Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Proverbs 31 for Me

There are probably two types of woman when it comes to the passage of Proverbs 31:10-31 - those who avoid it like the plague, or those who read it over and over, trying to be her. I used to be in the first group, throwing up my hands thinking she was impossible, but now I'm in the latter. I read this chapter almost monthly, and meditate on it for a week at a time. This morning as I had my quiet time with God, I decided to break this chapter apart verse by verse and listen to how the Lord would have me apply this to my life. The actual verses are in green, and my words are in black. Here goes:

10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. My husband has complete trust in me. I will not harm his reputation, credit score or health, but all I do will bring him good.

13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. I will go about my day with eagerness and make careful choices.

14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. I will seek the best deal and plan ahead as I feed my family. I will get up before them so I can prepare and plan. My family will not wonder what is for breakfast/lunch/dinner, as I will provide it lovingly for them.

16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. I will not make hasty decisions, but will consider carefully before purchasing anything. Any money I make or am given will be used carefully to benefit my family.

17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. I will go about my work diligently and my body will be strong and in good health so I will be able to keep up with my work.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. I will not go in debt, but bring a profit to my family. I will not run out of anything because I will be prepared.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. My hands will be busy at work.

20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. I will look for those in need and who are poor and be charitable to them.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. I will provide clothing for my family, and in times of cold weather, the clothing I provide will keep them warm.

22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. I will make my home and myself lovely.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. My husband is respected because I will not talk negatively about him to my friends, mother, father, sister, brother or anyone. My words will only build him up.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. I will work with my hands to help bring income to my family.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. I will build my character so I am a strong woman, who can be trusted. I will not worry about what tomorrow will bring.

26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. I will be wise and read the Word so I can give instruction that is true at a moment's notice.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. I will constantly be monitoring every need of my family whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual. I will not give in to my desire to sit down and do nothing when my family has needs to be met.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. 29 Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. My children and husband will praise me, thinking that of all the women in the world, to them I am the best.

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. I will fear the Lord, honoring and obeying the commands of His Word. I will give importance to this above my beauty and personality.

31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Any praise I receive from people will be because of my integrity and hard work.

This passage wasn't included in Scripture to intimidate us or send us running. Rather I believe it was given as a guideline for a Christian woman. Situations are different for all women, some are single, some have ten children, others have none. Some have babies, some have teens, and others have raised their children. Whatever area of your life you find yourself in today, I encourage you to take some time with a piece of paper and your favorite pen, and get quiet with the Lord and have Him show you how these verses can apply to your life.




Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow