So...back to Proverbs 31. We have seen the relationship between Husband and Wife exemplified. We have also looked at the subject of Hospitality. Today, I had intended on writing about the confidence and strength the Proverbs 31 woman had, but...as I was writing the Lord let me a different direction. So...working is today's topic of conversation...enjoy. I love that the picture God has painted in the Word for women is so well rounded. So many times, especially in secular society, a woman is either or...she is labeled and classified...but not usually as well rounded as she is intended to be. Just take our media for example. You usually have a career woman who is very successful in her field, but she is lacking in the family department. Trying and struggling to make it all work...OR...You have a sweet homemaker that is great at getting everything organized and taking care of the details for hubby and kids, but she is usually pictured as someone with no financial sense and when tradegy strikes...she is at a loss of what to do.
I don't think it is an either or situation.
"She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard..She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. (Pro 31:16-17, 24)"
Now, before I go any farther...REMEMBER...I am a homemaker! I believe that ALL women should be HOME with their children. That our first responsibilty is to our family and raising a generation to run after the things of God...not hope that they pick it up at church or from the Godly neighbor. BUT...that doesn't negate the Proverbs 31 scripture!
Let's take a look...She conciders a field and buys it, with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She perceives that her merchandise is good. Well, that sounds like she has financial sense. She buys and sells! In verse 19 she spins, and in verse 24, "She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant." She is a woman that has skills and talents. She brings in income, or food, or maybe she barders for provisions for her family. I do see that she can still takes care of her family and home, physically, while she is buying and selling. I also see that she is in balance...the last 21 verses in Proverbs are about this woman and only 2 verses are about her "job" or work outside the home. There is more time spent on how she gives, provides and exsaunerates her husband than to how she climbs the career ladder.
I have friends that bring in outside income. One homeschools and works...her job doesn't require her to go into an office so she can do both, successfully. Another one of my friends is a college professor and is gone a few hours while her children are at school, leaving her plenty of time and energy to be wife, mom and homemaker when she is home. It was a career move that she intentionally made when she saw that the classroom teaching life was robbing her of her time and energy for her own family. Another very influencial woman in my life is a world published author and speaker, and along with her husband, she runs a world wide ministry. She also homeschooled all of her children and taught them how to serve by including them at her speaking engagements. I have other friends, who sell multilevel products, peddling their wears when it is convienient to their family schedule...The point is to have a heart for the Lord...NOT your career. Earning money, is NOT the problem...neglecting all the other areas because of a job IS a problem.
If you cannot honor your husband and earn his confidence, get your children ready for school (or school them yourself), make sure everyone is fed, give to people in need...AND speak to others with wisdom and kindness because you are too tired from working...maybe you need to pray and ask the Lord to show you how you can make some changes. Maybe sacrifices like an older car or a smaller house might be an answer. I know that it is a sacrificial lifestyle to live on one income! I do it...one car, small house payment, nice, but not expensive clothes, good food, but on a budget. But it is SO worth it!
If you are a single mom...OF COURSE, you must earn a living!!!! I completely understand...yet, your heart should first be on the Lord, and then your children, and THEN your job. You career should be your means, not your love or passion.
"Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Giver her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates" Proverbs 31:31-31
The Fear, or reverence, of the Lord is what brings praise, reward, renoun that is eternal. The fruit of our hands, well...it is temperal. Jesus tells us in Matthew, "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."(Mat 6:20-21)
I pray that the Lord will continue to bring up a generation of women who's hearts are turned toward Him, whose passions are not for the things of this world, who love and honor their husbands and who are bringing up mighty children of God.