Sunday, March 25, 2012

Studying Proverb s 31 through related scriptures

She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.  In her hand, she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. vs.  19

Acts 16:11-15
Acts 18:1-4, 18-28
Psalm 127
Proverbs 20:10
Proverbs 27:23-27
Proverbs 28:8

Monday, March 5, 2012

Studying Proverbs 31 Through Related Scriptures Part II

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. vs. 13

Exodus 36:1 - So Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded. (Read in context)
Proverbs 16:3
Proverbs 14:23
Proverbs 10:4
Proverbs 18:9
2 Thessalonians 3:10
Matthew 6:33
Phil 4:4-8
Luke 10:38-42

She is like merchant ships bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. vs. 14-15

Mark 10: 45
Proverbs 15:17
Proverbs 21:20
Matthew 25:31-40
Matthew 6:25-27
I Timothy 4:1-5
I Timothy 5:3-10
Proverbs 22:9

She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. vs. 16-17

Proverbs 21:5
Proverbs 20:18
Proverbs 20:4
Proverbs 19:21
Proverbs 19:14
Colossians 3:23
Acts 20:34-35
Ecclesiastes 3:13

Proverbs 22:29

Monday, November 21, 2011

Studying Proverbs 31 through related scriptures

Part I.

Proverbs 31:10. Who can find a virtuous wife? Her worth is far above rubies...
Below, I've listed some verses that supplement a study of each verse in Proverbs 31:20-31. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, and you may want to create a study list of your own. However, I hope that reading the ones I've listed will help us add depth and balance to a study of Proverbs 31.

Ruth 3:11 -- (whole book of Ruth)
Genesis 2:23-25
Proverbs 16:11
Proverbs 12:4
Acts 9:36ff -- account of Dorcas/Tabitha
Proverbs 14:1
Titus 2:28
Proverbs 20:6
Proverbs 18:22

Proverbs 31:11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her. So he will have no lack of gain.

I Timothy 3:10-11
Titus 2:3-5
Proverbs 11:13
Proverbs 25:13
Daniel 6:4
I Timothy 3:11
Proverbs 13:17
Luke 16:10

Proverbs 31:12 She does him good and not evil all the days of her life

Titus 3:8
Titus 3:14

Galatians 6:8-10
Isaiah 40:21:31
Matthew 5:15-16
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
I Timothy 5:9-10
John 5:16-30
Romans 2:7
Romans 2:10

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 days of work in the home...

Catching up!


A key characteristic of the worthy woman is her faithfulness to the work entrusted to her. We don't often think of faithfulness as being a very exciting quality. If someone we love is faithful in their relationships and faithful in their work, we might even take it for granted. But, if someone is not faithful -- if they break our trust in some way or neglect their work or destroy their potential with bad habits -- then, we notice and are deeply grieved.

In the home sphere, you might have moments when you feel that others take you for granted. The world doesn't often applaud paid bills, done laundry, full pantries, and dust bunnies swept away. The efficient and talented keeper of the home might not receive many day-to-day compliments. If this is true for you, you must not think that your work goes unnoticed, however. Most likely, your family members and others value your persistence in well-doing more than you realize.

At any rate, faithfulness to the tasks given you pleases the Lord. It is a quality of His own nature, and He is the perfect standard for faithfulness. Studying, knowing, and relying on God's faithfulness brings us joy and peace. Imitating God's faithfulness -- however imperfectly we might do so -- adds productivity and joy to our lives as well.

For the word of the LORD is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness. Psalm 33:4

Monday, August 15, 2011

30 days of work in the home

If you are married, coordinate your work with that of your husband!

Imagine two beautiful horses pulling a lovely carriage. If one horse pulls one way and the other horse pulls in the opposite direction, what will happen to the carriage? It will fail to reach its destination at best, or it will tip over and be destroyed, at worst.

Of course, we are people, and not horses, and our work is more important than pulling carriages. Still, the illustration helps us think of what happens when a couple is not pulling together in life in the same direction.

For your work as home manager to be most effective, you need to work within your husband's leadership and by his side. Here are some ideas to help you be in sync with your husband's work.

