I have kind of a love-hate relationship with the woman described in Proverbs 31. In case you haven’t met her (or as a little refresher course for those who have), here’s what she’s like.
10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.
I love this passage because of the hope it provides, hope that there is a right way to do this whole wife/mother thing and that the end result is totally worth the effort. I chose my eBay seller ID to reflect my desire to be this kind of wife. I even considered naming this blog something to do with rubies, but then I thought, “Who am I kidding?” This woman is not me, and while it’s nice to think that there is a concrete goal in sight, it’s a pretty tall order!
I think I was about five years married and was pregnant with my second baby before I ever really studied this chapter, and it’s been haunting me and prodding me ever since. A dear (American) friend in Scotland introduced me to this blog, which had recently done a series called “The 5AM Club” (you’re dying to know where to sign up, right?) based on the principle in verse 15. I know it is only a matter of time until I commit to getting up before my family, at least a few days a week, because the Lord keeps bringing it up over and over again, and I’m starting to get the hint. I tried it again a few weeks ago (lasted two whole days!) and definitely noticed God using it to bless my family, but just couldn’t stick it. I know I’ll get back on the horse sooner or later, but for now we’re still working through some glitches with the whole three babies in one room thing, and I think my girls are blessed by a Mommy who catches a few extra Z’s in the morning.
Anyway, last night at my marriage Bible study, we looked at this passage. (I know! The whole thing!) Well, let’s just say, I haven’t arrived yet. Apart from not being quite convinced yet on the “rising while it is still night” thing, I could probably tell you about at least ten more areas of this passage in which I’m still
completely hopeless growing, but for tonight, I’ll have to leave you wanting more. This post and this evening have rather gotten away from me, and I would certainly not be a good Proverbs 31 wife if I left my husband waiting on the sofa for me to join him so that we can watch Lost, now would I? Watch this space, I’ll be back with more thoughts on this passage soon. For now, just read the verses, and let me know what the Lord lays on your heart.