Written By: Marnie Pouget
Over the years in our time working with teenagers at a summer camp, we have instituted a tradition called “The Encouragement Box”. Every day everyone that lives in the Farmhouse has opportunity to write a note of real encouragement to another person in “the house”. We get to spend time with some amazing teens.
One particular week this summer, I wrote a note to sweet Kaylee. Kaylee is a blond haired, blue eyed beauty with a smile that is infectious and a love for Jesus that overflows. She loves to talk and loves to sing. She bubbles over with joy. The following night she read this letter in response to the encouragement she had received:
“She will laugh at the days to come.”
That was the first time someone quoted Proverbs 31 to ME. For ME. Directed AT ME.
I was confused. It had always been, “You’re almost there, YOU just need ________.” or “Maybe you can work on __________.”
But this time it was different. I was enough. I was classified as a Proverbs 31 woman. That was something I had never been before. And maybe I wasn’t EVERYTHING she was but I was something. And something was more than I had ever been. Maybe that was good and maybe that was bad. Because if I went 16 years without being told that any part of myself was even relatively equivalent to an ideal Godly woman, then how long were those around me waiting?
As a society we are so quick to judge those around us and criticize them instead of affirm them. Nobody is a perfect Godly person, and female Christians are constantly compared to this perfect woman. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing; we should all strive for something. But the thing about a Proverbs 31 woman is you gain a new understanding of it piece by piece, not all at once.
So now, it’s time to affirm each piece we see and this time to not let it be paired with criticism. There is a time for both but more often than not they should be apart. Make today the age of affirmation not of antagonization.
You are worth more than rubies.
Joanna – you are kind and gentle: Proverbs 31:26
Kelly – you are wise and respected: Proverbs 31:26
Taylor – you have a gentle spirit and make light of tough situations when needed : 31:25-26
Maddie – you are a diligent worker: 31:27, 31:13-24
Gretchen – you are willing to serve at any time: 31:13
Kim – you watch out for other’s best interests: 31:11-12
Kate – you are compassionate: 31:20
McKenna – you laugh at the day to come and have a gentle spirit: 31:25-26”
Dear friends, we all need to be encouraged and reminded that we are worth more than rubies. Let’s take Kaylee’s challenge and encourage our sisters of their worth.
“Make today the age of affirmation not of antagonization.”
Until Next Time,