Monday, November 5, 2012

Virtuously Guiding The House

"I will therefore that the younger women marry,
bear children, 
guide the house
give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully."
I Timothy 5:14 (emphasis mine)
(KJV)


A Virtuous Woman Series - Part 6 of 8

(If you wish, to better understand this study, please read
Part 1,
Part 2,
Part 3,
Part 4, &
Part 5
of the Virtuous Woman series first.)

Did you ever stop to consider all that goes into "guiding the house"?
Once I read an article that broke down a woman's duties in the home,
attaching the cost for services to each individual job she performs.
I don't remember what the dollar values were for each one, 
but it was interesting to see what a woman's annual salary would be 
should she be competitively paid for every duty she performs
on a daily basis.

Running a household is no easy feat.
Keeping up with everything that is placed on our plate
takes diligence,
dedication,
and determination.


Our homes are our "business".
They have been placed in our hands
by the hands of a loving God.
Our job is to be a good steward over the "business"
with which He has entrusted us.

Sometimes, this is not easy.
Especially in modern times.
We live in such a fast-paced world.
We live life in the fast lane,
forever trying to keep up with the speeding traffic around us.

God has taught me to slow down.
That I am only one person.
That I can only do so much.
That to take on more than I am capable of creates stress.
That He only requires Biblical commands of me,
and as long as I stay in those parameters....
those boundaries....
I am happy...
content...
and at peace.
That the most important matters are matters of the heart...
and relationship...
with Him,
my husband,
and my child.
That the house which He has commisioned me to guide
is truly a mission field...
my mission field....
and guiding it joyfully and prayerfully and with discretion
is extremely important to Him.

So, what exactly are the Biblical guidelines
for a woman to "guide the house"?

I don't think we can find it any clearer or more precise
than in the Proverbs 31 description of a virtuous woman.
She truly had it all together.
She guided her house efficiently...
like a true professional...
and she stayed within parameters that did not overwhelm her.
Her husband and children were dearer to her heart than all others.
Making home a better place for them was of utmost importance to her.
She guided her house with discretion,
unselfishness,
and love.

"She considereth a field, and buyeth it:  
with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard." Verse 16

She doesn't make impulse purchases.
She considers her business decisions carefully.
She regards the value of money.
Once she is certain it is the right thing,
she invests wisely.
She is industrious.
Her hands are not idle.
She isn't afraid of getting her hands dirty.
She is willing to carry her part of the load.
She doesn't wait for someone else to do what needs to be done.
She rolls up her sleeves and delves into a project without fear.
She saves costs by doing things herself whenever possible...with a willing heart.
She doesn't just buy something to be buying it.
She purchases what will be most beneficial...
not only to her...
but to those in her household.
She knows there is more to consider than her own selfish desires.
She looks ahead to the finished product...
in Proverbs 31, the sweet, ripened grapes that one day she and her family would enjoy.
She doesn't just consider what "feels right" for the moment.
She knows there will always be a harvest,
and she sows seeds that will produce the kind of fruit
that will best enrich the lives of her family.

"She is not afraid of the snow for her household:  for all her household are clothed with scarlet."
Verse 21

She doesn't fear adverse conditions,
because she is prepared.
"Scarlet" here means double garments.
She doesn't just do what is "required" and minimal.
She goes over and beyond....
walks the extra mile....
 to make sure her family is prepared
for whatever comes.
Should snow come, they are ready,
because she has reinforced their means of staying warm.
Should storms suddenly arise,
fear is not necessary for she has prepared ahead of time.
She doesn't panic.
Her faith and trust are in the One Who sends the snow.
She knows if He sent it, there was good reason for it.
There is no need for alarm.
Her hand is safe within the grasp of the hand Who rules the universe.

"She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant."
Verse 24

The work of her hands is of marketable quality.
She doesn't cut corners.
She has a sharp mind for business.
She has initiative and is a self-starter.
She knows the value of her own work,
and she is successful in promoting it for the benefit of her household.
She uses the talents, gifts, and abilities God has instilled within her
to make life better for her family.

