every title we will ever hold.
And once you start, you will want to continue. You will see the small changes in perspective that are having a hundredfold return. And then you will get to day 8. And on day 8, the 'practice' is to read an article on DesiringGod.org. When I read this article, I thought, oh, that's easy. Umm, no.
I will be honest. I took the 'easy' way out. I didn't write a prayer like the article or Michelle suggested, I wrote down the statements in each of the seven areas outlined. It seemed easy and simple. It appeared to be non-threatening. Until I wrote the first one. I wrote sixteen total words. Sixteen. That's less than two dozen. And I felt like I just put a gun in someone else's hand and pointed it straight at my heart. Because those sixteen words opened my eyes to exactly how I viewed God.
When Jesus taught us how to pray, He used the words thy will be done. Those aren't easy words to say when we really, desperately want a particular outcome. But the phrase in these prayers, well, let's just say it opens up every possibility because nothing is being withheld to achieve the goal. And as I wrote them each time, I was forced to accept that it wasn't just me it could have an impact on, but every person I loved. And I realized that my view of God was severely distorted.
Jesus tells us that if our father's who are evil know how to give us good gifts, then how much more our Father in heaven. But in writing those prayers, I realized I didn't accept that as truth. I believed that what I was writing was, in fact, an invitation to bring punishment, and severe punishment at that, to get me to learn the lessons I was stubbornly refusing. Was it a call to obedience? Sure. But was it God's grace to help me see that His intentions were not my worst nightmares? Absolutely.
Each day in this book was important. I've gone through it three times and I know I'll go through it at least a dozen more. It's an absolute treasure if it's used for the purpose for which it was intended: to keep us chasing after Christ as hard as we can.
This book is available on Amazon and is well worth the investment of time and money. Michelle's heart is evident in everything she's written and everything she does. Do yourself a favor and order it. Not only will you notice a difference in your life, but you'll see one in the lives of those you are called to influence.
You can find out more at SheWorksHisWay.
Michelle's other book can be found here.