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It’s one thing to be excited about aspiring to be a woman of valor.
It’s a completely different matter to actually be one, and to attempt to raise one up.
Even if we model good financial stewardship, how can we guarantee that she will she be prudent in that regard? Even as I move away from reading this passage as a prescription for women to reside in the strict role as homemaker, it can easily become another list – where the essence of being “eshet chayil” is reduced to just being a “good person.” And that’s not enough.
Perhaps the trouble is that this proverb, and more specifically verses 10-31, are read and studied in isolation.
But something about the significance of the tattoo changed when I found out that I was pregnant a few weeks after the initial line-work was done.
However, I was unaware that this passage was being handed out during my high school and college years as a job description to my non-Catholic female peers and as a shopping list for my male counterparts.
I eventually figured out that the woman of Proverbs 31 was the source of spiritual frustration through conversations punctuated by heavy sighs and numerous eye rolls.
So when I stumbled across this proverb I was impressed.
Here was a woman in scripture who embodied the virtues described throughout the Book of Proverbs, who seemed to know herself and what she was about, and was praised for this.