My wahala with proverbs 31: The Virtuous Woman

If you are a lady here in Nigeria,  you must know the qualities of the virtuous woman as she was quite praised in the book of proverbs chapter 31 (10-31). Now though im sure almost everyone knows about prov 31(you need to read the full chapter again hereProv 31 or you might not follow the discussion), I can also surely tell that many of you do not even know the full details of that chapter or have never given it serious thought.

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For those of you who are about to doubt me now, please can someone explain to me why a woman would be praised for awakening before the cock crows to prepare food for her family, mend her children and husband’s clothes, make new clothes for them, tidy the household e.t.c. while her children and husband sleep on blissfully.  Then as the day breaks, she starts her trading career going far and wide to bring in goods to sell and for her household. She even buys a field and plants crops. Then at night, she’s the last to sleep, wait no, her lamp doesn’t go off (so she doesn’t sleep, is she a vampire?).  And all the description we are given of the husband is that he sits at the gate with the elders and he is hailed.

Seriously! !! I get it. The woman is a superman (or should i say superwoman) but is this what we should teach our girlfolks to aim for??? is this what should always be the theme of a church preaching for women gatherings? ?  Is this the bible chapter we truly want to emphasize during marriage courses?? Do we even realize that there’s something wrong with this picture? ?  I don’t know if you get the subtle implications of this message:- the woman is awake before dawn and it doesn’t cross the husband’s mind that his wife is toiling for the family?, I mean this should be inhuman. How can a man who is supposed to be one with his wife go to sleep each day and awake probably after the wife is gone and fail to see anything wrong bwith that picture.  And to crown it all, he has the guts to sit at the gates and be hailed.

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And I understand the other perspective,  the story is about a virtuous woman so there will be an obvious objective to make her a heroine and praise her. And this can be a good thing but the thing is that this picture painted is so scaringly familiar for women in this part of the world and we should remember that the Jewish culture does not recognise women. The women are usually put in the same class as the children. And African society runs almost parallel to that culture. Therefore, although I understand the good thoughts behind that particular bible chapter, I wish we would examine it critically bearing in mind the situations of women in our Nigerian society.

And this is my problem with Prov 31. I don’t care how you wish to explain the chapter, I just feel that it shouldn’t be overly mentioned especially in our society where each day that I hear Prov 31, more than 20 women come to mind with ease who I know are even more virtuous than the woman described and it pains me to see these women suffer through all these bullshit. I know very unhappy married women who are trying each day to be the virtuous woman, juggling work (these days most men want working wives that can contribute to the household finances) with all the household chores (many men still do not help out at home). Parents who  try their possible best to mold their daughters into virtuous women. Women who finish work later than their husbands and still get to make dinner, check the kid’s homework and supervise their night bath ritual. Its depressing. I then started asking myself what our obsession with the virtuous woman really is.

And Eureka!! I made the discovery. We are obsessed with Prov 31 because we are afraid to see women treated equally, we want them to remain second class citizens, …. . The guys are scared of no longer being in control, they are also so selfcentred they wouldn’t want women to stop aspiring to be virtuous because that would mean them actually contributing their quota to household chores like changing their toddler’s diapers or washing their children’s clothes. But do you blame them? Who would spit out sugar that is in their mouth?

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Its up to the ladies,  the day we decide that we are tired of only being the virtuous ones (after all the word ‘virtuous’ is not limited to a certain gender), the day we crusade for virtuous men is the day we will start seeing changes. If not, expect the men to remain at the gates (nay, its joints & bars now) drinking beer, eating isiewu and other bush meat (thank God for Ebola: no more bush meat) while being praised for being exceptional husbands while you are cooking over the fire with three wailing children, two househelps who are more of a headache than a help actually and that saucy relative (probably from your husband’s side) who does nothing but watch African magic while discrediting you at any opportunity to your mother-in-law

Truly yours,
The Aspiring Virtuous Human

Ciao

Will appreciate your comments.  Hwaiting

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23 thoughts on “My wahala with proverbs 31: The Virtuous Woman”

