Before the blossom

Why is it at Mother's Day, Christians pull out Proverbs 31? The woman described seems like the ideal model. She's amazing: a blessing to her husband "all the days of her life," works hard and willingly, provides for family, friends and the poor, creates a home and clothing to protect her family and therefore has no worries for her family. She's wise, in shape, in the marketplace, disciples her children, works in ministries, is dignified, fears the Lord, teaches, proactive, prays…. How in the world?
I think what comes first is clearly at the beginning,
"She is far more precious than jewels," (v. 10b). 
She knows who she is. She's not just someone's wife, mom or mentor. She's in Christ. The Proverbs 31 woman knows that she is the jewel of her heavenly Father's eye. She knows, He rejoices over me with gladness; He will quiet me by His love; He will exult over me with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17). She is in Christ.
Planting season is upon us. Peering through a book from the library, gaining tidbits of knowledge, I noticed a tip for planting annual seedling: "Pinch off any flowers or buds so the plant can focus it's energy on getting it's roots established rather than flowering, then water well." This Proverbs 31 woman, establishes her roots in Christ. She knows she is fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). She knows she is the apple of God's eye (Psalm 17) and that she is His treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6), she's forgiven (1 John 1:9), gifted (1 Corinthians 12:7), and blessed (Ephesians 1:3). After she's grounded in Christ, she can focus her energy on the rest of her attributes and blossom.
Establishing her identity in Christ, is only the beginning of her spirituality. If you noticed, in my gardening book, the last phrase was, "then water well." I think the wise Proverbs 31 woman waters in verse 15:
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
Rising "while it is yet night" is her daily multi-vitamin. Solomon was not referring simply to physical food. He was also speaking of spiritual food. When the alarm goes off at 5am, I'm not always excited to jump out of bed, but I know that if I don't, I'll regret it. If I wake early, spend time marinating in God's Word, I'm ready to give. Contrary, if I hit snooze for an hour, waking the same time as my family, I am like a dry wilting, stressed plant, and it's ugly. The wise Proverbs 31 woman knows she needs a daily spiritual vitamin. This rich time of fellowship with God in the morning, feeds our spirit throughout the day and gives us energy to blossom.
Read Proverbs 31:10-31. Which attributes of this Proverbs 31 woman convicts you the most? She is overwhelming! Select ONE area that you will focus on this week. Can I suggest you begin with establishing your worth in Christ or nourishing your spirit with Him daily if these are areas of conviction?

1 comment:

Becky DeWilde said...

For the night owl reading this..rising "while it is yet night" sounds dreadful. However, if you know you can utilize time at night to fresh your spirit in Christ, and when you wake in the morning (after hitting snooze for 30 minutes) you can give and serve wholeheartedly and joyfully, then that works for you! The assessment is, am my spirit vibrant?