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.