Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Proverbs 31 - Week 4 - Open Arms, Outstretched Hands.

Proverbs 31:16-20
She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.

What a business woman she is. She considers a field, buys it and then makes a profit. But she doesn't just stop there. She takes her profit and then plants a vineyard. She makes sure that what she produces is of the highest quality.

Her arms aren't weak because she uses them. She digs and plants and sells. She is by no means lazy. She stretches out her hands to the distaff and her hand holds the spindle. A distaff also means woman's work but I find this fascinating that this women doesn't think that this job is derogatory but she stretches her hand out to it and her other hand holds the spindle.

It is her job and she knows it's value. I understand that women may feel pushed into this mold of being the ones to do the cooking and cleaning and sewing. We want to do the business stuff and  do everything a man can. But is that really wise. I love being a woman. Without this woman everyone would be naked. She was still a business woman but she was female. She bought her field and from the profits of that field she plants a vineyard so that she can make wine and sell grapes so that from those profits she can buy flax and spin it and dye it for her family so they may be clothed. But not only that she stretches out her hand to the poor and needy. She looks after her family and then looks after others in her life that are need. She is so productive that her family is fed and clothed. They have enough left over that she can extend her hand out to those who are in need.
Her lamp doesn't go out at night. She leaves it on as she plans and thinks about ways to manage her businesses and her household. And she spends it seeking the Lord in the quiet when everyone is asleep.

We like to limit ourselves to just one thing in our lives. We feel overwhelmed with all the hats we have to wear and we crave me time but what really mean is that we are lost and we do not understand our worth. We have traded our red carpet for a dirt road. When once woman were praised and were seen as the center of society. The very part of society that kept everyone together and working. We have traded it in for being just like a man. We were never called to be men and do what men do. Our arms are strong but they are strong for different tasks. We do business but we do it differently. We love our children but that we do differently too. I am not saying don't go to work but what I am saying is when you do go to work be feminine. Be an awesome woman with that awesome brain you have. Let a man open a door for you and let you go first into a building. It won't kill you. We need to honour the role God has given men and we need to honour God in the wonderful roles He has given us.

We have gotten so independent that we only trust ourselves and in only trusting ourselves we become selfish with what we will extend and stretch our hands out to. When we become independent of  God then we trust Him less. Marriage is about trust but if we are all busy being Mrs and Miss Independent who are we trusting? We need to be trust worthy and learn to depend on God for everything, trusting that He will come through for us, strengthen us and that we will listen and be obedient to what He wants us to do so that we can help and serve those in our lives better. When we bless our families and when we bless those in need then God is blessed and when God is blessed we will be blessed. We will be satisfied. We will do all things, not matter how menial, to the Glory of God.

What does the husband of this woman look like? He trusts her and backs her up. He is proud of all she does with her hands. He trusts that when she sets out to buy a field she is doing it with commonsense. He rejoices when she sets out on these ventures and is greatly pleased with this wonderful and beautiful woman he has married. 

Single woman, in your singleness do not become so independent that you forget to trust and look out for the needs of others. If you choose to get married one day it will make it so much easier in your marriage when you are already focused outward. 

So today see what you can consider in your life. What gifts has God given you? How can you best use them to make a profit in your life? What are the things you need to open your arms to and extend your hands to? What is it that God wants you to take up and grasp today?

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