Monday, April 19, 2010

A Proverbs 31 Woman - Week 7

Thanks for venturing back after last week.  Looking back, that really was a hard one, for me especially.  I am definitely one  of those people who would prefer to help the needy at an arms length without getting dirty or close.  Last week I had to again address within myself how that wasn't truly helping them, it was just pacifying God.  It is like the parable of the offering where Jesus tells us that the woman who gave less money truly gave more to God because of her heart.  If I am just helping from a distance, am I truly doing it with a good heart or only doing it because I am supposed to?  For me, it is the supposed to thing more often than the heart thing.  But enough of last week, what is in store for us this week.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; 
she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 
(verses 21-22)

Again a demonstration of preparedness.  The Proverbs Woman makes sure that her family will be clothed for the harsh, cold winter.  Not only are they clothed, but they are clothed in scarlet, a color of wealth.  She has made coverings for the beds, presumably from the yarn she has spun from the wool and flax she has gathered.  In addition, she is dressed nicely.  So let's break this down.

As the Proverbs Woman, we need to prepare for what we know is to come.  Does this mean worry about what is to come?  No, our Bible tells us that we should not worry, but trust in God.  However, we know that winter snow means cold weather.  We know that winter is going to come.  Since we know these things, we need to prepare for them. Winter is more than just a season, it is also symbolic for the hard times in our lives, the times we need to strap in and trust that God will see us through.  We need to be ready for these times in our lives to the best of our ability.  Once we have done that, we need to leave the rest to God.

Not only has the Proverbs Woman prepared the best clothing that she could for her family, she has also made coverings for the families beds.  She provides for her families needs through her own efforts.  Again this verse tells us that she took the time to make the coverings, just as she took the time to get the wool and flax, to spin it into yarn.  I picture her taking the time to dye it the favorite color of each member of her family, or when weaving or knitting or crocheting the coverings she works a pattern that the intended recipient would enjoy.  She does this not because she has to, she does have servants remember, but because it is a demonstration of her love for her family.  Does this mean that we need to all make coverings for the family beds?  I don't think so.  I think this is to remind us that whatever we are doing, we need to do it in love.  Follow through with it.  This woman could have picked out the wool and stopped there saying that she took the time to find the best for them.  She could have gone ahead and spun it into yarn and then stopped there saying that she took the time to do so for them.  But no, she finished the task herself.  This is a lesson we can apply to anything we do for our family.  How easy it would be to say, "Hey, I picked out the decor for your room, now you assemble it and put it together."  How much love is that really showing?  We need to follow through on what we do.

Finally, this woman still finds the time to put on her pretty clothes.  I don't know about you but I would be much happier in an old, stained T-shirt and pair of paint splattered sweatpants.  What I have discovered, though, is that my actions are a reflection of my dress.  When I wear the old, comfy clothes I want to be comfy.  I don't want to scrub the floors, or do a load of laundry.  But when I take the time to consider my clothes, I tend to take more time considering my actions, even if it is just jeans and T-shirt minus the stains.  I have found that when I pay attention to my appearance physically, I pay more attention to the details of my day, I am less likely to put off doing a task.  Don't know the psychology behind it, or if that is even a typical reaction, but it is what it is.  I do think it is important for us to pay attention to our appearance.  Even if it is just to be attractive to our husband.  I mean seriously, who wants to come home after a day of work to see their spouse sitting there looking all frumpy?  Is that really going to bring happy thoughts to his head?  It sure wouldn't mine!

So that is my two cents for the week.  What do you think?
  Love,

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