THE WOMAN WHO FEARS THE LORD
10 [d] An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself[e] with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[f]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
Why is this important to me?
Oh, I remember when we were first married and how I would get up in the morning, make coffee, make breakfast and bring it to my new husband on a tray as my mother did for so many years for my father. I remember talking him into letting me do his laundry as I thought that it was important that I be the one to do it for him. I remember wanting to please him in so many ways whether it be helping him grow his business by handwriting mailers at night after our dinner, helping him with seminars or just supporting him when his days were long and uncertainty was great. I remember even taking up golf, which was important to him.
As the years slipped by and we became accustomed to one another and we were drawn into life as a married couple, it seems that the routine of breakfasts, laundry, golf, and so many other things became a thing of the past. We had children that needed our attention, my husbands career changed and I was needed in different ways to support him, and society convinced us that being a part of the community was more important. Time for our family unit was short, time for us was minimal and it seems that the once important process of pleasing one another as we once had became a thing of the past.
As I attended Community Bible Study one fall, we began the study of Proverbs. I was a core leader at the time and had a wonderful group of ladies that were Titus women, helping me as a facilitator to grow in my understanding of the Proverbs. We discussed many items in our discussions and I will never forget some of the wisdom passed down from several of them.
1. Community service is great, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the family first. We have limited time to be with our children, so use this time to raise them and help them to be seekers of the Word first. Charities can wait.
2. When doing housework, do we dread it or are we taking in the blessing that God has bestowed upon us. After all, we wouldn’t have mounds of laundry, piles of dishes, books and games sprawled upon the tables and floors if God had not allowed us to become wives and mothers. Perhaps we should enjoy every moment folding that laundry and cleaning up those toys.
3. When your husband comes home what does he come home to? Is he coming home to a house in chaos or a house of love that is joyful to return to when he opens the door. Taking a look at how our household runs makes an impact on our marriages and the life of our children.
4. And finally Proverbs 31:10-31. The view of husbands upon their wives. Keepers of the home, trustworthy, God fearing, God loving, trusting and hardworking that never ceases. One of the Titus women commented on even our appearance. Although we as Christian women know that our husbands love us for who we are without fanfare, we need to consider how they spend their days and the temptations that they are exposed to. If they spend their days at the office with women who are wearing clothing that is appealing, if they are made to feel more important by those who look up to them, or if they are with women who just plain want a life with them then as wives we put our families at risk when we allow our husbands to come home to frump city. We should consider taking a shower, making dinner and putting on clothes that represent the wonderful provider he is. We should perhaps put on some makeup or at least brush our hair and greet him with a loving nature that shows him how important he is.
I remember this woman looking at all of us in the room and her wonderful words of wisdom and I began to reflect upon the generations of past. One of my grandmother’s would do all of her cleaning, cooking and charity work during the day and by 3:00 p.m. it was time to clean up for my grandfather. My other grandmother raised 6 children, and I remember seeing a video of her on a sledding hill with her beautiful dress and winter coat helping her children get onto their sleds. My mother did much the same thing, having dinner ready when my dad came home and retreating to their room for their half hour of quiet time together before facing the children and the problems of the day.
I remember thinking also how I allowed life and society to interfere with my delight in taking care of my family. I posted Proverbs 31:10-31 on my kitchen refrigerator and pondered it daily until I began to truly feel those words on my heart. It took years, yet it worked. I now consider my life as a wife and mother to be the most joyful, most successful thing I have ever done and will ever do. Oh, it’s not perfect daily, and I could always do better, yet as I see how I viewed this blessing 10-15 years ago and compare it to now, I see growth.
That is why Proverbs 31:10-31. I know that it means different things to different women. I know that not all will agree with what my opinion is. That is fine. I am just giving an explanation of why it’s an important part of my life and why it’s at the top of my blog. I hope to pass it down to my daughter for generations yet to come to follow. I hope that the Lord Blesses us with generational strength to be Titus women teaching what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman.