“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
How could I have done it? How could I have gotten into an argument with my pre-teen daughter that reduced me to the level of: “Did not!” “Did too!” It was that bad.
I walked away knowing I needed a time out. Wasn’t I supposed to be the grown up? Wasn’t I supposed to be the mature, godly, Proverbs 31 woman? At that moment, I was anything but.
Frustration at the interaction with my daughter rushed through my veins like adrenalin after a near accident. I tried shaking it off, but the emotions stuck with me.
As I replayed the conversation in my mind, I thought of all the mature things I should have done and said. I saw myself as I wished I’d been – calm, gentle and dignified.
And I wondered how I had drifted so far from the woman I wanted to be.
Dignified. The very word speaks to something in my spirit. I imagine a self-controlled woman making deliberate choices about what she says and does based on her priorities.
I imagine a woman whose personality is not changed by circumstances, but exhibits grace under all kinds of challenges.
What is dignity anyway? We find it mentioned in Proverbs 31:25 as something to be desired, “She is clothed with strength and dignity.” My dictionary defines it as “the quality or state of being worthy, honored or esteemed.”
Sadly, I have at times allowed the actions and words of another to impact my choice to maintain my dignity. In moments of frustration, I have set aside that dignity and allowed emotions to rule.
In the frustration of having a schoolyard argument with my daughter, I forgot I was a woman chosen by God and given the strength to deal with daily challenges. God invited me to clothe myself in His power, and I had rejected His offer of help.
I had a lot of apologizing to do: first to my daughter, then to God. I’m thankful both forgave me, and offered me an opportunity to try again to model dignity. It made a difference. The next time I felt emotions threaten to overtake me, I took a deep breath and thought, “I am a woman of dignity.” Then I prayed for God to step in and clothe me with His power to be that woman.
Proverbs 31 Ministries