The Perfect Woman
I named my very first company "Pro31". It was before 'Thirty-One', the MLM became popular, and it meant something to me because, at the time, it was everything I wanted to be.
In case you're unfamiliar, here's the text I'm referring to:
10 [b]A wife of noble character, who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
So, never mind the fact that the verse actually opens with the words of King Lemuel's mother telling him NOT to spend his strength on women... and that as far as I have been taught there are no passages in the Bible that rival this in terms of what a husband is expected to do for his wife. There's a lot about who a man should be in relation to God, and to other men, but nothing that so diligently lays out a business plan for a man in terms of his contribution to the household and the marriage.
Back then, I believed vehemently that I should be this woman. I also believed that if I was this woman, that my husband would rise to the occasion and 'take his seat among the elders of the land'- my interpretation of that was, if I succeeded enough, if I wanted more for him than he wanted for himself, that eventually he would be who I wanted him to be. When I was tired and defeated I would read it and convince myself that if I just kept going, God would bless my efforts.
When my daughter Mackenzie was born, I was three years into being an agent and just coming off of a training salary that gave me a guaranteed paycheck. Because of this, I took a second job working at McDonald's three nights a week. I used my twenty minute break to pump breast milk in my car. During the day, I was a businesswoman. At the time most of the people I was working with lived in a town three and half hours to the east of us. About once a week, I would get up at 4am, nurse the baby, then get behind the wheel to drive to Hobbs. There was a gas station in the middle of nowhere, about half way, where I would stop to pump and I planned my appointments around the feeding schedule of a three-week-old infant. Those were days I didn't get home till close to midnight, often walking in to a wailing baby as we tried to time it so I could feed her before collapsing into bed.
I thought if I worked hard enough long enough, if I was everything I was supposed to be, then my husband and kids would be proud of me and eventually life would get easier.
But life only got harder, and I became extremely resentful of the woman in Proverbs 31. And more than a little jealous, because her husband at least praised her for her efforts. I felt like my husband, at that time, focused his attention only on my failures. I felt alone for a very long time but unable to abandon my pursuit of the woman I'd set out to be.
It's kind of funny, reading this verse now, after all these years. So much has happened, and I'm about to open a new company. My son has joined my business, and my husband has taken his place as the man in the verse, proud of the woman, aware of her efforts, blessed by her work. And publicly praising her 'at the gates'. I guess I haven't stopped lately to look back and realize that I am her after all.
I'm using my maiden name for this one, Boatwright Financial, LLC. When I brought the name up to my husband, he asked why I didn't want to use our last name. Besides the fact that our last name conjures images of Michael Jordan answering the question, "Boxers or briefs?" I wanted something that could be paired with a logo that conveys a journey.
I don't know if, after all I've done, I qualify as a "Godly woman". I don't know if I even care if anyone sees me that way anymore. I know that my husband chose to recognize me and now supports me, without holding our past over my head as if I were a marionette. I know that I bring him good; that even on our darkest days I never sought to punish him for letting me feel abandoned in my efforts all those years ago. I know that, looking at this verse now, chasing her down was just part of the journey.