Proverbs 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Wow! I love that Scripture. Not just because it comes from one of my favorite books in the Bible, but because the focus is on the Proverbs 31 woman. As Mother’s Day approaches, and I reflect on the AMAZING mother I have and the wonderful women who’ve been great examples of what mothers (and daughters) should be I’d like to take a moment to encourage us all to please take the praise. Now, I’m not talking about being arrogant or boastful, but doing as the Scripture says, fearing the Lord, and allowing your own works to be praised.
Sadly though, praise is something some of us find difficult to receive. Have you ever given compliments to someone and have literally watched as they mustered up the courage to say thank you because they didn’t believe what you said? Have you seen the person, who, at the sound of the compliment immediately gives you a verbal expose on all the things wrong with them? Or the one who breaks out into a childlike giggle when you say whatever deserving words you say?
Women sometimes view compliments with a side of cynicism. We often don’t believe if a person says we’re smart, or beautiful or talented. And some of us simply don’t trust others, or ourselves when it comes to receiving praise.
Hindrances that keep some women from accepting praise:
- Guilt Has guilt ever kept you from accepting praise from others? How and When? And why would you allow something that God has long forgiven to stop you from receiving the verbal affirmations you deserve…regardless of what you’ve done or what’s been done to you? Don’t allow problems, pain or people (even yourself) to stop you from receiving or returning praise.
- Not feeling worthy Have feelings of being unworthy of God’s love or the love of others stopped you from receiving praise? Ask yourself if you really, really, really believe that first, God loves you, and secondly, that He has people on earth to verbally and tangibly remind you of how great, wonderful, beautiful, special, amazing and all that good stuff you are because of Him.
- Poor self-image I love taking pictures. To this day, it amazes me the number of women that don’t like taking pictures, don’t smile or don’t believe that what the camera captures is nothing short of pure beauty. As women, sometimes our minds are our own worse enemy preferring to cause us to see ourselves as less than who we are. So we often take that twisted mentality drill it in ourselves, instill it in our children, and many times reject sincere praise that is ours because we’ve allowed it to become foreign to us. Stop doing that please:)
So, women, I’d like to propose that we engage in a little Popcorn Praise. Purposely seek out people to offer expressions of praise to letting your continual praise “pop-off” in bursts and spurts like hot, movie popcorn. Then, purposely keep yourself in a position to receive the popcorn praise that’s long overdue to you. If you know taking praise has been a problem then practice! Practice saying “thank you”. Practice believing the good in you that others see. Practice praising yourself. Practice your smile. Practice, whatever you have to just get ready to be praised!