I broke down Proverbs 31 by dividing it 3 verses at a time, then pulling out what actions I can take to become the Proverbs 31 woman.
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
- She is rare, not like every other Christian woman. She does not compare herself to them and say," I'm doing pretty good." She has her focus on Christ and what he wants from her.
- I can do better about keeping my focus on Christ and exemplifying noble character so others can see Christ's work in my life in a way that leads them to the cross.
- Her worth to her family is more than rubies. She doesn't cost anything to her family. She adds value instead.
- I see this in two ways. She adds value with her capacity to love and care for her family, but also financially her works add value.
- I am not currently bringing in any income so therefore I can work towards using my talents to add value in that way.
- Over this past year I have started making my own cleaning products to save the family money. I believe that saving money is as good as making it, and I can do more to save our family money this year.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
- Her husband trusts her completely with every aspect of his life. He has no worries for her, his children, or their home.
- I see here that it's more than just trusting her to stay faithful. He trusts that she can handle the challenges of daily life with "noble character" because she has proven her abilities over and over again. She is reliable and strong.
- I am trustworthy, but where I see that I can improve is in the strength and handling all daily challenges with "noble character."
- My husband worries about how much I take on, and I think it's because he can see the stress and toll it takes on me.
- More prayer and leaning more on Jesus is step number one.
- Step number two is managing daily tasks in a way that aren't overwhelming. I need to keep a steady pace and prepare in advance for the things to come.
- Again, it talks about her husband lacks nothing in value.
- It's important to significantly use all my talents and strength to add value to my family. There should be no question of what I have done all day. Of course I home educate, and that is a job in and of itself, but is that really all I achieved? I keep a fairly clean house for a homeschooler, but there is so much room for improvement here.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
- Wow, this one is easy to say, but wow! If you think about what it actually means day in and day out it seems overwhelming at the least.
- First, you notice it says ALL the days of her life. That means even when you are having hormonal issues, or a terrible no good very bad day.
- Then, you look a little deeper and it doesn't say all the days of his life, it says all the days of your life. Which means, even after your husband leaves this world you should be bringing good to his name.
- My husband would say that I am very respectful to him, but am I never the cause of a bad day for him? Sure, I am. There are times when I am not pleased and show it.
- Another thing I noticed is that it didn't say to not bring harm as long as your husband doesn't bring harm. We are not offered a loop hole here that says we aren't responsible for not bringing harm if our husband isn't fair to us or whatever other reason we think we may have.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
- I think the key words here are SELECTS and EAGER.
- She is eager to work and selective about the clothing for her family.
- For me that means being eager to launder and mend my families clothing and being selective about the value I am getting for my money.
- I should do the laundry with eager hands?????? What? Yes, I am going to work on having joy in my heart for doing the laundry because it is a noble and important job. It is a way to show my love for my family.
- No more laundry monster :)
- To be able to mend clothing I will need to gain some new skills.
- It's a noble cause for me to spend my time gaining skills in this area and not pay for mending or buying new clothing when something can be fixed.
- I should look farther than Wal-Mart to clothe my family. It's not the best quality for my money and the clothing we purchase from Wal-Mart doesn't generally get handed down.
- I can shop the sales at stores like JC Penny's, TJ Max, and Marshall's.
- I won't be able to do all my shopping at once, from one store, for cheap, but my family would be wearing more quality clothing that will last through more than one child.
- This doesn't mean I should blow my budget. I need to do all this within our means and not on credit.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
- She is willing to go far to bring back the best food for her family. This brings up again how selective and careful she is in her choices for her family.
- For me this means several things.
- I need to take the plunge and go totally gluten free. I am gluten intolerant and most likely my children are as well.
- I need to wake up early and drive to the best farmer's market and shop there as often as possible.
- I will start buying my eggs from a local farmer which will be healthier and also save us money.
- I will start planning ahead and looking for sales and coupons for healthier items instead of just buying what's on sale when it's convenient to go to the store.
- This also means using the food I bring home to make the best meals I can. It means being thoughtful about the preparation of the meals I serve my family.
She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.
- OUCH! This one is a punch in the gut for me.
- I confess that my children wake up ahead of me and prepare cold cereal for themselves. I know this is horrible, but it's true. What's even worse is usually the only hot breakfast's they get are either cooked by my husband or I am serving breakfast for dinner.
- This is hard for me to admit, but here goes......I don't wake up most mornings until 8:00 am and on a bad day that may extend to 8:30 am. Since my youngest shares my struggle there aren't really any consequences for me other than I have less hours in a day to complete all my tasks.
- I feel that it would bless my family and be worth while for me to wake ahead of them and prepare breakfast and in general be prepared and ready for the day. It would also bless my husband because I would not be as stressed from rushing around to get everything done. Last, but not least it would bless me to be able to pace myself and give me more time to organize. Another benefit would be that I might actually eat breakfast, which I don't do now.
- The way I do things now is bang it out. I do everything with a burst of energy mid day.
- The challenge for me will be preparing myself physically to wake ahead of my family and eventually while it's still dark.
- I will need to go to bed earlier and make sure I am getting a good nights sleep.
- I will have to resolve things on my mind before bed so they don't keep me up all night.
- I will also prepare and plan out my day ahead of time so I don't dread waking in the morning.
- Additionally, she provides food for her family, I believe for the day. To me, this means that she sends her husband off with meals for his day away from home.
- Another confession.....we can't afford for my husband to eat out during the day, and I don't fix lunches for him, so he goes all day without eating until dinner. Now, of course he could have fixed his own lunch, but the point is it's my responsibility and I have dropped the ball.
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
- This could be taken in the literal sense that she buys property wisely. But for me this means she is making wise investments. She puts her money in places that will benefit her family. This could even mean investing in a business you want to start, or your children's adult education fund.
- For me this mean considering a family business that my children will benefit from or making a plan to buy property that my children could build houses on or we could farm for personal or commercial use.
- It also means just to be thoughtful of how I spend the family money and consider every decision.
- Out of HER earnings she plants a vineyard. Clearly she is earning her keep and contributing to the family financially.
- I can greatly improve in this area. I don't contribute financially at all. We are a one income family.
- I will be working all this year to find a way to use my talents to earn an income to help my family.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
- VIGOROUSLY is a strong word. I wouldn't consider myself to be lazy by any means. I stay busy all day, but I wouldn't say I set about my work vigorously.
- I can change this by changing the way I view my work. I view what I do as, well it will still be here tomorrow. The truth is that our work at home is a very important and noble job and we should view all our tasks as valuable.
- If I contribute financially I just might prioritize my tasks in a way that would inspire vigorous work.
- Her arms are strong for her tasks.
- Well, I am not that strong physically. I'm kind of prissy that way.
- I can get stronger by making it a point to work out.
- Eventually, when we are home owners and not renters I can tend to a garden, or fix things around the house and get strong that way, but for now I should be preparing by purposefully making an effort to grow stronger physically.
- I can also grow stronger in mind, spirit, and heart.
- I can rely on Jesus to strengthen me in spirit.
- I can get stronger in mind by seeing my self accomplishing more and more each day.
- I can get stronger in heart by not letting the pressure change my attitude and keep a joyful and eager work ethic.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
- She sees that what she is using her talents for is making a profit for her family and she knows that what she is doing is a noble task and valuable to her family so she works into the night to finish on time.
- I can be motivated to work hard to contribute financially to my family.
- I can do what it takes to meet my deadlines.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
- What stands out to me is that SHE holds the distaff, and with HER fingers she grasps the spindle. She doesn't have someone else doing the work for her. She is not going to pay someone else to do the work she can do herself. She is caring for what needs to be done by seeing it through. She is doing a humble job that could have been done by her servant girls. She is willing to do the work with HER own hands.
- I can find more opportunities to save our family money by doing more myself with my own hands.
- This may mean I learn how to sew and make clothes for my family.
- This may mean canning food.
- I can apply this by looking for more opportunities to avoid convenience items in order to save money.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
- Even though she is a busy woman she still sees the needs of others. She has her life in BALANCE enough that she has made room to extend herself to the needy.
- I find myself with a heart to help the needy but not the means to help the poor.
- If I put all the other things into place and achieve the kind of BALANCE this woman has, I will be in a position to help others.
- Witnessing to the poor and needy is a very noble task. It should be prioritized that we prepare ourselves to open our arms and be in a position to give outside of our own family.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
- She is again prepared. She is ORGANIZED, and planned for what was to come.
- I have no fear of snow for my family because we have a heater and are on leveled pay, but there is still much to be gained from this.
- I can shop in the spring for next winters clothing to get the best deals. I can prepare and save money for that shopping trip. I can also apply this to other seasons.
- I can put much effort into being organized and prepared. One way I am doing this is by putting together and USING a household management binder.
