Recently, I introduced 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 18 weeks as we examine the character and wisdom of this noble woman and learn how we can each become a Model P31!
She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands.
~ Proverbs 31:13
~ Proverbs 31:13
This woman doesn't spend her days lounging around, watching TV, playing Farmville, or surfing the 'net. She doesn't even wait for work to come to her. She seeks out the raw materials needed and works willingly with her hands. She is productive!
During biblical times, wool was commonly used for outer garments, while flax was used for inner garments and tunics. There were several painstaking steps required to acquire these raw materials, process them, spin the threads, weave the cloth and make all the clothing needed! Reading about all that was involved sounds pretty overwhelming to me, yet this woman worked willingly and joyfully! The Hebrew word for willingly means to work with delight and pleasure!
Instead of grumbling and complaining, and half-heartedly trudging through her day and her work, the P31 works willingly and joyfully, putting her whole heart into her work!
Ecclesiastes 9:10 -- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.
The joy of the Lord is her strength, filling her heart with a joy from above that energizes the work of her hands! Her joyful heart and busy hands are a blessing to her husband, her family, her home, and her community!
Even though we know this to be true, and we desire to be like the beautiful Proverbs 31 woman, it is easy to fall into a rut of complaining about our work, bemoaning the fact that we are tired, overworked and unappreciated. We might look around and see others relaxing or playing while we are seemingly always working and become resentful. The more we focus on all we have to do and the fact that we seem to be the only one doing it, the more bitter and contentious we become!
I love what Elizabeth George says in Beautiful in God's Eyes:
I think key to her joy is the fact that she looks at her work with anticipation rather than dread. She sees tasks as challenges rather than drudgery. Her positive outlook springs not merely from love for her family, but also from her joyful habit of looking at each demanding task of life and deciding to do it, to do it well, to do it unto the Lord, and to enjoy doing it!We choose our attitudes in this life. Contentment and joy are choices. Yes, we may feel overwhelmed by all the work we have to do, but when we compare ourselves to the women of the Bible, or pioneer women, who literally spent their whole lives working just to put enough food on the table to survive and making every single item their families wore, we realize how much we have to be thankful for!!
We can choose to tackle our work with a joyful spirit and find ways to make it fun. We can also purpose to use our talents and let our creativity bloom in our homes, which is the theme of the classic book by Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking. There is always something else to explore, to learn, to create, to master for the enterprising P31!
If you don't yet have your own home or a husband or family, you can still work to develop your homemaking skills. You can enrich the lives of others by sprinkling your creativity on all that you do. Also, you are in the perfect season of life for developing your initiative, diligence, and thoroughness -- which are character qualities exhibited by the P31 in this verse. And you can most certainly start cultivating a heart of contentment and joyfulness, no matter your circumstances!
Such a heart can even help you find joy in the work you do at home. After all, every task you do out of a joy-filled heart greatly blesses those you love and serve. When you serve with a heart of joy, you refresh and revive tired souls and hurting spirits. Like a fountain of refreshing water in the dusty, dry desert streets, a heart God fills with His love ministers life and health. Besides, whether you realize it or not, dear one, your heart attitude determines how much you enjoy your work, as well as what the atmosphere of your home will be. When you choose to work with a willing, happy heart, you become a beautiful source of joy to all, a fountain of God-given joy! ~ Elizabeth George, Beautiful in God's Eyes
Project P31, Mission #4:
Our mission for this week is to tackle our work with our whole hearts, working cheerfully, no grumbling allowed! When tempted to complain, we should count our blessings instead and look for things to be thankful for! When our work feels like drudgery, we should look for ways to be creative and make it fun! When tempted to compare with others who seem to have it easier, we can practice contentment. When tears of self-pity spring to our eyes, we get to practice joyfulness! When confronted with a difficult job, we can perfect our initiative and diligence! Who's ready to get started??
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to share a private testimony or a guest post.
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