Today I am continuing my 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 as we continue to examine the character and wisdom of this noble woman and learn how we can each become a Model P31!
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. ~ Proverbs 31:17
As a modern woman you may be a bit thrown off by the phrase, "girdeth her loins with strength." Let me explain. In biblical days, both men and women wore long flowing garments, which they gathered up and tucked into a belt (girdle) before going on a journey or tackling a job. So, we might translate that phrase into "she putteth on an apron" or "she putteth on her workout clothes" before she gets down to the serious business of working in her home! I've noticed that being dressed for my work does make it easier to get started!
Now, let's take a look at this passage in the Amplifed version of the Bible:
She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm. ~ Proverbs 31:17 (Amp)
One thing is for sure, this woman was not soft or weak! She was not afraid of hard work and she was certainly not sitting around all day! She filled her days from early in the morning until late at night with productivity, and she worked hard with her hands. If you've ever kneaded bread dough by hand, you'll have no doubt that her arms were strong and firm! :)
What is her secret? Once again I quote from one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth George, from Beautiful in God's Eyes:
She knows her goal: she's on assignment from God to build a home (Proverbs 14:1) and is therefore highly motivated. She wisely plans her days so that each one of them moves her toward her goals and dreams. She works -- and she works hard -- never procrastinating, always using her time well, focusing her plans and her energy on making her dreams come true.
This woman's fear of the Lord and her time spent gaining nourishment from God's word early in the morning, provided the spiritual strength she needed to tackle her demanding schedule. The vision she received from the Lord and the dreams He put in her heart, gave her the motivation and determination to work hard. Then, her willingess to spring into action, working diligently on the tasks at hand, strengthened her physically to perform the work that was a part of her day.
Her mental toughness is crucial, because we all fight the battle over hard work in our minds. It's our mental toughness, our self-discipline that causes us to win the first battle of the day -- the one with the sheets, and to continue to win over our flesh as we choose to get up and make supper, wash dishes, vacuum the carpets, mop the floors, train our children, or help a family in need, instead of sitting in our favorite chair reading a book, watching TV or browsing the internet.
But, even the virtue of hard work is not very effective without a plan! We have to know where we are headed and have a plan to get there! Then we follow through with self-discipline and diligent effort.
I love the exhortation from leadership expert, John Maxwell, to make everyday a masterpiece! How? By our decisions and our disclipline. John Maxwell explains:
Good decisions minus daily discipline equals a plan without a pay off. Daily discipline minus good decisions equals regimentation without a reward.
Especially for Single P31s:
If you are a single woman, you are in the perfect season of life to begin your "strength training!" You can begin now to exercise your faith, seek the Lord for purpose and a vision for your life, and begin a daily "workout plan" that strengthens you for the work the Lord has for you! You can also work to strenghten your mind by filling it with the Word of God and by making the hard choices vs. choosing the path of least resistance. Then, you can follow through with physical work and exercise that strengthens your body so that you will be strong and capable for all the Lord calls you to do, whether as a single or married P31! (He needs both, you know!) :)
Project P31, Mission #7:
Your mission for this week is to look for ways to strengthen your mind and body for the work the Lord has for you to do. If you don't know what God's purpose is for your life, ask Him to reveal it to you. Then, create a daily plan that helps you fulfill the purpose that you believe God has for your life. Begin to discipline your mind by making the hard choices. What is one hard choice you can make this week? Then, look for ways to be more active throughout the day, working hard physically to strengthen your body as you build up your home and family. How can you squeeze more physical activity into your days? What is one hard job you've been putting off that you can tackle this week??
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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