Constructive criticism

If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.
Proverbs 15:31 NLT

This is hard for me. I do it well in my work life but not in my personal life. I’m my own worst critic, so its hard to hear myself be criticized by other people. Often times they are just pointing out things that I already know I need to work on. I’m equal opportunity though. I don’t typically provide people with unsolicited constructive feedback either. I’ve always had a policy where I don’t say anything to people that I don’t want said to me. I’ve never seen this verse in the bible before. Reading it in a different translation definitely opened my eyes.

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We talked about self control with not engaging in conversations that aren’t healthy, however constructive feedback can be helpful.

The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep.
Ecclesiastes 12:11 NLT

I think if nothing else the above verse reminds me that constructive feedback is there to make me better. The people around me love and only want to see me at my best. So if someone is at my house and comments on what my son is wearing or eating, or how clean my house is, its because they are really trying to be helpful. Their delivery or timing may not be great but that shouldn’t impact how I respond to them.

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Or if I respond at all. I can simply say thank you, I will take that into consideration.

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This meme was another great reminder. People just want to be helpful. I don’t have to take it as an attack on my parenting or wife skills. Maybe they could be trying to offer me words they wished someone would have said to them. The biggest takeaway is to remember that people intentions are good. Impact matters of course but I can show some grace as well.

How relevant is the Proverbs 31 woman today?

I told yall I had beef with this Proverb. It just seemed so unattainable.

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However, after reading it again it doesn’t focus on the work of a woman as much as I thought, it more so focuses on her character.

I guess we get caught up in her actions more because most of us want some kind of action plan. Tangible steps that we can do in our day to day lives to live better. Its much easier to change when you give me a checklist of things to do. However, God doesn’t really work that way. He want’s us our hearts to be right. Once our hearts in the right place, our actions will follow.

How can I apply this today?

Reminder: This isn’t a checklist of things to do but more so a guide to let you know how to live.

We shouldn’t take this literally. Most of us don’t live in places where we can go inspect fields and plant vineyards. I am not sewing any clothes nor do I have a ton of servants I can give housework. I believe this is a stance on not being lazy and trying to make good use of your time. This is a good reminder not to use your free to time to binge Netflix and surf Instagram.

Most bible scholars would say that this is a compilation of many women not just one. This proverb was written by a king named Lemul. He was just writing what he saw his mom, and probably her friends doing. When I start looking at it that way, it changed my perspective. Its bogus to expect one woman to do ALL of the things in this Proverb.

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10‭-‬12

To me these are some of the most important lines in this proverb. I think any woman can get behind this. I certainly want to enrich my husbands life.

It also was not written to women, it was written to men to know what to look for when they go find a wife. People get mad all the time (and I agree with them) that you hear a lot in church about people preaching to women about how to be a good wife but not to men about how to be a good husband. I think knowing that this Proverb was really written to men makes sense. The bible tells us that a man that finds a wife finds a good thing.

What would I want my son to say about me? I want my son and my husband to be proud of me. I want to provide a good example so my son knows what kind of woman to look for. I want him to know what values are important. I want my son to know that beauty on the inside is more important than beauty on the outside. I want to greatly enrich the life of my husband.

The Proverbs 31 woman is very relevant, if we use her (them) as a guide I believe we can get something good out it. If we use it as a checklist, its only going to make us angry and frustrated.