My Proverbs 31#HARD WORKER: Spiritually and Physically-not lazy, never idle hence no room for gossip or things that are unprofitable because all she has her mind focused is her "HOUSEHOLD" and not HER- verse 27, AMP- "She looks well to how things go in her HOUSEHOLD, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat".And NO to the thought that she is never resting or she is boring, she just applies wisdom to them all. In verse 13, KJV "She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh WILLINGLY with her hands". According to the dictionary.com, the word willingly could mean "cheerfully", so my judgement question would be, who said you cant have fun working? Clearly our so-called Mrs Virtue does. There is a difference between working with a frown and working with a smile, it might just be the amount of work covered but also could be the positive energy that the smile passes to the people around her.
Now to her spiritual hard work-in verse 15 AMP, "She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks", how does one work hard in the kingdom? Spiritual Hard work can be seen as you being a blender blending withing you all the fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5, also it entails a life of prayer and fasting because we know there would be those special cases that will require this as was written in Mark 9:29 "After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer (and fasting) ".
Or did I hear you ask why does one need to work hard in the kingdom? Personally I believe strongly in the GRACE of God but I am not fooled to believe that I would be lazy and then ask for the grace. to be this virtuous. I know(in my short 22 yrs on earth) that it is not the easiest of tasks, so of course the GRACE of God should be greatly relied on in such matters but can you ask for grace to do something that you really don't want to do? There needs to be that COMMITMENT, that FOCUS on what it is that you want to be achieved (in her case, it is the well-being of her household), and then work needs to be done by you and then GRACE to finish it all up. Like my mum says "There is no food for a lazy man" and that is the straight up truth! Also in the context of her hard work, a lot of verses stress how much she does and has to keep doing and mainly what I admire the most is her reason for this hard work. It doesn't strike me as a reason to collect praise(her selfish reasons) because if one worked for that she wont be recommended, her reason was honest and for the well being of her HOUSEHOLD. This could also be angled at our value system. What do we prioritize higher? Our careers or our household? A lot of people are quick to say household but we never really can tell until we are faced with life changing decisions and slowly be begin to neglect the well-being of our HOUSEHOLD and make statements like "They will understand". #notagoodlook!
We may ask how far and how long does she work, and the answers here I don't take literally but there is definitely a message of determination/never giving up attitude; verse 14 AMP "She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household's food from a far [country]", always prepared; verse 18 "She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust].", verse 21 "She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet" which brings about the right confidence; verse 25b "she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!" and again a focused mindset( I am doing all I can with the grace of God to bring my HOUSEHOLD joy).
#ELEGANCE: I love to dress up, I may have reduced in my willingness to always look on point whenever I stepped out of my house, but if not for anything this lady has made me come back to that point. I mean if you ever knew me like 2 years ago, I literally dint joke with my clothes, my shoes and all that. Not that now I wear rags but I know and i have been told its definitely not the same. Have you ever found yourself to worked up with household chores, school work, church activities or whatever takes up you time that how stressful you might feel does only show up in your face and smile but now in the clothes you wear? I definitely can relate to that but our lady object of admiration dint let all her hard work prevent her from dressing up and being elegant in her choice of what was filling up her closest. In verse 22 "She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made]."---There you have it, lets embrace her elegance!
#KINDNESS: Oh geez!!! This woman literally just keeps blowing my mind having me think, "So after all these she still has strength to be kind?" LOL well yes she does! In verses 20 we read "She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit]" and 26(b) "and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]." There is something about reaching out to the needy, the homeless, the poor. Sometimes we get trapped up with things to do and things to spend our money on that we hardly reach out to these people. So many verses in the bible talk about giving to the poor and most of the time we defend ourselves by saying "we don't even have that much". And this is very true but we must not forget that we have what we have because God wants us to give to others that don't have. So that we may be blessings unto others. I am a strong believer of giving to others in need being a major reason why God gives unto us--Ephesians 4: 29 "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth". But still we fall short---May God help us!
And to the most common quality we all crave in our relationships-#TRUST. By now in our various levels of our lives, we must have figured that we cant really buy trust and neither can you sell. Trust is something that he been built, trust has something in relation to openness, transparency. These weren't lacking in her relationship, in fact we see the depth of his trust in her in verses 11 and 12 "The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil; She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her". I am sure the husband dint wake up one random morning and trusted her with his life--she earned it, the same way we need to earn it in our various relationships. Sometimes people need to know you, know your values, your value system(the way you prioritize your values) and be able to confidently say you are who yo say you are.
#WISDOM, wisdom, wisdom! Verse 30b "But a woman that feareth the Lord shall be praised". We cant really talk about wisdom without talking about the fear of the Lord. Or can you? Certainly not me and in this post. We read on her express of wisdom in verse 16 "she considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard", the word that strikes me with her wisdom is the second word in that verse "considers", it shows before she makes a move, much thinking and deliberation is done before she goes ahead with a plan or an idea. This attitude is necessary in almost everything we do and say also as in verse 26a "She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom". Let us consider them all for we know that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom"-Proverbs 1:7
Don't scratch your head, or feel exhausted, that's not the point of this post. Yes, all these can seem tough but hey, they are very possible. Sometimes we may all find ourselves questioning how she was able to pull all of these up, remembering how difficult it might be to apply all of these to our very westernized times, my answer to those questions lie in these 2; COMMITMENT and GRACE. We need to commit to being virtuous, we need to focus on being that woman as described in this chapter and then crowning our commitment by asking our God of his grace. By now if you read my posts, you would understand I am a sucker for grace and to receive the grace, we need to humble and ask because God gives grace to the HUMBLE.
Picture taken from holy nativity convent, click here to visit
Thanks for reading my translation and for many more versions from other bloggers' perspective of Proverbs 31 visit these blogs:
Preserve your saltiness,