Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Proverbs 31 - Week 3 - Wise Planning

Proverbs 31:13-15 She finds wool and flax
    and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
    and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
This woman is amazing. Imagine making things with your hands, driving far to bring food home. Waking before the sun is up to prepare breakfast for your family and plan the day's work for servant girls.

Okay so we don't have servant girls but we do have something they didn't have back then. Dishwashers and Washing Machines, Ovens, Toasters, Electricity. It was necessary to get up before dawn to prepare breakfast. It wasn't a case of open packet, nuke it, snack it. A lot of preparation needed to be done before a meal was put on the table. There was a lot of chores than needed to be done. Nothing was instant. She finds wool and flax in it's rawest form and has to spin it before she can use it.
She needs servant girls to help with all of theses tasks. She runs her home well. She understands what needs to be done and she plans for it.

She doesn't just go afar to get food on a whim. She carefully selects food for her family and if it cannot be found close by and it is of better quality elsewhere she will travel far to bring it home. Only the best for her family.

How does this apply to us today? We do not have servant girls but we do have appliances and yet still with all the appliances and things to make life easier things are still hard. We have become too proud to ask for help or accept help when offered. Women feel they need to be everything to everyone and do everything. Taking care of our homes and our families is not just a job it is who we are created to be. We were created to be helpers. Not only do we help our husbands but we can help women around us.We don't have servants but we do have friends. Allowing others to help us when we really need it makes us deal with issues of pride but it also encourages your friends to help others in small ways too.
Asking someone to mind your child for an hour or so while you clean house or just have some time to yourself is not something you need to be guilty about. I don't think for one second that the Proverbs 31 Woman ever felt guilty for having servant girls. Quit the pride and ditch the guilt. We do not need that in a life of a helper.

Plan your day. If you really are not a morning person (like me) plan the night before. Know exactly what needs to be done. Be sensible about what you plan to do. Cleaning the whole house in one day though noble is not very wise. You will get a fourth of the way through and will collapse in a heap of despair. List 6 things you want to get done and work in 15 min increments. I get very bored with a task if I do it for 2hours straight and see no progress but if I do just a little bit and set a time limit I am least likely to get distracted. Put some music on and fold that laundry. When you do laundry, break up the task. For 15 mins round up laundry and sort it, 15 mins of folding and then 15 mins of packing away etc.

Put your children to work. I am not talking child slave labour. I am saying they are a part of the family and also help making a mess so they can help put it straight. Obviously this needs to be age appropriate. Do not let your toddler use the iron and stuff like that.
Husbands are you a help or a hindrance to your wife and how she is trying to run your household? I am not saying this gives her permission to be a nagging fishwife but in the same way that she is supportive of your need to work late to meet a deadline you need to be supportive of the chores that need to be done around the home. There are just some things that a man must take care of around the home. Taking out the trash, changing light bulbs, fixing broken stuff, making sure the car is safe to drive, mow the lawn. There are of course exceptions and every family is different but husband and wife are to care for each other's needs above their own. Yes husbands provide for their family outside the home but providing inside the home is just as if not more important. Being available to your children and speaking life into their futures and encouraging your wife after a long day is just as valuable as when you come home to a hot meal and warm arms after a long and stressful day at work.

We can all learn from the Proverbs 31 Woman. She plans and she does her job well and with excellence (note not perfection), free from guilt, shame and pride.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Proverbs 31 - Week 2 - Virtue

Proverbs 31:10-12
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
    She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
    and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
Virtue - Behaviour showing high moral standards.

A virtuous and capable wife is a great treasure to her husband. He trusts her and his life is made rich and good.
As women it is in our power to build up or tear down with what we believe and what we do. What is our attitude like? Are we trustworthy women? Do we enrich our husbands lives? Are we virtuous? Are we women of high moral standards?

A husband I am sure are so blessed by a wife of quality and virtue.

Now lets flip it and find out more about the husband of this virtuous wife. If his wife is virtuous then he too must be virtuous. You cannot be in a marriage that will last if one person holds moral standards highly and the other does not. If this is a quality that delights a husband then he too will be a virtuous husband not only in his marriage but in his workplace and in every area of his life.
Single people look for someone who has high moral standards and likewise know what you stand for. You will not be able to build a good foundation in a marriage until you are sure what you believe and the things you simply won't negotiate on. If you don't stand for anything you will fall for anything. Ask God to show you how to be virtuous. Read your Bible and learn what God says is a virtuous character.

