She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
clothing is fine linen and purple.
I don’t know about you, but I often struggle with staying focused. There are so many things that I want to do and that the world tells me I should be doing that it is easy lose focus. It is one of the reasons I am so thankful for this chapter of Proverbs. It brings me back to something that is truly important.
This week we see that the Proverbs 31 woman plans ahead. She looks to see what is coming up next and, to the best of her abilities, makes sure that she and her family are prepared. It can be as simple as meal planning and getting clothes out for the right seasons, saving for vacations or other family needs, or planning the education of her children.
But we should take this farther than the everyday care of the family. Every family goes through seasons where life is peaceful and seasons where life is more difficult. The degree of difficulty is different for everyone, but we all experience trials of various kind.
Trials, we must distinctly understand, are a part of the diet which all true Christians must expect. It is one of the means by which their grace is proved, and by which they find out what there is in themselves. Winter as well as summer–cold as well as heat–clouds as well as sunshine–are all necessary to bring the fruit of the Spirit to ripeness and maturity.
- J. C. Ryle
It is important that as Proverbs 31 women we work on being prepared for all of these seasons. We may not know exactly what God has for us tomorrow, but we can prepare ourselves and our families by being in the word and building a foundation of faith so when trials and uncertainty hits we are not shaken.
To do this means we must:
1 Rely on God.
The Proverbs 31 woman is resourceful and prepared, but she knows that she is not working in her own strength nor does depending on her own abilities. Instead she is wholly dependent on God. She trusts his goodness, leans on his strength, and relies on his grace. It is her dependence on God that gives her courage to look ahead, plan, and work.
2. Know Your Family’s and Your Own Tendencies.
How do you and your family tend to respond to smooth and easy circumstances? Do sunny days and times of prosperity lead you to forget the God who gives such things to the undeserving? How do you and your family respond to dark and stormy days when there seems to be little provision and a lot of pain? Do you want to curse God? Or maybe you just forget him in the midst of the chaos. Do you tend to want to roll up your sleeves and fix things in your own strength? A godly wife and mother will know her and her family’s tendencies in each circumstance and will seek to aim the household toward faith in the God who gives and takes away; who is always good, always worthy of praise and always there.
3. Not be afraid.
She is not afraid, Proverbs says, for she knows that come what may God is with her and for her (Rom 8:31-37). He will never abandon her, but will remain with her to strengthen her and bless her. Though difficulty will come, God will come with it. She fears no season or circumstance because she fears the Lord.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32)
As we seek to be the godly women God has called us to be we must be ready for whatever lies before us. To be genuinely prepared requires that we are focused on and walking with Christ. This is what allows us to be thankful in good times, strong in hard times, and secure in uncertain times.
Looking to Jesus,