Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:28-30.

In the early 1900s, Charles Cooley developed a theory about how we develop self-esteem.

His theory, in a nutshell, was that people begin to see themselves the way other significant people in their lives see them. Their perception of themselves then affects the way they act. Through self-fulfilling prophecies, people reflect the expectations of those closest to them.

The Proverbs 31 woman is often held up as an example for women to model.

Yet, with all the diverse talents of the Proverbs 31 woman, women seeking to follow her example can easily be overwhelmed.

Proverbs 31 says that the noble woman’s husband praised her. He took notice of her good deeds and built her up.

Her children went out of their way to thank her and bless her for all that she had done.

Could it be that their affirmations energized her to do those good deeds in the first place?

What expectations are you putting on your loved ones?

Have you called your mother or your father, your husband or your wife, your children “blessed” lately?

Have you acknowledged the good things they have done?

Or has it been too easy to dwell on the negative?

Lord, help me to pay attention to the words I use with my family. Make my home a place where Your Word is taught and feared, and where everyone knows they are loved. Amen.

–author unknown

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