Thursday, July 21, 2011

Whatever it Takes ~ A Proverbs 31 Study

Anyone who knows me, knows that the type of bible study I love is when you really dig deep into the word. I love to get out my concordance, my bible dictionary's, and my commentaries. This is really fun for me.

But after that, there comes a point where I just have to apply what God is saying in his word to me in my life right now.

This is the method I'm using with My Proverbs 31 study. Thanks so much for joining me in this journey. You can see the previous posts HERE

Today's Text Proverbs 31:13-15 (I usually look at 2 versions)
"She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls." Proverbs 31:13-15 NIV
"She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens." Proverbs 31:13-15 KJV

For me it seems to boil down to this...
She will do what ever it takes to take care of her family, and she takes great pains and pride in doing so.

This is a mindset issue in my opinion. And not always an easy one. She is going to work with eager hands to care for her family  no matter what task is needed. Wool and flax was the primary source of textiles in that day. And though I'm not a bible scholar there is some evidence both culturally and in the original language that suggests that the work she did with the wool and flax wasn't just to provide the textiles the family needed, but to sell and earn the money they needed too.

So what can I apply to my daily life in this? I have to ask myself... "Am I working for the benefit of my family with eager hands? Or am I disgruntled about having to do the dishes again, or having the pressure on me to make a living too?"  It's not the tasks that are specific here, it's the attitude. Am I willing to be like the proverbs 31 woman and do whatever is needed to take good care of my family with eager hands? hmmm. thinking....

She is like a merchant ship.... she goes to great lengths to get the best for her family (I'm not talking silk sheets and expensive things here) This is more of a mindset too. She isn't satisfied just getting the basics, she is seeking the best she can get for them. The word Merchant Ship literally means to "go about in trade". Am I willing to go out of my way to provide the best for my family? Or am I satisfied in just good enough?

She gets up while it is still dark... ok this is a hard one I know, but the principle of getting up early is prevalent all through the bible. In this case she is rising early so that everyone is provided for. She is making the sacrifice to start everyone off right. Just today I was reading about how people who have an early morning healthy breakfast are more productive throughout the day.

I am seeing a pattern here already aren't you? She is selflessly thinking of her husband and her household before she is thinking of herself. OUCH!

In our "Me First" society you can't go very far before you see a headline that feeds selfish thinking. I think God wants more for us. I think he is showing us how to model His character to our family by being sacrificial even in everyday tasks.

I know this all seems like a tall order, but I've saved the last little bit till now.... read it and savor it.... SHE HAD SERVANT GIRLS! Now I'm not telling you to go out and get a servant but the principle here is that she had help. She didn't do it all herself. She may have been the "foreman" of the household, but she had workers to carry out some of the tasks.

The word here isn't heaping giant responsibilities on you. On the contrary, it's setting you free to spend your time providing for your family in the way you do best, and free to find help for the rest. God never asked us to be an island, or to do it all ourselves. On the contrary, we are to rely on the Holy Spirit for strength and delegate the help we need to have. I like it!

Be blessed today friends. I hope this has encouraged you. Do you see a point I missed? I'd love to hear your perspective.


1 comment:

  1. This particular section is so relevant for me right now, Kari! Thank you for sharing your heart and your insights....