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 layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. ~ Proverbs 31:19As we've already seen, the virtuous wife was an extremely diligent woman, who was willing to work hard from early in the morning until late at night! In this verse and verse 20 (which we will study next week), her hands are mentioned four times! She was not afraid to "get her hands dirty" and was in fact, always busy working, serving and creating with her hands.
This reminds me of my Mom, who even to this day when her physical abilities are greatly impaired, keeps her hands constantly busy knitting and crocheting gifts for her family and friends. After pushing herself to make full-size, extravagantly beautiful afghans for all 15 of her grandchildren and many other people, she turned to smaller projects and started making hats, scarves, doilies, baby items, etc. Why? Because she can't stand to be idle! She always taught us that "idle hands are the devil's workshop!" :)
Most of my childhood memories of my Mom involve her working with her hands to keep her house immaculately clean, cooking both simple and elaborate meals totally from scratch, making homemade bread and pizza, expertly sewing most of the clothes that she and my sister and me wore, and serving others in any way she could. On top of that, in the evenings or weekends when my Dad would watch something on TV, my mom would sit beside him and either do her handwork from her latest sewing project or knit or crochet baby gifts, sweaters, afghans, doilies, etc!
If you can picture my Mom, who was never idle, always keeping her hands busy in productive pursuits, you will have a perfect picture of the Proverbs 31 woman!! Not only was this woman busy all day meeting the needs of her family, giving her servants their work, buying and managing her fields, and running her own profitable home businesses, but she used her evenings productively, too!!
If you remember our study of verse 13, the virtuous woman sought wool and flax. Then, as today's verse states, she skillfully used the distaff and the spindle to convert the processed wool and flax into yarn and thread, which she would have used to weave cloth for garments for her family and to trade to the merchants. I've heard women say that spinning is very relaxing, and it was probably the perfect job for the P31 to do to wind up her busy days.
One of the ways we can become more productive is by learning to wisely use our evenings. Most of us begin to grow weary by evening time and we are tempted to just plop down on the couch and watch some questionable junk on TV or mindlessly surf the Internet. The challenge is to figure out how to wisely redeem our evenings based on the mental and physical energy we have available at that time of day.
Elizabeth George in Beautiful in God's Eyes shared what a struggle it was for her when she first traded watching TV with a bowl of Cheetos and a Coke in the evenings for productive activities that helped develop herself, her family and her ministry. But as she learned to utilize her evenings in productive and creative ways, she discovered a hidden treasure that greatly multiplied her productivity! Now she loves using her evenings to assemble Bible study workbooks, autograph her books for Bible Study groups, answer correspondence, balance the checkbook, sort mail and flip through magazines, fold laundry, and sift through books of quotations and illustrations, looking for things she can use in her teaching, speaking and writing.
One of the top leaders in my company shares how she traded out watching shows such as American Idol in the evenings after her kids were tucked into bed for investing in her own personal growth. She started reading books and listening to audios that helped her grow as a person, business woman and leader, and her business skyrocketed as a result!
I find that my mind shuts down at night, and I simply can't write a blog post or read a deep, theological book. And if I get still for too long, I'm pretty likely to start dozing! So, I have to choose my evening activites accordingly. What about you? How do you use your evenings?
Especially for Single P31s:
If you are a single woman, I encourage you to form habits now of wisely using your time, including your evenings. How this might look will be different based on your season of life, what time of day you work, and whether you are more of a morning person or more of a night person. If you are still young, it might seem that you have plenty of time with your whole life before you, but let me warn you that your life is just a vapor . . . and if you don't live intentionally, it will evaporate before you know it without you having accomplished anything of value.
Project P31, Mission #9:
How are you doing on our mission assignments each week? Your mission for this week is to evalute how you use your evening hours and discern if there are better ways to invest that time. Are your hands busy, even when your body grows tired? What do your hands reach for at night? A snack? A romance novel? The remote control? What activities can you plan for the evening hours that will be the best use of your time??
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.
If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites. Thank you!
I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine! Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage. Don't forget to link back to my blog! Thanks!
NOTE: Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post. Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name! Thanks!