Frankly, for a long time I have avoided the woman in Proverbs 31. She seemed like the Jesus of women. A person I could never be. It was an immature and silly point of view I see now. Like Jesus, we all need an example. Certainly, I may never never get anywhere near to living like her, but why not try.
I recently had a friend tell me she was going to read it every morning in her personal worship time. I decided to copy her. I'm rarely original. This morning, I noticed so many things I had not before seen (I know this because I had not highlighted it).
Three things I loved today:
She worked, that is obvious. But I noticed today that she had willing hands. The idea of willing hands seems very closely linked to a heart attitude. (v 13)
The teaching of kindness was on her tongue. Again, not just something she taught Sunday morning, but something she lived and modeled throughout the week. This too must come from a heart attitude that is fixed on the Lord.
She does not eat the bread of idleness. Here I see a decision. A choice not to be lazy, to work with her willing hands, and to not choose slothful living.
I remember once I was repenting to a Bible study my struggle with being lazy. One woman in the group and turned to me and said, "you aren't lazy, you have four kids." I remember thinking, wow, I have them all fooled. It's true four kids does keep a person busy, but laziness and sloth is a heart attitude. I could even be doing my every task and still be lazy. It's the same thing as doing all the right things to appear Christlike, but if my heart if far from the Lord... Well, it's a heart attitude. I desire to live an authentic life before the Lord, not a show for the masses.
So today, Jesus, give me the strength to have willing hand, to have kindness in my speech and teaching, and to forsake idleness. I need your grace to accomplish such a high calling. I know your Holy Spirit will strengthen me. I could never do it in my own strength.