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She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
– Proverbs 31:25 –

You know you’re a team parent when . . . you have an entire section of your closet devoted to spirit wear.

With four active children, team t-shirts have taken over my hangers and drawers the same way team activities monopolize my calendar and my checkbook. I grumble while buying them—but I am only too happy to wear them! The uniform of choice for any spectator parent, spirit wear marks me as a busy but devoted mother.

I was so excited when our daughter made the high school dance team that I couldn’t wait to put on my Midway Goal Tenders t-shirt, with “Katherine’s Mom” personalized on the back. I continued to wear some variation of it to every football game, all season long . . . four years in a row. I was proud to be set apart in such a way that made clear to all my identity, my allegiance, and my purpose.

I’ve come to depend on spirit wear to help me recognize fellow team parents as well. Recently, our family joined the vast caravan following the competitive cheer circuit. Like so many children’s extracurriculars these days, cheer is expensive, exhausting, and stressful—and totally overwhelming to newcomers like me.

Thankfully, I don’t have to navigate this wilderness alone. The tribe of cheer moms has adopted me as one of their own, faithfully shepherding me through the journey. I know I would be lost without them—and team t-shirts make them much easier to find. I can spot our screaming red and black logo in a crowd, even when that crowd numbers into the tens of thousands.

No wonder I was quick to spot the word clothed in this verse.

The deliberate reference to clothing intrigues me. The Proverbs 31 woman could have been described simply as strong and dignified. However, the clothing imagery suggests these garments serve as a kind of ‘Holy Spirit wear.’ With such outward and unmistakable virtue, she is marked as a devoted woman of God, making clear to all her identity, allegiance, and purpose. She is beautifully outfitted and perfectly accessorized to model godly living to other women. Robed in righteousness, she is sure to stand out in a crowd as a beacon of encouragement to the lost and bewildered.

And she pulls it off with so much finesse that even her kids—those notorious critics of mommy-fashion—appreciate her style enough to claim her proudly!

Gracious God, I know there is nothing more beautiful I could ever model than You. Thank you for caring more about the condition of my heart than the color of my t-shirt. As I consider what to wear each day, remind me to put on those qualities that honor You and mark me as your own. May I always be so proud and excited to bear Your name that others would take note and be inspired to join Your team and follow You.