There is trust within their marriage. He trusts her with his life, the home, finances, their children and his heart. The wife trusts her husband. He is a trustworthy man. She knows that she can rely on him to provide for her and their children and she trusts him with her heart. Submitting to his headship is not based on fear but on trust. They trust each other because they are trustworthy.
Are you looking for someone trustworthy? Are you trustworthy? Do you mean what you say and do what you say you will? Can you be trusted at work and are you trusted by people around you?

She greatly enriches his life and brings him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. This speaks to me of a unselfish woman. She cares for her husband, honours him and makes his life better. She does not tear down their marriage with words and she is a safe place for him to land at the end of a long day.
Marriage isn't 50/50 it is 100/100. Not give and take but give and receive.
Women be the kind of woman that brings richness to other's lives and build others up. Look for a man who is kind to others and who brings value to the friendships he has. Men look for a woman who has friends who are better off by having her in their lives.

A lot of the time in marriage we need to look at ourselves and what we can change and how we can better love our spouses and support them. When women say they don't need a man to make them happy I think they miss out on an amazing journey of character building and finding just what kind of stuff you are made of. Yes it is true that I will not lean on my husband to make me happy or expect him to be totally absorbed in my emotions (they make me tired just dealing with them myself) but having my husband in my life has enriched my life. It is more than just being happy. I trust my husband because he is a trustworthy man. He is a man of noble character and I am blessed to have him in my life.
There are some guys out there that have not been noble or trustworthy and who have harmed their wives but not all guys are like this and there are some really great ones out there who may just need a woman who will come alongside him and enrich his life.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Proverbs 31 - Week 1 - The Proverbs 31 Man

Proverbs 31:1-9  The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him.
 O my son, O son of my womb,
    O son of my vows,
 do not waste your strength on women,
    on those who ruin kings.
 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine.
    Rulers should not crave alcohol.
 For if they drink, they may forget the law
    and not give justice to the oppressed.
 Alcohol is for the dying,
    and wine for those in bitter distress.
 Let them drink to forget their poverty
    and remember their troubles no more.
 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
    ensure justice for those being crushed.
 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
    and see that they get justice.
For the next few weeks I will be looking at Proverbs 31. This Chapter of Proverbs seems to be directed only at married women and all the things they need to live up to, do and be. But I would like to dig deeper and bring out the secret, hidden message of Proverbs 31.

This week we will look at Proverbs 31:1-9. These are the verses before the Virtuous Women verses.
It starts with King Lemuel and it says that it is him retelling the advice his mother gave him.

His mother doesn't go straight into telling him what the right kind of woman he should be looking for is. Instead she says son of mine don't throw your masculinity and strength onto just any woman. Don't crave drink and become drunk. Speak up for those without a voice and speak up for those who are poor and helpless. Be just.

These verses speak of a mother advising her son as to how he should behave and what builds good character in a leader and as a King.

We see more and more young men today who do not value their own virginity and drinking and seeing who gets the most drunk is what makes you a man. They do not care about the little person and instead bully and harm others.

What type of man do you want to be? Moms and dads what kind of man do you want your son to be? Women what type of man are you going to let into your life?
What this world needs the most is men who will be strong in justice for the oppressed and poor. We need men that will rise up, stand and be counted as leaders of integrity, who do not allow drink to be their master. Men who respect themselves and respect women and do not throw their bodies to any women they can find to fulfill their fleshly desires. We need men who are pillars of strength who keep the roof from crashing down on us.
We need godly men who will open their mouths and speak up. Speak up for the one being bullied. Speak up for the unborn child. Speak up for the poor.
We need men who are not filled with wine or beer but filled with the Holy Spirit and not just filled with the Spirit but walking in the Spirit. Galatians 5:16-25

Likewise women if you are to find a man to marry find a man who is filled with the Spirit and walking in the Spirit. A man who will stand up for you. But you too must be walking in and filled with the Spirit. You need to keep yourself from getting drunk and giving up your body to just anyone who fancies you.
Young women today are getting drunk and fall into bed with a new guy every week. These girls then end up in fights and brawls and if their great-grandmother saw them she would me totally mortified.
What happened to the ladies and gentlemen of old. You could say that we need to get with the times and that chivalry is so old school. We preach equality of genders but haven't we just traded one set of chains for another?

