The Proverbs 31 Woman…Be Inspired not Threatened

Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands.
She is like the merchant ships; She brings her food from afar.
She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants.
She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.
She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor, yes; she reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet.
She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants.
Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates
Proverbs 31: 10-31

In the Bible there is an amazing example of a Godly woman. She is the Proverbs 31 Woman; her name may cause you to twitch At first glance, the Proverbs 31 Woman looks like the ultimate overachiever. But, the more time I’ve spent with her, admiring her character, the more I’ve realized she was able to accomplish great things because her priorities were in order.

We aim to meet the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of our children. We maintain a clean home and strive to cook healthy meals. We disinfect, scrub, and bleach. We conquer laundry. Some tend gardens, others can and preserve food, still others mend and sew. A handful home school and many others work outside the home. In addition to the basic needs of our homes and children are our husbands (oh yeah). A healthy relationship with them involves time, effort, and passion. And then, hopefully at the foundation of it all, there is a relationship with God.

Striking a balance is difficult.

Have you heard the story of the Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand? I think it bears repeating.

A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items in front of him. When class began, he wordlessly picked up a large empty mason jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks about two inches in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles, poured them into the jar and lightly shook it. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. The students laughed. He asked his students again if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things—your family, your partner, your health, your children—anything that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would be nearly destroyed. The pebbles are the other things in life that matter, but on a smaller scale. The pebbles represent things like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else—the small stuff.

“If you put the sand or the pebbles into the jar first, there is no room for the rocks.” The same goes for your life.

If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, material things, you will never have room for the things that are truly most important. Pay attention to the things that are critical in your life. Play with your children. Make love to your husband. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.

Brilliant.

Although she did not have this Anonymous Story to refer to, I believe the Proverbs’ 31 woman was able to accomplish so much with her time because she kept her priorities in order. She had balance.

So what were her priorities? What are our Big Rocks?

First, the Proverbs 31 Woman had a relationship with God. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. In Mark 12:30 Jesus says the most important commandment is the “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Even Jesus reminds Martha that Mary had “chosen what was better by sitting at the feet of Jesus and spending time with Him. Mamas, our relationship with Chirst, quiet time, prayer, worship, and meditation are foundational. He is our Rock.

Second, our relationship with our husbands is vitally significant. Our children were created with the love we share with our men. When our children are grown we will continue to build and grow together with our baby daddies. We need to spend time nurturing these relationships, falling in love, and encouraging one another.

Third, loving and teaching our children is vitally important. In Deuteronomy, God says parents (not teachers) must teach children in the ways of the Lord. Now, I’m not saying we all need to go out and start homeschooling. The good Lord knows He gave me other gifts, but we must not stand in the shadows assuming the classroom, Sunday school lessons, or everyday conversations give our children any Biblical truths. It is our job to speak love and light into our children’s precious lives. Don’t become so busy with lesser things that we neglect the awesome privilege of pouring into your kiddos.

And although it is much less exciting to talk about, one of our priorities must be caring for our homes. Our attitudes are often a reflection of the state of our homes. If we live in disarray and disorder, chances are our attitude and behavior will reflect disarray and disorder. Our husband, children, and hopefully friends should feel at peace when they enter our homes.

The Proverbs 31 woman wasn’t just about nurturing others; she took time to make herself amazing. She gardened, she sewed, she hunted, she took care of her body by exercising, she made wise investments, she built and nurtured relationships, and she took time to make herself beautiful.

The Proverbs 31 woman was a woman of balance. She knew her priorities and lived in a way that allowed her to keep those priorities in order. We can choose to be overwhelmed by her deeds and character or we can choose to be inspired. Inspired to love our husbands, nurture our children, make a beautiful home, grab a calendar, develop a skill, nurture a friendship, join a Boot Camp, purchase a beautiful dress, and shoot a gun. Delight in being a woman of balance!

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