I was busy trying to be it all. I wanted to be the best wife for my husband. The best mom for my boys. The best sister for my siblings. The best teacher for my students.
So, why did I feel the worst at everything?
I was barely holding it together on the inside because I couldn’t keep it together on the outside. I was literally juggling life and when my head hit the pillow at night, I felt like a failure.
What’s your definition of the ideal woman?
I had an idea in my head of the what the ideal woman should be, and I wanted to be her. My kids were on a tight schedule and I constantly cleaned my house. I wanted to make sure when people came over, they knew I had my stuff together.
And deep down inside, I wanted them to want to be me. Because I was going to make sure I became the ideal woman, even if it killed me. If not to the outside world, I would become her to those around me.
Wake up call!
I thought I was pulling off the “ideal woman” image, until the day God got my attention. I remember walking into my kitchen after a long day of grocery shopping and I was frustrated with my boys. The anxiety in my chest after dealing with fights, errands, and exhaustion caused me to snap.
I felt awful as I yelled at them to go to their room. My finger was still in the air, pointing to the direction of the hallway when I started to cry. That all too familiar feeling of failure met me alone in my kitchen.
As I stood in the doorway of a cool refrigerator I cried out to God. “Lord, help me to be a better mom and wife for my family. Help me be the best teacher, sister, daughter, friend. I’m not good at any of these things. I am not the ideal woman.”
My prayer was heartfelt and sincere. Surely, God is going to give me the ingredients to help me do this wife and mom thing well. He won’t hold back because my request is to be the best. Won’t He reach down and equip me to be the best at these things?
And then I heard it. Piercing through my thoughts was His voice.
The Lord answered back quickly and quietly and said, “Don’t pray to be the best at any of these. Ask to be a woman of God. That is the foundation of giving your best as a wife and mother, and any other title you carry.”
The milk was still in my hand as the lightbulb went off inside my head. The ideal woman isn’t found in the things I can become. It’s found in the woman God created me to be … a woman of God who fears Him.
The ideal woman is inside you – God’s Word is the key to unlocking her potential
When we look back to Genesis chapters 1-3, we see the creation of the woman. God gave women inherent purpose. Inherent purpose is the fact that you were born with purpose simply because you are a woman.
So many times we overlook our inherent purpose … our foundational purpose as a woman. And we beeline it straight to the assigned purpose.
Do you know why? Because we want to be good at what we DO, and we overlook who we ARE and who we were meant to be.
There is only one thing God asks of you. If you strive to become this, you are the ideal woman.
Proverbs 31:30 says, “A woman who fears the Lord will be praised.” God gave us all we need to become the women of God He has called us to be. That is our inherent purpose as women.
And that’s where knowing our worth begins. It’s the building blocks of all we become. So, my question to you, my friend is simple. Who are you striving to become?
Your title doesn’t define you as the ideal woman
You see, the assigned purpose is what every woman chases. We want to know that one thing that will define us. That one thing that makes us stand out as being the “ideal” woman.
For some of us, it’s the title of wife. For others, it’s the title of mother. Some of us pride ourselves on carrying the title in our career or our ministry. But the assigned purpose is not what makes us the ideal woman.
A title cannot define who you are on the inside. It cannot mold or shape your character. It won’t even satisfy you deep down in your soul. Why? Because it’s not about what you do. It’s always about who you are.
Become a woman who fears the Lord
Do you know what it takes to become the woman of God He has called you to be?
First, look from within and not without. You were wired to be influential, motherly, strong and the crown of your husband (Gen 26-28, Gen 2:18).
Part of looking from within is to stop looking to others for their approval of you. I wrote “More than Rubies” last week. If you don’t know what God says of you, you will never be convinced of your worth just because someone else tells you.
And here is one I’m probably going to get some backlash for. Stop reading the self-help books, and listening to podcasts that tell you how to have a better life. Stop gleaning from the preacher girls as if they can tell you something God hasn’t already said in His word.
Get into God’s Word YOURSELF! Dig deep and find out what He says about you. Become a woman who fears the Lord and shut out the noise. When you do, something amazing will happen. You’ll start to see your purpose and then you’ll walk in it.
You will never get it all right. Your title is going to change throughout the course of life. Your assigned purpose will take you from one career to another. Or one stage of life to the next.
David was a shepherd boy, harp player, a vagabond, and then a king. None of that mattered because in the end, he was praised for being a man after God’s own heart.
Do you want to be praised for what you do, or who you are? One lasts, and the other only lasts as long as you carry the title.
Friend, I know it’s not easy to feel like you can’t get it right. I was there, remember? If not, go back up to the top where I talk about my not so proud moment of motherhood. But I am so glad for God’s voice and what He says about me.
My challenge for you today is to shut out the thoughts and opinions of what this world says the ideal woman is. I encourage you to get real and raw with yourself before God. Let Him pour into you the good old fashioned way … by His word.
It’s life changing!
As I prepare to leave you today, I want you to know I believe in you. I believe God can take your life and make you all you are meant to be. But it takes you believing it too.
Become a woman who fears the Lord. That is the ideal woman who receives the praises of everyone around her. Not because of what she does well, but because of who she is.
I’m praying for you, my friend!
Recap of Reflections of Eve, lesson 2
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