Monday, January 12, 2009

Proverbs 31 - high and holy calling

Day 9 of the true woman conference devotions starts off with this teaser in my mailbox.

High and Holy Calling

In Proverbs 31, we read about a woman who gives and gives and gives. How does she keep giving?

  • You're never more like Jesus than when you're serving.
  • What a blessing it is for a man to know that there's a wife at home who's watching and praying on his behalf, praying that as he goes out into the world, God will protect him and keep his heart pure.
  • It is a high and holy calling to be a helper to your husband and to manage the affairs of your household.
This whole series of devotions has been centred around Proverbs 31:
10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24She 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.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her 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.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

I have to admit...Nancy lost me in this one. She started talking about one of the ways that we can serve our families is by praying for them. But then veers off into talking about not being idle, of becoming or being woman who are busy and not being lazy. I did not make the connection to the two.

So focusing first on the aspect of prayer. It does not say specifically in Proverbs 31 that this woman is a woman of prayer. It talks about how she is a woman who fears the Lord. How she is kind and wise and busy about her duties. I have a hard time imaging a woman who fears the Lord as this one does who doesn't take time to pray. What do we pray for? Most generally the things that are dear to us....our families, our friends, our communities, the jobs that we do and so forth. This is just a reminder to me that praying for these things is an important part of my day. I have a thing up on my bulletin board that gives me things that I can pray for concerning my son every single day. Do I use it every day? no....but if I'm ever stuck (as if) then I have something to fall back to. I had it impressed upon me early in my marriage that the most important thing I can do for my hubby is pray for him. I do that. I pray for him as a pastor, I pray for him as a man, I pray for him as a believer in the One true God. I pray for my son that he grows to know God, to be a person called after God's own heart. If he is, the rest of who he aught to be will fall into place. We have a prayer calendar in church that encourages us to pray for the families in our church...every 42 days or so every family in our church is prayed for.

Now as the how point of idleness.....isn't this something we are all prone to? wanting to just sit back and take care of me? You know .... sleep in that extra half hour, read a book, play on the computer and so forth. The sit back and read a book or sit aimlessly on the computer are my nemesis in life AND I'm slowly learning to control them better. To spend more time doing stuff for others and not just doing my own thing. To just sit back in my chair in the evening and spend time with my hubby when he's home instead of redoing my website or playing computer games. :) To go play trains with my son...or scrapbooking as I did yesterday when ALL I wanted to do was read a book or go to bed for a while. :)

It's all about making choices. Do we serve ourself, do we serve others, or do we choose to serve God in how we live our lives? Service to God takes all sorts of forms....and if we're wives and moms....what do think he's given us to do? let us serve God well by serving our families well.

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