An excellent wife who can find? She is worth far more than precious jewels. the heart of her husband trust in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the shipsof the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household, and portions for her maidens. She considers field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She preceives that her merchandise is profitable. her lamp does not go out by night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. she opens her hand to the poor and reaches her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her househould are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings 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 garmets and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the times to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tounge. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husand also, and he praises her. "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all". Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
-Proverbs 31:10-31 (ESV)
This has got to be one of my favorite text. The Lord has convicted me so many times through this portion of His word. While I am not a "working mother"- I am a mother. The majority of my day is spent wiping up spills from cereal bowls, stepping over matchbox cars, potty-training my 2 year old, and wiping the messy faces of my two children. To be honest, not much about my day to day routine seems to be very "Virtuous".
The thought of imitating this amazing woman exhaust me! Who in the world has time to buy a field, plant it, and harvest it?! Just the thought wears me out! :) If you notice, a big part of the life of this virtuous woman is effectively managing the resources of her household. And because she manages her resources well, she is able to bless others by her hand. The woman described in this scripture has outstanding abilities. And, they are all a result of her love for her family and her God. Do not se her as a model to imitate in every detail- our days are not long enough to do all that she does! See her instead, as an inspiration to do all that you can do to serve God and your household with all that you have. And part of serving God is having a relationship with him. Read His word, meditate on it, and pray without ceasing! He will transform your entire life! He wants to be a part of each and every aspect of your life- even the messy stuff. He will transform you into the woman that He created you to be.
My favorite verse in Proverbs 31 is found in verse 25- "She laughs at the times to come". Often times we are fearful of the times to come- whether it be a financial situation, something work related, or the sickness or death of a loved one- times will inevitably get tough, even sometimes scary. But, when you are grounded in God's love, He can pick up the broken pieces of your broken heart in any situation and put them back together as only He can. Afterall, He knows your heart better than anyone else- He created it! There are so many uncertain things in my future. I know that eventually, pain will come. But I know that the God that created me, loves me and will be close by my side when those times come. (The Lord is close to the brokenhearted- Psalm 34:18). So, go ahead- laugh at what's to come! You can because you know that whatever tomorrow brings, He will be there!
"For the mountains may depart,
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed",
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.