Guest post from Leigh Ann Dutton
The holiday season always encourages us to think about all the ways we are thankful. As I have begun to reflect upon all the things that I am thankful for the thing that came to mind surprised me.
I am thankful for the example of the Proverbs 31 woman, the woman who never ceases to make me feel like my days are spent doing nothing!
Recently, I have been studying the Proverbs 31 woman in hopes of becoming a better wife, mother, and homemaker. The Proverbs 31 woman is the quintessential homemaker that we all long to emulate; however, we usually end up tallying the ways that we don’t measure up, and we grow discouraged.
But I would encourage us to look again at this ideal woman of God, and be thankful instead of discouraged. As I have studied this most magnificent lady, I have learned several important lessons in homemaking. I want to take a minute to talk about two of these lessons.
1. I am motivated to work with willing hands.
She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. ~Proverbs 31:13
As keepers of our homes, we must ask ourselves, are we are going about our work willingly and joyfully out of love for God and our family, or are we are working from a heart of complacency? What is truly motivating us as we go about our daily tasks?
In the monotony of the endless mounds of laundry and holiday dishes to make, it’s easy to grow weary and go through the motions of homemaking.
Instead, God’s word challenges us to work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men (Colossians 3:23). Reading about the Proverbs 31 woman each morning has proven to be a daily reminder of what it looks like to work willingly and joyfully. I am thankful for her example.
2. I am motivated to cultivate my skills.
You have only to read through this Proverb once to learn that this is one talented lady! She can cook, sew, organize, steward, arrange, and do oh so many things – and seemingly all at the same time, to boot.
I have been challenged to evaluate the gifts the Lord has given me.
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What do I do well?
- What skills need to be added to my repertoire?
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace … in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ…” ~1 Peter 4:10, 11.
God has created each of us with unique gifts, and we are to employ these gifts for the good of others, especially our family. This is exactly what the Proverbs 31 woman did. She acknowledged the gifts given her by God, and used them to serve and benefit her family.
Through my study of the Proverbs 31 woman, I am amazed at her ability to balance work life and home life. Her homemaking efforts not only benefit her family, but those in the community as well. Interestingly enough, it all seems to flow together!
I am so grateful for this woman’s example – homemaker extraordinaire. She is an example of strength, dignity, creativity, enterprising, goodness, kindness, and the list goes on. I encourage you, and if I may, challenge you, to take a closer look at the Proverbs 31 woman.
- Observe her character traits.
- Acknowledge them.
- Thank God for this ideal woman of God.
She models for us the abundant fruit of putting God first before all else in our lives.
I like how Elizabeth George describes this virtuous woman in her devotional book, Discovering the Treasures of a Godly Woman:
Won’t you bow your head now and offer thanksgiving to God for His godly woman? She is indeed one of His beautiful gifts to you, a treasure! She is here in Proverbs 31 to inspire, instruct, and encourage you when you fail, when you find your vision dimming, or when you sense your priorities shifting. A fresh visit with the woman who is beautiful in God’s eyes will renew your vision, restore your strength, and rekindle your love for God and your commitment to His magnificent plan for your life!
So, fellow homemakers will you bow your head with me and offer thanksgiving to our wise and loving God for this amazing woman?
What about you? Does the Proverbs 31 woman encourage you in your homemaking efforts, or do you only see the areas in which you fail?
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