"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness."
Verse 27

Her husband and children are always at the forefront of her motives.
She looks out for them at all times.
They are in her heart...
they are her heart.
When she is tempted to slack off,
she thinks ahead of how it will affect them,
and she selflessly puts their needs ahead of her own.
She finds this is truly the happiest way to live.
She is never lazy, but always ambitious.
Her eye is sharp....
quick to identify trouble signs,
and she refuses to overlook them....
hoping they will go away on their own.
She has found this doesn't usually happen.
She realizes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
She is quick to spot trouble in the eyes of her husband.
She is in tune with his emotions and knows his heart.
She spots the slightest change...
and shift...
in his behavior.
She has learned that finding out what is wrong
sometimes takes effort,
but it is always well worth it.
She has found that the best way to his heart is through love...
and kindness...
and understanding.
It works every, single time.
She recognizes that a disrespectful tone in the voice of her child today
will fester into rebellion in the heart of her teenager tomorrow.
She has learned that sadness in the eyes and melancholy in the tone can usually be
eliminated through a heart-to-heart talk.
So, she takes the necessary time...
to stop what she is doing,
put everything else on hold,
sit down,
and listen to them.
She waits until the heart is poured out.
She knows that sometimes it takes time...
to break through the barriers...
the walls of defense...
and the gaps in communication...
to get to the bottom of the real source of the problem.
She realizes that many times it happens a lot quicker
if the bridge begins with a hug.
She has learned that the power of her arms around their shoulders is stronger than the loudest of tones,
the most cutting of words,
and the most intimidating of looks.
She has found through experience that many times her hug is the melting point...
sometimes that is the only "correction" that is needed.
Her arms have the innate ability to draw out the deepest of secrets...
the most shattered of dreams.
She makes the problems of her husband and child her most pressing priority.
She is quick to respond to potential and current problem areas...
she doesn't put it off until tomorrow.
She knows tomorrow could be too late.
She deals with it now.
She doesn't waste time,
then wonder why her work is not done.
She knows time is precious,
and every second counts.
She does what needs to be done,
regardless of the level of difficulty,
time required,
or sacrifice involved.
She realizes she can expect a higher level of productivity
and assistance in the home, if she sets the example of ambition.
She often affirms her husband and children with words of praise.
She realizes it is not necessary to point out their every flaw
or exaggerate their every failure.
Maybe they don't make the bed as well as she does,
but she realizes it doesn't really matter.
The bed is made and the anticipated outcome has been accomplished.
She keeps critical thoughts in her mind where they originate
and doesn't allow them to develop into hurtful words.
She commends their efforts...often.
She begins her requests with words of gratitude...
for what they have already done.
She is wise.
She doesn't harbor a martyr mindset.
She doesn't pity herself and complain about all that is required of her.
She is thankful she has a home.
She is deeply grateful for the ones God has placed in her life to look after.
She reminds herself often that the elderly widow next door would
give everything she has to trade places with her.
She never takes her husband and children for granted.
She is highly aware of how precious their lives are,
and she continually loves them with all her heart.


Romans 12:10,11 says,
"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; 
in honour preferring one another; 
not slothful in business..."

Keeping a loving, affectionate, tender, kind, compassionate heart
and maintaining the heart of a servant
will make the work of "guiding our house"
a complete joy.

Next to our relationship with God,
our husbands and children are most important.
Keeping them our priority,
loving them enough to put their needs ahead of our own,
creates an atmosphere of peace in the home
that nothing else can reproduce.

The Proverbs 31 woman knew this...
I'm glad she shared the secrets of her heart,
aren't you?

10 comments:

  1. Oh how the Provers woman causes us to feel guilty at times as she puts us to shame. we strive to do the best we can and often fail. Keep a clean house, cook good food and watch our words will go a long way to match up with this precious lady. Thank you for sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that the truth, Hazel. I fall so incredibly short. I am most grateful for God's amazing grace, aren't you? :) Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the wonderful link-up opportunity! God's peace be with you, Cheryl

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  2. Hello Cheryl, I hope to think one day my Children will rise up and call me blessed! For my heart is a Proverbs 31 woman!! I think I may need to copy these series and take my time reading them!
    Blessings, Roxy

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Roxy, I sure hope our sweet boy rises up and calls me blessed, too. Oh, to walk worthy of that kind of reward! I fall so short, but by God's grace we can all become the women He seeks. I would love for you to copy the whole series and read it. Please feel free, and may God bless you on your journey in Him! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving encouragement behind. Love, Cheryl

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  3. Being a Proverbs 31 woman is something I strive for, but fall so short of. Thank you for sharing at Tales of a Pee Dee Mama.

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    Replies
    1. Me, too! I fall so miserably short. I am so thankful for God's amazing grace! It covers us and fills in the blanks. God knows how much we desire to be that woman, and He is merciful. Thanks for the link-up, and have a blessed day! Love, Cheryl

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  4. Thanks for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday! Join us again next week. God bless!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link-up and for stopping by here...have a blessed day! God's peace be with you, Cheryl

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  5. Thank you for this reminder and explanation. Blessings,
    Laura

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Laura, for stopping by! It was so nice to hear from you. Have a blessed day in Him, Cheryl

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