We are in the midst of a new series for wives (and future wives) based on the ideal wife of Proverbs 31. It is both fun and challenging to look at this passage verse by verse and then examine our own lives and look for practical ways to apply these timeless principles. Please join me each Monday for the next 17 weeks as we examine the character and wisdom of this noble woman and learn how we can each become a Model P31!
She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
~ Proverbs 31:14
~ Proverbs 31:14
The excellent wife doesn't look for the path of least resistance. She's willing to "go the extra mile" for her family!
This type of woman scouts out the best deals on food for her family. She is willing to shop around to get the lowest prices, and she purchases her food from several sources to get the best food her money can buy.
During one season of my life, I was definitely shopping like this. We purchased a side of grass-fed beef for the freezer. Then, each week, I stopped at a local farm to buy fresh raw milk; I bought farm fresh eggs from a neighbor; I purchased cases of produce from the state farmer's market; I joined with other families to purchase healthy foods from a food co-op; and, I joined with others to order wheat from Montana to make fresh whole wheat bread. I am no longer part of a food co-op, and I don't have a source for raw milk, but I do buy eggs from friends when available, and we drive about an hour and and a half once a month to buy good quality food at a reasonable price from Costco.
Maybe you aren't part of a buying club or food co-op, but perhaps you shop all over town, buying the sale items at each store, in order to stretch your food dollars. You may even be one of those that matches coupons to the sales and knows how to maximize your savings!
There are many ways for the modern woman to "shop around" and buy quality food for less. I even know some women that order food items from Amazon!
Once at home with her purchases, I don't think the P31 serves her family a steady diet of frozen dinners purchased on her shopping excursions! She takes the extra time and effort to prepare home made meals with quality ingredients to nourish her family! (This would be as a general rule! There are certainly times when shortcuts become necessary!)
I love what I heard a lady say this week -- her goal is to buy and eat food that was grown on plants -- not food that was manufactured in plants! :) An excellent rule of thumb, I think!
Once the food is carefully purchased and prepared, I don't see the P31 throwing it on the table in a haphazard fashion and yelling, "Come and get it!" ;) I imagine her setting a lovely table, and lovingly serving the food she has shopped for and prepared, while sitting down with her family to enjoy a meal together! :)
Setting a nice table may seem like a lot of extra work, and it may not seem worth it . . . until you read what my friend, Charlotte, shares in her post Magic of Ordinary Days.
The little extra touches that we do out of love for our husbands and children do make a difference! Consider these words by Elizabeth George, author of Beautiful in God's Eyes:
Is your heart in tune with God's great heart of love? Do you cherish those at home whom He has given you to provide for? Are you giving your utmost as you work to provide for your family? Proverbs 31:14 -- albeit an image of a merchant ship -- actually addresses a matter of the heart, a matter of love. You see, only love -- God's gracious love -- can motivate you to lay aside selfishness and exert the physical energy needed to set sail on behalf of others. And only the love of God, filling you to overflowing, can supply you with the necessary emotional endurance to forego personal ease and sustain the relentless activity of a lifetime of enterprise for the good of others.
Especially for Single P31s:
If you don't yet have your own husband and family to shop and cook for, you can certainly practice these skills by helping your mother plan, procure, prepare and serve meals for your family. If you live alone, you can sidestep the temptation to buy frozen dinners and eat them out of disposable containers standing up in the kitchen. You can still prepare and serve yourself simple, but nutritious meals, and freeze the leftovers in single size portions for later, or use some of the leftovers to bless widows.
It's never too early to begin cultivating your love for God and for forming the habit of going the extra mile in serving others as you let His abundant love flow through you!
Project P31, Mission #5:
Our mission for this week is threefold. First, it is to search out new sources for our food, so that we can buy healthy food at the best possible prices for our families! Secondly, let's begin searching out and collecting simple, nourishing recipes to make preparing healthful meals "doable." Thirdly, our mission includes serving our meals attractively and creatively for our families! And, we get to practice doing all of this with joyfulness! Of course, there will be challenges. For me, my refrigerator decided to die yesterday, so I have my food in coolers all over my kitchen. That doesn't really motivate me to get in the kitchen and prepare delicious, nourishing meals for my family!! I'm sure you will face some challenges, too, but let's pray for one another that we overcome our challenges and go the extra mile in serving our families With Joy!
Your Turn to Share:
I hope you'll take time to complete your mission for this week and share your thoughts here! Please leave a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at email@example.com if you wish to share a private testimony or a guest post.
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