Ready to tackle more targets? How are you doing so far? Are you pausing in your day to consider new ways you can please the Lord by pleasing or even bewildering your husband?
If all you can do right now is recognize your struggles, that’s okay. Take what you see to God; He knows it all anyways, and He’ll transform our hearts so our actions follow. Confess your sin, surrender to His desires, and ask Him for the power to do things differently in the most difficult moments. Then take action. Like a lamp that shines when it’s switch is flipped on, so God’s power flows when we obey. He’s already made the first move; don’t wait for Him to do what He’s already empowered you to do.
Target FOUR: Working willingly, diligently, and profitably.
She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands (13). She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard (16). She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants (24).
This woman didn’t just kick back and enjoy the luxuries of her hard-working husband; she labored for her household, managed family assets profitably, and even produced goods to generate income.
Whether we work for a paycheck or not, we can be active participants in the economics of our homes, doing whatever is required of us to maintain productive households.
The Proverbs 31 woman was willing to work with her hands! She ventured out, procured materials, and generated goods. That’s not to say we all should be sewing our own clothes. My family would be naked! For us, it might mean doing simple chores and giving priority to the things that are most important to our husbands, all without grumbling or complaining or expecting accolades, seeing even the mundane tasks through to the end with excellence.
It’s respecting budgets, making our money work for us, and following how our husbands’ desires for our family finances as we shop, save, and even invest. For years, my kids and I dedicated Sunday afternoons to cutting and filing coupons from several papers. It helped us keep more of the little we had, and that’s a form of being profitable.
We have a job to do in our homes. Many times it’s not fun or glamorous and requires learning and doing things we don’t like and aren’t good at, like balancing a checkbook. But we can do these things anyways knowing it’s not about performance but the attitude and fortitude we apply to the responsibilities we have to run industrious households as a matter of the heart.
Target FIVE: Making sure the household has what is needed, including help, if necessary.
She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants (14-15).
Adopting the Proverbs 31 woman’s do-whatever-it-takes resolve means loving our families by making sure we have what is required to maintain a functioning home with a pleasant environment. This principle requires looking ahead, planning, and doing our very best to stick to our plan even when it’s difficult.
For me, this means grocery shopping when I’m too busy or don’t feel like it so James always has what he really enjoys, like pump dispensers on his personal products, chips and salsa or supremely spicy hummus after a hard day’s work, and a bowl of cereal between 2 and 4 a.m. as consolation for insomnia.
It’s planning a menu and building my grocery list based on the week’s activities, the time I have to cook, and who’s eating each meal. I don’t attempt a new gourmet recipe from complicatedrecipes.com on the nights we’re running out the door for an evening activity. If my older kids, who HATE soup, will be home for dinner, I try to cook anything but soup!
I also apply this whatever-it-takes principle to laundry. While I actually love cooking, I don’t love laundry. Sorting is fine, but everything after that does nothing for me, especially the folding and putting away. Nonetheless, James relies on me to wash clothes once a week, and when it’s all done, I do take pleasure in knowing he will have his favorite shirt or pair of jeans or black no-show socks clean and where he expects them to be.
When James and our kids have what they need when they need it, I am doing my job. I may not do it perfectly or to their expectations all the time, but an “E” for effort counts in my book.
Tending to our husbands, families, and homes is our most important responsibility and the filter through which we should consider every commitment for ourselves and our children. Period. If something is interfering with our ability to attend to God’s priorities for us as wives and mothers, and we have the power to do something about it, then we must. It’s the Proverbs 31 thing to do.
Lord, please increase our sensitivity to the needs of our husbands and families and help us to do whatever it takes to love You by serving them more selflessly as we become more wholly Yours today.
Want to read the rest of the blogs in this series?
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