I don’t like church on Mother’s Day. Mainly because the preaching is on my least favorite Bible passage. One year near Mother’s Day, I couldn’t stand it any longer. I accosted our pastor on the church steps. I asked if he was going to preach on that Bible passage in Proverbs that says:
“I’m a woman. I can bring home the bacon. Fry it up in a pan. And never ever let you forget you’re a man, cause I’m a wooooman.”
The look of utter shock and puzzlement on his face was priceless. Then a slow dawn crept over his features and a nervous titter became a guffaw. This preacher was not slow on the uptake. When he had calmed down, I explained my dilemma. That woman in the Bible verse made me feel sooooo inadequate. It made me want to slap her. And that CAN’T be a good thing.
But I’m also sure, rather than giving us women incentive, it makes most of us go home like a whupped pup until Little Johnny and sweet Little Sarah — or the grown-up versions thereof — take us out to dinner, shower us with gifts and Hallmark cards, and assure us we’re the best mother/woman on earth — no matter what that old preacher said.
Let me regale you with the modern version of Proberbs 31:10-31. Tighten up the hat pins, girls. This will definitely give you an inferiority complex. Or you can compare yourself with pitiful little ole me. It will inspire you to pray, pray, pray for yours truly and feel really good about yourself. Here we go.
A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
[Okay. So far, so good].
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
[A little iffy here, but still doable].
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
[I’ve got a Belk’s credit card. Does that count?].
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
[Shopping. Oh, Yeah. Very doable].
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
[Cereal and McDonald’s; gotta love ’em].
THE REALITY —
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
[Sam’s Club, discount veggies in bulk]
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
[Mike just reminded me of the man sticker that reads, “All a man needs for retirement is a bass boat and a working wife”. Not funny].
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
[I live Down South; but my friend from New Hampshire . . . hey, Jo Ann. Do you mend your winter clothes? I know you get more than your share of snow.]
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
[He’s respected; doesn’t talk much].
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
[Where does she get all this Energy].
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
[This perfect woman is a couturier (clothes designer) maybe a fashionista, who dabbles in real estate and grubs in the garden. Unbelievable].
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
[Not if it’s Sunday. You know what follows Sunday].
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
[You got that right].
and she always says it kindly.
[Strike out ‘always’ and put ‘most of the time’ — I feel like I’m confessing to a priest].
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
[They need an eye kept on them, but I’m tired and I’d rather watch a good movie — hey! I’m being honest here! Gimme a break].
and keeps them all busy and productive.
[I gave up long ago].
Her children respect and bless her;
[six of one and half a dozen of the other in between ‘issues’. ]
her husband joins in with words of praise:
[He wished me Happy Mother’s Day and I told him to shut up — I’ll take it from the kids and grands, but not from him].
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
[Now see. That oughta be in a Hallmark card].
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
[Lady Clairol and I know it].
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
[Amen — Lord, I know you’ve got a sense of humor. So humor me. Please].
Give her everything she deserves!
[At least a few. I’m not greedy. ]
Festoon her life with praises!
[Just keep it down to a dull roar. I’ve gotta headache].