Our ladies' bible study in Proverbs 31 continues and I am continuing to learn more and more about the woman that God desires for us to be. First of all, remember - this woman described in Proverbs 31 is an ideal, not a living, breathing woman. There may have been women during Biblical times that embodied most, or even all, of these qualities or was capable of accomplishing all of these things. But, that's not the point of this chapter. The purpose of this chapter is for the mother to impart to her son all of the qualities that he should look for in a wife. That being said, I truly believe that there is relevance to us modern day moms and wives.
Proverbs 31: 15-19 tells us that:
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking. (MSG)
The first thing I notice is that she's an early riser and that she gets prepared for the day before anyone gets up. Man, this is a hard one for me! But, I am here to tell you that when you get up, put some clothes on, spend some time with God and get a jumpstart on the day, the rest of the day goes a LOT smoother. I have, within the last year, starting getting up to go walking in the mornings. Given our early and busy mornings, this means setting my alarm for 5:15 which is much earlier than I would like. The bonus is that I spend my walking time in prayer. Even though I am not a fan of the early morning hour, I am a fan of starting the day off with my focus on God while I get my blood pumping. So, there's some modern day relevance - start your day off taking care of yourself as well as your family AND get your mind focused on God first thing in the morning.
This lady is also not afraid of hard work. In fact, it seems like she never sits down. Where is the modern day relevance here? To me, it seems like we should not be afraid to work hard for what we want or to challenge ourselves to set goals that cause us to stretch outside our comfort zones. I have never been one to make New Year's Resolutions or make an actual list of short and long term goals. I am learning, though, that this is a necessary part of growing as a woman, a wife, a mom and a Child of God. A part of setting goals is being prepared for whatever your life brings you. The Proverbs 31 woman buys a field and plants it so her family and servants will have food. She knows how to spin thread and yarn so her family will have clothing to wear as well as furnishings for her home. I know that most of us don't buy fields and plant gardens or vineyards but that doesn't mean we shouldn't shop responsibly for our family's food. My friends all tease me about my well-stocked pantry and freezer but it is rare that I am not able to come up with a last minute meal - instead of resorting to a fast food dinner when we have a busy night.
So, where's the relevance here? Be prepared for both the short and long term. Plan ahead so that your and your family's needs are met. Be responsible and don't be caught off guard with life's curveballs.
I don't know about you but all of these concepts continue to challenge me. But, I also know that God is always there to help me become more like this Proverbs 31 woman.
God bless all of you ladies in this journey!