- I take notice to her household being clothed in scarlet. Again, this brings attention to it being an important and noble task to clothe your family in quality attire.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
- I might take up sewing and literally make coverings for my bed, but in the mean time I will take special care to making sure mine and my families beds are made each day and have clean bedding.
- I can go the extra mile and shop for nicer sheets and bedding when it goes on sale. The main idea is just to pay attention to the details and taking special care of my families bedding.
- She is clothed in fine linen and purple.
- Hum....this is contrary to what a lot of women do, especially women that stay home with their children. We often let ourselves go a bit and don't pay much mind to what we wear. I am guilty of this. In general I eat the burnt toast. I save the most healthy (expensive) food for my kids and I eat what is left over. I make sure they have nice clothes, but I don't spend any money on myself.
- Ask yourself, how does it make my husband look, when I am not taken care of?
- I am going to change this! I am a reflection on my husband and if I look like a frump then so does he. This isn't a free licence to go on a shopping spree and pick up every cute shirt I see.
- I will be careful about what I choose to buy, making sure that it fits well, looks nice, and is well made.
- I can also go through my closet and weed out everything that doesn't fit right, or is outdated, or worn.
- Also, I can weed out items that might not be as modest as I'd like, and make sure when purchasing new clothing that they represent my husband well.
- I will make sure that I get ready for the day each day. I want to be prepared for any visitors, or if my husband wants to invite someone over after work.
- Most importantly my husband deserves to come home to me looking as nice as I can, in an act of love and respect.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
- How can a man be respected outside the home if everyone can see he isn't respected inside the home?
- For me this means I need to give my husband the proper respect as the head of the family.
- It also means that I must run our household in a way that shows that I love and respect him. I need to dress in a way that will reflect well on him. I need to keep house in a way that represents him in the best light.
- If I do all the things above this, he will have no worries at home and can focus his efforts on moving up in his career and gaining respect in the community by getting involved in community projects.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
- Again she is a busy bee working hard to help the family financially and making sure she is adding value and not costing.
- I can keep my eyes peeled open to opportunities to use my talents to make a profit.
- I can acquire new skills that are more profitable.
- I need to have more than one iron in the fire.
- She markets herself to the merchants and makes good business relationships. She is advertising her product.
- I can work on gaining business relationships and come up with ideas for advertising.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
- She is not fearful of what is to come because she is leaning on Christ and she has put in the work to be prepared.
- I can pray more and lean more on Christ.
- By being more organized and preparing ahead of time I will be ready for what's to come.
- A woman with such noble character of course is strong and dignified; it is a side effect of all the hard work and faithfulness.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
- Wisdom only comes from a strong relationship with the Lord and a deep study of his word.
- I can devote more time to becoming a Christologist (a word I got from my pastor) and deeply studying all the words of truth in a Christ centered way.
- I can devote more time to prayer.
- I can choose my words more carefully and thoughtfully.
- I can remember to lead my children in faithful instruction with not only the words I speak to them, but also being a living example.
- I can remember that God spoke the world into existence therefore the words I speak hold weight and I should be selective on which words I let leave my lips.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat of the bread of idleness.
- She is managing her household and her hands are not idle. She is working hard and staying busy with noble tasks.
- I can spend more time doing work with my hands and less time on facebook and watching TV. Including the time I spend watching TV with my husband, which is most of my TV time. I could learn to knit or something of the like to be busy and productive with my hands during those times.
- I can view the day in, and day out chores as the Lord's work and value it as such. I can go about my work without whining or griping, and with a joyful heart instead.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many woman do noble things, but you surpass them all."
- I can ask myself, am I really surpassing them all? Am I doing enough for my husband to really say that about me?
- I should be raising my children in a way that will prepare them to follow Christ's path for their lives and prepare them for raising their families. I should be raising them in a way that won't leave them wrestling with their childhood as an adult.
- This is the reward for the hard work. What greater reward than appreciation from the people that you love most in this world?
- Many husbands complain and gripe about their wives. I should put myself in a situation that my husband has nothing to complain about.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
- I want to remember that the Lord is with me in everything I do, so I should show that respect for who God really is with my obedience.
- It's not harmful to be beautiful and charming, but that isn't the substance that sustains our relationships with our children, our husbands, or our Creator.
- I want my inner beauty to surpass my outer beauty.
Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
- I don't want to expect a reward, or to be praised for just doing the norm. I want to earn any reward I may get, but I don't want to work just for the reward. I want to do all these thing unto the Lord.
- Give the Lord the glory and praise.