-by Melanie Mercedes-

ThirtyOne30 is a blog created by Melanie Mercedes all in an effort to encourage, strengthen, teach, and share with other believers in Christ.

It will be full of fun, creative content made to also challenge and grow you in your faith.

It will confront you, might be controversial, or may be about topics that are new to you but it will always be backed by the word of God.

We believe in a triune God comprised of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The wages of sin is death, we believe that Jesus Christ was the propitiation for our sins. He was fully God and fully human yet without sin.

Why the name ?

What is Proverbs 31 and why is it the bible verse every woman’s ministry, woman’s fellowship, women’s books and all us saved Jesus loving bloggers post loud and proud? The virtuous woman, what we are taught to strive for as soon as we fit into a training bra and develop our first crush.
If I had one problem with this bible verse, it wouldn’t be the verse in and of itself, I believe the word of God to be inerrant, Holy Spirit breathed and true. My problem would be the way this verse is used, as if marriage is the goal. The end all, be all. Marriage is a beautiful gift given to us by the pure grace of God but it is not the ultimate gift given to only those who are ready or those who are extra blessed and Godly. As a matter of fact, Paul says that singleness is reserved for those who have more self-control and will enable more service to God. (1 Corinthians 7:6-9) 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command.7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion
Singleness is also a beautiful gift given to us by the pure grace of God. The misuse of Proverbs 31 produces discontentment and bitterness, sometimes towards God. I have seen women rush to the altar and into marriages because we as women have been made to think that singleness is a “lacking of”, a “God withholding from”or “a punishment”.What is Proverbs 31?
Proverbs is thought to be written by King Solomon. Proverbs 31 is a son retelling the lessons his mother taught him. Ssooo, Solomon retelling the lessons his mother, Bathsheba taught him about how to marry a good woman. In order for her to ensure that he marries well, he would need to know what a good woman looks like. She defines womanhood for him. A woman, a mother and a wife defining womanhood. Womanhood is not defined by the context of manhood. Brings me to my first point, womanhood is not to be defined by the context of manhood.
A woman, a mother and a wife defining womanhood. Womanhood is not defined by the context of manhood.
In the wise words of his mother, a good woman is defined by her Godliness. She is being useful and honoring God with what she has. She is amazing and intelligent, not because of her husband but because of the simple fact that she fears the Lord. This means, because she is a good, Godly woman, she would make a great wife. Be encouraged, your Godliness and womanhood are not defined by a marriage or lack thereof, it is the other way around. Becausethis woman is Godly, because she is a virtuous woman all on her own, through her fear and respect for the Lord, she is found to be a good thing. She will be a “good marry” becauseof her Godliness. “Wife” may be a facet of her earthly identity but it does not define her whole identity anymore than a college job defines yours or mine. Her identity rests in the Lord, what He has given her, the work He has called her to put her hands to, the dignity with which she lives out that calling and the love and compassion she uses to serve those around her.
becauseof her Godliness.
We need to strive for goodness unto the Lord because of our love and respect towards Him and NOT because we want to uphold this facade in order to be found by a man. This woman is seeking to please only the Lord, and in pleasing the Lord this woman is taking care of her husband and children and those within her reach. She is essentially just doing her work, and doing it well. In doing it diligently, she receives the praise from her family and those around her.
She is not a good woman because she is a good wife. Her duty as a wife is defined by her Godliness, not her ability “to be found.
Be encouraged, Proverbs 31 is not solely about being a good wife, it is about being a good woman who serves the Lord and about how men of God need to be seeking these attributes, instead of beauty and charm, if they want to marry well.
Verse 30 says, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised”. This has been my life verse.
And this is why I chose ThirtyOne30. I strive to be defined by my fear of, respect to, service and love for the Lord. A woman should be defined by the Godliness she exudes and others are able to glean from. What is important is the work she is doing to further the kingdom, whether it be teaching young ones in Sunday school, working in full time ministry, supporting her husband in his work and ministry, leading worship, or teaching the young women the lessons it cost her sweat and tears to learn. Whatever work she finds to do and whatever God might have called her to, whether others see it as big or small, she does well. And in the process, if that attracts a Godly man, who will join in admiring and praising her as she serves God with what He has given her, then so be it. If not, He is still good and she will be defined by her holiness and not her relationship status.
 
This is Proverbs 31 and this is ThirtyOne30.
An effort to encourage and fan to a flame these beautiful things God has called all of us to. To encourage us all to bloom where we are planted and giving care to what God places in our hands and around us. Doing it well with what we have and what we were given. To challenge every one of you as your sister, as we challenge one another to become more like Christ.
 

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