So, did you do your homework. I have to be honest with you, it was really difficult for me to flat out ask my husband if he trusted me in ALL areas. I was nervous that there may be something that he had reservations about and had not brought up. I want very much to be what he needs for me to be so that he can be the man God wants him to be. Just as I am sure he wants to be the man I need him to be for me to be the woman God wants me to be. I did work up the nerve though, and was pleased to discover that there were no areas he had reservations about.
The list of qualities was a bit harder for me. I have always been the type to focus more on my faults than on my good qualities. That is why I made it a point to make a list, to force myself to identify the good. I meant it when i said that that I don't believe that is what God wants for us. So I made my list, how about you?
That brings us to this weeks verses to meditate on:
12 She brings him good, not harm,Notice that this is a focus on action. Like many things in the Bible, you heart has to be right first (having noble character) but you have to follow through with actions. James 2:26 says that, "faith without works is dead". James had been talking about faith, and had even commented that some say they have faith while we have works and James was attempting to tell them that he demonstrates his faith THROUGH his works. The works can not replace faith, they are an extension of faith. I believe that the rest of Proverbs 31 is a statement of how this noble woman demonstrates her value through her works, not to show she is valuable (ie not to earn value) but because these works are an extension of her noble character.
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
The first character trait is that she strives to bring good to her husband, to not bring him any harm. This is a daily effort on her part for the rest of her life. It isn't contingent on how he treats her, whether he took out the trash or took the kids for a few hours, or remembers to serve her. This is not an if/then statement. It is simply a statement. She does this...period. I don't believe that this means she loses herself in the process, or that she works so hard at this that she neglects or brings harm to others. To me this means that given two or more options she chooses the one that helps her husband. Packing lunches for the kids, take a moment and pack a healthy lunch for you husband also. You get a phone call to help with a fundraiser at the school that will require you to give up your date night, politely decline and spend the time with your husband. The big one I had to work on last time I studied this was my tongue. I had a habit of talking to my best friend at the time when my husband and I were arguing about a topic. That in and of itself isn't a bad thing, and if the friend is a Godly woman it can even be a good thing. My problem was that the things I was saying were not things that brought good to my husband. I attacked him in those conversations rather than his actions or discussing my reaction to his actions. My words were bringing harm. This week examine your actions, and your motives. Are they those that will bring good to your husband?
Next, " She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands" This is a woman who works, perhaps not at a paying job, but she doesn't sit idle all day long. She seeks quality materials to work with and then works with them. My wool and flax tends to be yarn. I enjoy crochet. However, I don't think it is so much the material she works with, or what work she is doing with eager hands, so much as that she is working with eager hands. Admittedly, this is an area that I have slipped away from since I studied this last. I find that I now spend entirely to much time idle, often in front of this computer screen. What do you work with eager hands? Do you work with eager hands? As women today we are very busy, some of us may work outside the home, others are SAHM's who volunteer quite a bit. My questions isn't so much do you work, because I know you probably do is some fashion, it is whether or not you do it eagerly. As a SAHM, I find that I am not so eager to get up and vacuum the house, pick up the toys and various paraphernalia of 4 children, wash dishes, do load after load of laundry every week, cook dinner, and find time to volunteer at the church. I tend to forget why I am doing this and begin to focus on how much I dislike it. When I stop and re-examine the why, I find that more often than not these works become less of a chore and more of a gift. I am blessed to have 4 children to care for, a wonderful husband to cook for, a welcoming and inviting church to volunteer at. When I re-examine I become eager to do things to help, I begin to work eagerly. Are you working eagerly? or are you plodding along waiting for it to be done so you can do something else?
I hope that this has helped you in some way today, if so, please let me know!