Feminism brought in some good things such as women being allowed to vote and equal pay and employment. But women have gotten so uptight over men opening the door for us and letting us go first and treating us with dignity and respect that now we are treated as common and just the same as men and thus not deserving of the red carpet we were once on.

I think we have confused equality with value. As humans we are equal but as men and women we are different. We need to realise our roles as different, unique but complimentary. Until we realise that a husband and wife are a team doing different things for the same cause we will never be ready for a Proverbs 31 Man or a Proverbs 31 Woman.

Married men and women what are the things you can change that will help your marriage? Are you the man or women that your marriage needs?
Single men and women are you becoming the kind of person someone would like to meet and spend the rest of their lives with. Have drinking and sleeping around become normal to you?
We are to love our neighbour as ourselves. If we do not love ourselves enough to stay pure how can we be sure we will be able to love others purely?

In the next few weeks we will look at what it means to be a Virtuous Woman and a Valiant Man. It might seem like Proverbs 31:10-31 is for women only but this women's husband is mentioned a few times and her children too.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Psalm 51:10
 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and Renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Create. Some of my family and friends may be getting a little sick of hearing about it but if they haven't they may soon. So instead of my usual Blog I am going to tell you a bit about what has got me so excited. Hopefully it will help get the bits and pieces in my imagination matching up and forming the bigger picture of what God is doing.

Once a month I will be having an afternoon at my house where ladies will come and bring their unfinished things or something that they have been meaning to start or try out but have never got the time to do it. I will also have something set up for those who haven't got anything to bring or who want to learn something new.

Every six or so months we will have a big event at the church building. It hasn't taken shape yet but I have a rough idea of what it might look like and it might even end up looking completely different in the end.

I want it to be a totally unique thing. Completely organic and new.

There are four words that sum up what this is all about:


The meanings of these words are as follows:

Renew - To give fresh life or strength to.

  I want women to feel renewed, refreshed and strengthened. Most of a women's life is about caring and thinking of others needs and wants that we forget that we too have needs and wants and that it is perfectly okay to spend some time doing something we love.

Restore - To return (someone or something) to a former condition, place or position.
               To give (something stolen, taken away or lost) back to the original owner or recipient.

 I would like for women to return to the condition, place and position they were created for. God has put amazing talents, gifts and abilities within us that have gotten squashed or pushed aside by things that have hurt, bruised and scarred us. They have been stolen, taken away or lost over the years. I want this to be a place of restoration of hope, faith, love and trust.

Relate - to make or show a connection between
             to feel sympathy for or identify with

  None of us wants to be lonely and yet this is a prevalent feeling of most women. We all want to be a part of something. We all want to be included and be connected. Women have emotions that help us sympathise with others and we have this deep need to nurture and be nurtured. There has been something lacking in our relationships with each other and I would really love to see new friendships made and connections made. I would like to see the Holy Spirit moving within women's lives and a strong network of prayer for each other established.

Create - To cause to come into being, as something unique

This is the name of this new thing that I am doing. Create.
Everyone is creative. Some will tell me that they are not at all creative. Well I am not creative with drawing people. I know my weaknesses and my strengths. Yes I have a lot of strengths and there is a lot that I do well but there is just as much that I do very poorly. Housework. I do not do housework well. I am first to admit that I suck at it. I never kept my room clean as a child and I have a terrible time of creating order in my house. Others are better at this than I am or they have become very creative (like I have) of hiding the mess.
Some are better at interior decor. This is a bit of a challenge for me. I have been given a bit of this and a bit of that over the years which I am most grateful for but honestly nothing really matches, or it does but I am not sure. If you come visit me you can decide for yourself.
You see being creative is more than just being good with a pencil and some paint or glueing something on the right way it is about being who God created you to be. It is about using the gifts given to you.
You may be really great at making a delicious meal or blessing others. These things all come out of your creativity.
I would like for every women to feel that they are creative. They cause to come into being, as something unique. Not a copy but something that is as unique as their own fingerprint and DNA.

So it is with these 4 words and Psalm 51:10 that I would like to inspire and encourage women to rise up and be all they are called to be.