Avoiding the Proverbs 31 Burnout

Proverbs 31:10-31 – Every Christian woman has read this passage at least once in her lifetime. When I first read it, I was ecstatic! I said, “Wow! I know what God wants for my life.. He wants me to be this woman”. And I faithfully highlighted every character of this perfect woman. Over the past 10 years, I’ve loved, hated, envied and attempted (a lot) to be just like her.

We are currently reading Proverbs 31 in our Good Morning Girls Bible study, so I made up my mind to work on this, once and for all… Except, it didn’t quite work out like I expected.

Last Monday, the kids started kindergarten, and I was all too eager to keep my home as a Proverbs 31 woman would. I woke up early, went for my morning run, got the kids ready, got them fed, walked them to the school bus, had my quiet time, swept the house, did the laundry, ironing, dishes, decluttered two rooms, cleaned a bathroom, blogged, got lunch ready and rushed off to pick the kids back from school.

I was quite pleased with myself – I had worked non-stop and it was worth it. The look on my husband’s face when he walked into our clean, uncluttered living room was priceless. All my hard work had payed off, and I was elated… until late evening, when I fell sick :(.

I had gone a little over the top and ended up sick for a couple of days, causing quite a bit of inconvenience to my family. It was time to take stock of what I was trying to accomplish as a Proverbs 31 woman. As always, God spoke to me through a number of blog posts and I learnt quite a few things. Here are a few more details about the Proverbs 31 woman…

  1. She let God take control of her life. She feared the Lord.
  2. She is a portrait of a woman’s lifetime, not a single day.
  3. She probably wasn’t perfect, because none of us are.
  4. God’s grace covers our shortcomings.
  5. She wasn’t a real woman! She was a compilation of all the qualities that King Lemuel’s mother wanted in a daughter-in-law.

The last one hit home.. I learnt that from the book “Pursuit of Proverbs 31” by Amy Bayliss. I know for sure, I will have high expectations of the women my sons will one day marry.

Well, so maybe I’ll never be everything the Proverbs 31 woman was – and that’s okay. But this passage has been included in the Bible for a reason – not to cause us stress and end up with a burnout. We ought to emulate these characteristics throughout our lifetime, through several years, and maybe decades. I may not get there today, or next year, but I’m going to try – one step at a time.

As long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, and walk in His will – step by step, I know He will teach me to be a better woman, wife and mother. And one day, my family may call me blessed… But that is not what I long for. What will make my day {or in this case, my life} is this… that I will hear my Father say “Well done“!

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11 comments to Avoiding the Proverbs 31 Burnout

  • Very good!!! I am enjoying the study immensely. But I love how you clearly balanced out what some may take as perfection with grace. It’s not something we must achieve now – it’s a journey that will take a lifetime. Hopping over from Wise Woman Blog hop. – A Little R & R http://jukiczr.blogspot.com

  • Guilty of trying to do it all and then some…. My priorities tend to get all out of order when I am trying so hard to be what I think everyone wants me to be….. BUT its all about Him! Not others. I find that I get all stressed out and ill at my family when I get this way. I have to stop, focus on my Savior and allow Him to direct my path!

  • You make many good points. It’s important to remember we only succeed inside God’s will and under His control. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading this!

  • Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing. It’s so true that trying to do it all and adopt every last habit of Proverbs 31 woman at once is a sure path to complete burnout. One habit at a time is so much more manageable.

  • I am often comforted by Philippians 1:6, which reminds us that “he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” That tells us that spiritual maturity is a process, not an event, a marathon, not a sprint. And so we press on in faith! Visiting from B&BB

  • Great words of encouragement – my little group is studying this too, and we just talked about burnout yesterday – and how that isn’t the point and we need to refocus – I’m going to send them this post because I enjoyed it so much!

    Marissa @ forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com

  • Mel

    Great Blog! Sometimes I really don’t like the Proverbs 31 woman….but it is included in the Word for a reason. You made great points about it! Thanks!

  • Thanks for sharing what your learning. Sounds like it’s been a great experience for you! Great post!

  • Very encouraging! Thanks so much for linking to my post on “Portrait of a Lifetime.” <3

  • Just found this article today Sheena…. Spoke like an arrow straight into my heart ! I have been trying to grab your button n post it on my blog… Not able to.. I simplyg love your blog…thanks for sharing from your heart ..you are a blessing !!

    • Humbled by your words, Chech.. I’m not sure what’s wrong with the button. You should be able to copy-paste the code from my sidebar, I’ll check it out. God bless!

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