by Elizabeth Myers
Christian women wear many hats. These could include that of wife, mother, caretaker, cook, housekeeper, employee, Sunday school teacher, and too many more to list. It takes prayer and guidance from the Holy Spirit to balance our responsibilities, and it can often be challenging; however, there is one expectation the Lord clearly gives in Proverbs 31, which is His pattern for Christian womanhood. Verse 13 says, “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.” Each woman’s individual responsibilities vary, but this is an expectation we all have in common.
The Lord wants each of us to work hard with a willing heart.
Remember the story of Abraham’s servant searching for a bride for Isaac. His servant said in Genesis 24:12, “…O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.” He was praying that the Lord would clearly show him who was supposed to be Isaac’s bride. The Lord then sent a young damsel. Verses 18-20 say, “…and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.” This may seem like a simple task, but a typical camel can drink up to fifty three gallons of water in three minutes and according to the Bible, the servant had multiple camels. Rebekah could have easily gotten over one hundred gallons of water for these camels. The Bible says “…she hasted…” She did not know this man, but she did not hesitate to get the job done. This did not go unnoticed by the Lord or by Abraham’s servant. Hard work with a willing attitude was so important to the Lord that He rewarded Rebekah with a wealthy husband who loved her and took care of her for the rest of her life.
Proverbs 31:27 says, “She looketh well to the ways of her household,…” The ways of each household are different. My husband and I live in a nine-hundred-square-foot apartment that takes about an hour and fifteen minutes every week to clean. I have a very easy-going husband who loves my thirty-minute meals. Tending to the needs of my home is not as time consuming as a young mother taking care of infant children; a mother dealing with children who require extra attention and help with school work; a wife taking care of a sick husband; a mother working outside of the home; or a mother tending to a large family. It is important for me and others in a similar situation to be proactive and make sure our time is spent on profitable tasks.
The rest of verse 27 says, “…and eateth not the bread of idleness.” Years ago, my schoolteacher Mrs. Collingsworth told us almost every day before we started our work: “Plan your work; work your plan; and don’t get sidetracked!” This is simple, practical, and life-changing advice. At the beginning of every day we should make a plan for what we need to accomplish in that day. Then, we should start working on it right away with a willing heart. We should not get caught up in the world’s philosophy of “I’m out of bed! What more do you want?” We all have days when we do not feel one hundred percent, and we might drag a little bit, but every day we should not have an attitude of dreading work. This is not Christ-like and does not fall in line with the pattern for a Christian woman who “…worketh willingly with her hands.”
We must avoid time wasters. Ephesians 5:16 says, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Our time is precious and valuable. Even one hour of time wasted each day is a gift that is being thrown away. A few common time wasters include the following: social media, television, idle texting. Matthew 12:36 says, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” One day, we will have to give an account for every idle word that we have spoken. We will be judged for every pointless text, social media post, and conversation.
At the end of every day, we should look at our accomplishments and examine how we spent each hour of our time; then, we should ask the Lord if there is anything we can do better. We should pray for discipline in defeating time wasters and wisdom to know what new tasks and responsibilities we should take. We should always be looking for ways to accomplish more for His work and we should be performing these tasks with a willing heart.
Let us all consider the words in Proverbs 31 and commit to willingly do whatever work that God presents to us. We should focus on being great examples so that the younger ladies behind us can benefit from our testimony of being a willing and diligent worker for the Lord. Ultimately, we must remember that God put us here to bring glory and honor to Him and lead others to Him; our willing work is a great way to fulfill the will of God for our lives.