1) Is there a special time of day when you and your husband most enjoy relaxed time together? Keep this time as special as you possibly can and strive to do your work at other times. During this time, it's best not to have large appliances making noise or to jump up and down to do this remembered task or that remembered task. Some happy time relaxing in each other's company is good for both of you..
2) Take a few moments on Sat. Sunday or Monday to pray about your upcoming week together. Coordinate your schedules. If you just can't fit this in weekly, try doing it monthly.
3) Talk to your husband before making concrete plans that would involve him or affect him in some way.
4) Ask your husband if there is anything he would like you to do today or this week. Also ask him if there is anything on his heart that he'd like you to pray about.
5) Take an interest in his work and his hobbies.
6) Talk about your goals in life.
7) Learn from other couples but don't negatively compare your husband to another man or expect that your relationship with your husband will be just like someone else's.

Happy Home Keeping!

Monday, June 20, 2011

30 days of work in the home

See the post for Monday, June 20, 2011 at the Merry Rose for a discussion of the fact that doing work with our hands releases feel good chemicals into our bloodstream. One of the most beautiful images in Proverbs 31 is of the worthy woman who works with eager hands in delight, who stretches out her hand to the distaff, whose hands grasp the spindle, who extends her hands to the poor and stretches out her hands to the needy and whose life's work is partly evidenced by the product of her hands. The picture of this woman who is so busy with her hands is one of a woman who is happy in her work and whose handiwork benefits her family and community.

Now, science has given us explanations for why we find that quiet work with our hands is so satisfying. It may be hard to get started on such tasks, but, once we do, a cycle is set up in which our bodies actually reward us with the pleasure of meaningful work and we wish to do such work again. I've covered the scientific side in my post at the Merry Rose.

The scientists who have discovered these built-in biological rewards for working with our hands generally believe that this is a survival mechanism built into our pysches and our bodies through blind evolution. Personally, I think this is a created response given to us by a Creator who, Himself, finds satisfaction in good work (See Genesis 1). I believe that He has put this part of His Image into our nature. He wants us to find satisfaction in our work. While it's true that the fall of man has added pain and frustration to tasks that were originally meant only to be productive and fulfilling, we find that work does add meaning to our lives. Working with our hands to produce concrete results is some of the most meaningful work we can do.

While God may not work with hands exactly as we do, we do find many places in the scriptures where it says that he delights in his works. Certainly, when Jesus came to us in human form, he knew the pleasure of doing good work with his hands. He was, as we know, a carpenter's son. Later on, he used his hands to heal and to make whole. What could be more satisfying than that?

Most importantly, Jesus stretched his hands out on a cross and died for us. That act caused him pain. But he endured it for the joy set before him of seeing many saved. He rose again.

What was one thing he did right after rising from the dead? He cooked fish for his friends.

How happy we can be in doing good with our hands, not just because of a physical reaction -- though that is welcome -- but because of the spiritual satisfaction of pleasing and imitating our Lord!

Happy Home Keeping.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

30 days of work in the home --

Memories and Mementos

The home worker who feels overwhelmed is often someone who is sentimental and keeps too many things because of the emotional attachment that the things represent. That's one of my weak areas.

Of course, a home is not a home without some items that represent meaning to us and to our families. As Mimi Does says in Busy but Balanced, "There needs to be a space for the mementos that support the souls of those of us living here -- objects with a story, creations made by small hands, treasures found in nature, collections gathered over time, photographs that ignite memories."

So, what are some wise tips for dealing with items of sentimental value?

1) Do not equate people with things. A lovely gift from a beloved friend can cheer up your home. A beautiful heirloom from a grandparent or parent can trigger happy memories. However, if you are keeping something that triggers only grief or pain or that you really don't like, remember that you don't have to keep it just because someone gave it to you. You can honor a living person or remember someone who has passed away in other ways.
2) As we move through the different seasons of our lives, different things will have meaning to us. Periodically evaluate what you are keeping and why.
3) If you have trouble making decisions about sentimental items, you can employ a number of methods to help you. Talk the decision over with your spouse, a trusted friend, or an adult child. Ask for their honest input. They may not be able to decide for you how you feel about an object. However, hearing their thoughts can help you discern your true feelings about it. Plus, if you are keeping something with the idea that someone else will want it some day and you find out that they will not, you can let it go.
4) Learn how to store photographs, linens, and valuable objects. If you do not keep them out on display or in use at all times, you will need to store them in a way that they won't fade, become discolored, or otherwise be destroyed.
5) Give each of your children a file box. Each year, help your child choose just a few things from that year to keep. Here again, some memories can be saved in ways other than by keeping every item. Take pictures of some things and store those pictures on your computer or in a photo box. Or, you can help your child write a short sentence about what an object represents before culling it from his or her stash.

Happy Home Keeping!