  1. Hmmmmm! I was waiting for dis article for a long time now, knowing we share the same problem with proverbs 31. Once told my ex that twas the worst chapter of the bible! And trust him to voice out that I wasn’t talking like a true christian woman, and that its the lord’s word. That I should aspire to be a proverbs 31 woman, instead of criticising God’s word since I wasn’t close to virtuous with my cooking phobia and all dat.
    Anyway, that aside, kudos for capturing the words in the hearts of many women. Its really a pity that many women strive to achieve that picture painted, forgetting that things have changed.
    Personally, a virtuous woman for me is one who understands her rights as a woman and does all within her rights to make her family work. One who moulds her husband to understand that she isn’t a maid but a partner, with an equal duty and contribution to the marriage. The earlier we become those kind of women, the nearer we wld be to becoming humans and not maids or yahoos.
    On a lighter note, am really angry at Ebola, haven’t had my fair share of bush meats in bars. Just when I can now afford to buy myself the occasional bush meat treat, Ebola struck. Anyway, its all good. I go still chop am Ebola or not!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lolzxx @the ebola part. Don’t worry, after ebola bush meat will become very cheap.
      Next time someone uses the “bible is God’s word so must be obeyed” on you, refer the person to deutronomy 22:9-11 ( 9 “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole yield be forfeited,[a] the crop that you have sown and the yield of the vineyard. 10 You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.11 You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen mixed together.) And ask if he hasn’t been wearing clothes that are made of different materials.

      And that is also God’s word

      Liked by 2 people

  2. hahahahaha
    Is really a very nice and interesting story line.but i must stress on this words, books of the old testament , the bible, and PROVERBS in particular should not be given the literally meaning but we should always try to pick the message it is intended to pass across.

    The bible was not written by God but humans,so is only normal they wil incorporate their personal values and existing cultures into it

    Liked by 1 person

  3. @ having more than 20 virtuous women in mind, dont forget there are also virtuous men.just that because of our culture as i earlier said there are more virtuous women in our comtemporary society than men.
    lets read the scriptures with open mind and understand the moral it tries to correct rather than hold on to the word to word meaning
    we need virtuous nigerians for a better Nigeria

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, o jare!

    It’s this beating people over the head with scripture or using it to justify our own cultural/personal desires.
    Is it even humanly possible, except you are a superhuman to be able to accomplish all of those things in a day, every day?!
    It’s funny how Proverbs 31 is used to subdue women or ‘put them in their place’ and try to make them feel like they are accomplishing ‘God’s’ will by aspiring to be a ‘virtuous’ woman.

    How many men, tell themselves ‘they are worse than infidels’ (1 Tim. 5:8) when they don’t take care of their families? Yet they see fit to whip out scriptures like ‘touch not my anointed’ ‘Prov.31, Submit blah blah blah when it suits them.

    Well done, my dear. The more we act like the Bereans, by questioning, the stronger our faith and beliefs will be.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. But gladly, it’s changing. With people like you and others questioning; refusing to accept things blithely, just because it’s in the Bible!
        Sometimes, I wonder if people forget that God gave us a brain and a reasoning mind.
        My dear, keep the light shining…we dey ya side!

        Like

  5. I think the writer of that passage wrote it tongue in cheek. He starts by asking if she can be found, he probably was poking his society for its view of women and their roles in society. The answer to his question is, she can’t be found

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Awesome blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress
    or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there
    that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any suggestions?
    Thanks!

    Like

    1. I’d suggest starting with a free platform then as you become regular with your writings, you can now go for a paid option. You can always link your free platforms to the paid options later so you lose nothing.
      Hoping to see articles from you soon

      Like

  7. Lol 🙂
    We are attempting to interprete timeless truths told in the culture and context of another society …
    I’ll cut a long story short by he who desires a Proverbs 31 woman as wife, should be an Ephesians 5 man, loving his wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her …
    😉

    Liked by 1 person

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