T for Thirty-One (aka Proverbs 31)
A common theme when trying to find Christian dates is that every Christian man wants a Proverbs 31 wife, or so their dating profiles claim. Proverbs 31 is a highlights montage of all the items that have appeared on the to-do list of the perfect wife – over a period of many years, not in one day. (I used Bible Gateway as my reference for writing this piece.)
The verses of Proverbs 31 describe an amazing woman. The passage was written by King Lemuel, relaying his mother’s teachings. She evidently had plenty to say about choosing a queen and may have come from the upper echelons of society.
The message of this Bible section is to convey the advice of a king regarding looking for a bride. In those days, a king was expected to hear individually from his subjects, lead the military, and make laws and decrees. He didn’t lay around on the couch while his wife did all the work.
Proverbs 31 boasts of a woman whose value is more than jewels. She knits, crochets and sews, and she loves doing those activities! (In those days, these activities were not hobbies, but work activities that produced useful goods – there were no factories!) She goes grocery shopping at multiple stores, to get the best ingredients at the best prices. She awakens early in the morning, while it is still dark, to provide food for her household – including her servants. Everyone also has appropriate clothing for winter weather, and she helps the poor and needy.
She makes her own clothing with the best fabric and dyes. This woman also sells clothing as well as appropriate wares for the tradesmen.
She is not only an excellent homemaker (with servants), she is also a savvy business woman. She purchases land and plants a vineyard to create revenue and is confident in her business’ revenue. This successful woman works hard and is physically strong. She does not go to bed early, and she has ample resources to pay for electricity to keep the household light at night if necessary. (Oil was costly in biblical times and was necessary for keeping lamps burning after dark.)
Her husband, a king, is well known as a man of wisdom. He trusts his wife and knows that her work benefits their family. She only does good and not evil, and this reflects well on their family. As an individual, she is dignified, she has hope and positive plans for the future. She is wise and demonstrates kindness. She is not lazy. Her children adore her and think she is amazing. Her husband also openly praises her and thinks she is amazing.
It would be great if all women could be so amazing. It would also be great if we could all marry kings, be at least as wealthy as Oprah, and have innumerable resources. In the meantime, while all these single men are searching for their Proverbs 31 women, perhaps they should evaluate themselves and figure out how to be the kind of man that such an amazing woman is looking for and how to cultivate his woman to be a Proverbs 31 woman.
Thirty-One is also the name of a company that sells bags, thermals, totes and purses. I am a consultant with Thirty-One and earn a commission on products sold through my link – at no extra cost to you. Check them out here.
U for Upsides and Underwear
I am keenly aware of the loneliness and yearning feelings while single. But there are upsides to a single lifestyle.
You don’t have to share a remote control or engage in any kind of negotiations regarding what movies or television shows you want to watch.
You have all the alone time you need. No one will bother you in the bathroom, and you don’t have to share the bathroom space when you’re getting ready to go to work.
You only have to clean up after yourself. You don’t have to clean up after anyone else’s mess. There is no one to remind you or nag you if something is out of place. You don’t have to ignore messes made by your partner because you’re not supposed to move things that are “his domain.”
When you’re sick, you don’t have to worry about spreading your germs to others, i.e., a whiny husband, and you don’t have to worry about keeping him up all night because you can’t breathe, fall asleep or stop coughing.
Sleep. If you want to go to bed early or stay up late, you can, and you can sleep as long as you want. And you still don’t have to worry about anyone interrupting your slumber.
You can dress to impress yourself. You don’t have to keep in mind how Mr. Wonderful prefers your hair, make-up, or clothing. The same goes for under your clothing too. No one has to know if you forget to shave or miss a spot.
One perk of marriage I have always looked forward to is getting pretty, lacy undergarments and nightwear. While I don’t have a man to entice, no one needs to know the details of my clothing inventory. If I like wearing pretty undergarments, that is only my business, and I am allowed to own them even without a husband to please.
That reminds me – ladies, if you are considered “pluz size,” the bras by Cacique at Lane Bryant are very supportive and the staff is willing to assist you in finding the right fit.
Another upside – you don’t have to explain your shopping habits and expenses to anyone! You don’t have to lie about how much was spent and on what. (I’ve heard stories about women who do that.) And you don’t have to get permission to spend money.
Despite the fact that being single can get really lonely, I have absolute freedom. There are so many women in seemingly perfect marriages who don’t have the luxuries I mentioned due to various issues in their marriage (or who simply have controlling, jerky husbands). Freedom and having a life with little drama or strife helps balance out the loneliness of the single life.
V for Veto
There are definitely deal breakers that cause immediate veto. Lying and yelling are very obvious deal breakers. There is also a lot of room for miscommunication and misunderstandings, colored by your own and your date’s past relationships.
Communication is the biggest issue in any relationship, or so they say. On a first and only date, my dinner companion asked my advice about things and then immediately shot down my answers. It was weird. Why did he ask for my opinion if he was only going to rip it to shreds? He did that a few times, and I finally responded that I didn’t have enough details to give a good answer. That didn’t end the date, but between that and some other issues, neither of us pursued anything further.
There are many things that contribute to awkwardness. Just meeting someone new makes most people nervous. It’s really easy to say the wrong thing and be misunderstood, or to simply express an opinion the other doesn’t like. If you decide the issues are more than first date jitters and obvious incompatibility, it is okay to not go further. Often, someone will say the superficial “I’ll call/message you,” and simply never follow through. A good friend responds to her “not gonna happen” date requests (after the awkward first date) that she meets online with an indirect “let’s talk about the details later. See you online!”
While it is a good idea to give someone a chance, if you feel you can’t make a relationship work because of various incompatibilities – whether they are simple pet peeves or alarming red flags, don’t be afraid to exercise your veto and move on.